Gürkan: We Share Values
Aytek Gürkan, Vice Chairman of BİDEV Board of Directors, said that he was very excited about the start of the jr.nba BIDEV League. Gürkan said, “First of all, I would like to thank Darüşşafaka, who has provided great services to Turkish basketball for many years, for hosting this beautiful organization and opening this home to us. As someone who feels good about the college spirit, I am very happy that two brands such as BİDEV and NBA have come together here. Because NBA and BİDEV are two institutions that give importance to values such as friendship, unity, being a team and respect beyond basketball. Many thanks to the NBA for sharing these values and approaches with us and for choosing us as a civil society movement to act together.”
“We established BİDEV two years ago under the leadership of our president, Hasan Arat. We have nearly 250 members of the board of trustees. Solidarity is one of the most important elements of our community. As an organization that comes together with our trainers, players, members of the press and all other workers, we have come a long way in a short time in the name of solidarity related to both social and health-related issues. I am proud of what we have accomplished. We want to achieve more success with this group, which we are preparing to celebrate the 100th anniversary of our republic founded by Atatürk.
“We put education next to our name. This is a topic that everyone talks about, but struggles to organize and achieve. We want to achieve this with the trainers and coaches that basketball gives us. We want to include our friends playing in the NBA and show them to children as role models. Basketball has created a space for all of us to strive for friendship and friendship. Now is the time to give it away. That’s why BIDEV exists. Thank you very much for coming.”
Meyer: Our Family Is Growing
NBA Europe Vice President Neal Meyer said that the jr.nba BIDEV league is a new member of a giant family. “It is a great honor to be here,” Meyer said. Along with BIDEV, jr. We are very excited to officially launch the NBA here today. I also mentioned it to our boys and girls at the event we just held on the field. It’s not just about basketball. We also share values such as sportsmanship, hard work, ethical values, cooperation and team play. Today we belong to a very special group together. When we started this project in 2014, there was only one league, but today we have reached 111 leagues in more than 30 countries. As in every Draft organization, it is great to see the excitement of the kids choosing an NBA team with the Draft. It’s great to see teams like Golden State and Chicago putting their jerseys on their backs happily. I would like to thank BİDEV for this organization and Darüşşafaka Sports Club, which opened its doors to us today. Together, we will continue to develop this cooperation.”
Surprise message from Alperen
The speech of BIDEV Board Member Eyal Tarablus started with a surprise. Alperen Şengün, who played for the Houston Rockets in the NBA and is the last Turkish player to be drafted into the NBA, wished success to all children in his video message.
Taking the floor after that, Tarablus said:
“I love basketball. Years ago, my father used to drop me off at the Sports Exhibition Center every weekend in Taksim before going to work, and I would watch all the matches from the first youth match in the morning to the last A Team match in the evening. At that time, my biggest dream was to see Aytek Brother one day. Today he is sitting next to me. I want to tell all children to follow your dreams. I would like to thank my father for leaving me in that hall every day, and Aytek Ağabey, the number 8 player of the team that reached a trophy like the Challenge Cup at that time. I have always worn the number 8 jersey since those days and today, we have a new dream. We are making the NBA, which we could only watch on tapes as a child, a part of our education system today. I have no doubt that we will achieve this with the love of basketball in us. With the BİDEV Step project, we will achieve this, including our villages that are difficult to reach. Unfortunately, there is a great narrowing between education and sports. While the share of sports in education in Europe is 6%, this figure is 3% in our country. Children are required to participate in social and sports activities. At this point, as BİDEV and the NBA, we came together in a long-term project. We announced this event, which we will organize for Girls and Boys, on 4 August. Today, we are doing this organization together as a family. Soon, our 30 schools will take the first steps of our league by choosing one of the 30 NBA teams. During the organization, which we will complete with the final organization in January 2023, the teams will be divided into two conferences and six regions and will struggle to stay in the top 8. Our parents will be able to follow all processes through the NBA application. The supporter of this program, BİDEV, is a family united around his passion for basketball. We want to increase the love of basketball in our country. Every kid who buys a basketball dreams of participating in the NBA Draft one day. On this path, we will work to leave a wonderful legacy for future generations.”
Radja Adds Color
king, “Dino Radja: I came to Istanbul as a tourist for the first time and had the chance to see your beautiful city in detail. I had a very enjoyable time here, especially yesterday. The children are eagerly awaiting the Draft, the most important part of this event. Good luck and so that they don’t keep them waiting too long. I wish you success.”