Enes Kanter: I’m ready for national basketball team

Turkish center Enes Kanter, known for his previous success in the American National Basketball Association (NBA), has gotten off to a great start with his new team, the Oklahoma City Thunder Kanter, who elicited some negative reactions in Turkey when injuries kept him from suiting up for the national team, has been very successful in the NBA. He took time to answer questions on a wide range of topics, including the future of Turkish basketball in general.

On the final day of transfers, Kanter moved from his former team, the Utah Jazz, to his new team, the Oklahoma City Thunder One of the things I first noticed about OKC Thunder is its professionalism It is a sense of professionalism that encompasses everything, from the way the team is led to the way the system in general runs, he said. You could say I have really found a very comfortable atmosphere here.

This team also really has a more successful cadre than what we had on the Jazz. It is a situation that not only makes playing more satisfying, but also allows you to think about building a more successful career Of course, what we have before us on the horizon is the target of a NBA championship.

I don’t know if that will happen this year We have a team that has the potential to do this. Let’s just say InIallah’.

Make no mistake: this star player is ready to suit up for the Turkish national basketball team Though recent injuries kept him from doing so, he is now excited and ready to do this particular task. Kanter, who has largely remained silent in the face of criticism and rumors with regards to his failure to play for the Turkish national team, said on the issue: quotI have remained mostly quiet in the fact of unnecessary rhetoric on this topic.

Believe me, sometimes it’s difficult to even believe some of the things people say. In the past two years, all sorts of unmentionable things have been said about me with regards to the Turkish national team There is no point in repeating them here especially since I’ve mentioned them in previous interviews.

But I will say just this: I love my people, our national team and our flag a thousand times more than those who criticize me so improperly on this topic. In fact, every moment in the NBA is spent thinking about how I can get people here to love the values, country and flag that I represent more.

What’s more, no one should think, Ah, that Enes Kanter, he’s just pursuing fame and fortune, not even one part of his mind is on Turkey these days.’ In one sense they are right as Turkey does not lie in just one corner of my mind but right in the middle of my heart.

I want everyone out there to know that I am doing my best to see that our flag becomes one which is respected no matter where you go in the world, he said. Maybe this was a very long answer, but the topic really bothers me, which is why I wanted to express this all one more time.

Let all the basketball lovers reading this know that this year and in future years when I am playing, I will definitely be suiting up in our national team uniform With pride. Speaking on his new team mates, as well as his new team’s director in Oklahoma City, he said: quotThey’re great.

From the very first day I arrived here, I’ve always been made to feel welcome. This is, as I mentioned earlier, a team that has a really high level of professionalism It’s also extra amazing that the team played a match in Turkey last year Right now, all the members love Turkey, and they want to visit again.

gHow is your dialogue with teammate Russell Westbrook? Russell is just so active. He has limitless energy.

You can find him jumping up and down here, even on the busiest of days. He is also very much respected on the team itself.

He never lets the absence of Kevin Durant and his leadership be felt on this team And this close dialogue is definitely reflected on the court. gThey call you the fearless Turkish warrior, is this right? Well, this is what the fans prefer I just play my game on the courts.

But when you never give up fighting, and you do what you can to make the game proud, your fans find you great nicknames. I’m still new though if I wind up staying on this team for a while, who knows, I might get a new nickname.

The important thing here in living up to your nicknames. gDo you follow the Turkish League for basketball: Fenerbahccedile Uumllker, Anadolu Efes, Galatasaray and BeIiktaI? During one season in the NBA, you play 80 matches.

Preparing for these, the training sessions, and all the social projects and programs that you do with your team, means there is very little time left over So while I try to follow, I really just don’t have the time. gTurgay Demiral, president of the Basketball National Federation, is leaving his job.

What do you think about this? I wish him all luck in the future. Under his leadership, Turkish basketball did develop and made a lot of progress.

I hope that the next leader will be able to bring us even further along, and that whoever comes next will really serve the country. gA young man who is a student at the same school from which you graduated, the Oumlzel Samanyolu Fen high school, came in fifth place across all of Turkey in testing.

What would you like to say about this? First and foremost, it doesn’t matter where success comes from it is always something we need to applaud. But this sense of pride is even greater when you see it from an institution or place that you have a personal tie with.

Over time, you become even closer to the place where you graduated. And when, as a graduate, current students experience success, it is like success for the entire school family.

gWhy, when you were studying at this high school, did you decide to lean towards basketball? What pushed you in this direction? I guess that since I was so tall, basketball was sort of a natural inclination for me. The person who really got me started in basketball was the sports teacher Fatih Karali, who worked at another Guumllen school, the Van Ozel Serhat high school.

gSo did your high school life have an influence on your career? What really influenced from my time at Samanyolu, and what other graduates have taken off into their careers and futures, is the education in character that we all got there. You can learn subjects, the standard subjects, at any school.

I think that’s really the greatest advantage of having studied at Samanyolu — that our teachers were people who we could use as role models. Without even realizing it, I think I try to imitate them today.

In terms of my respect for my work, in my relations with friends, I am so indebted to those teachers for all their work with me. gIs it not a great contribution to society, to bring forth young people in this way? Of course it is.

These are schools that bestow onto the system people with full hearts and minds. And our country rises due to these people.

These are quality generations who will be responsible for the future of the country. gDo you have any advice for students preparing for difficult exams? I have one piece of advice for all students out there: Try to see yourselves as future leaders, leaders who will always work together Think about how you will succeed at this, consult with your families and people you respect, and then make your decisions.

SOURCE: TODAY’S ZAMAN