Head Coach Ergin Ataman Talks Goals and Expectations Ahead of FIBA EuroBasket 2025 Qualifiers

Published: 21 February 2024, 00:00 Updated: 21 February 2024, 00:01

Our Men’s National Team, which will face Italy and Iceland in Group B of the FIBA ​​EuroBasket 2025 Qualifiers, held a media day at Sinan Erdem Sports Hall, where it continues its preparations. Ergin Ataman, head coach of 12 Giant Men, made special statements to our newspaper Aydınlık before the qualifiers.

Stating that the Men’s National Basketball Team has had unsuccessful results recently, but they are going for a new structure, Ataman said, “The taste of the 2023 European Championship remains in our palate. We had a good squad, the only thing we were missing was Ömer Faruk Yurtseven. We narrowly missed a final or even a championship. “It was a structure 3-4 months after I took office, a miraculous defeat against France, now of course we want to make up for it,” he said.


Stating that our national basketball players, especially those playing in the NBA, have made a big breakthrough recently, Ergin Ataman said, “Now there is a team that is gaining more experience. Alperen Şengün became an NBA star. Ömer Faruk Yurtseven is playing well. Cedi Osman started playing in San Antonio. Onur Alp is improving himself in the C League, he is playing very well. Furkan may have left the team, but he was our best performing player in the last national team. Turkey actually has a very good generation. We finally managed to build a skeleton. We will also be able to use our Euroleague players. I could not use Sertaç Şanlı in the past. “Now we will use it too, make a good start and our goal is to go to the European Championship,” he said.


Evaluating his opponents in the qualifiers, Ataman also talked about his personal goals. Ergin Ataman said:

“In a group with four teams, we need to get out of this group. Italy is a very strong team, but when we look at Hungary and Iceland, the Turkish Basketball National Team must surpass these teams and go to the championship once, regardless of the squad they use. The big goal is to win a medal at the European Championship, that’s why I’m here. Personally, my main goal is to win a medal in the national teams, which is missing in my career. “I believe I can achieve this with this generation.”


Speaking about Cedi Osman, who did not come to the National Team in the last Olympic qualifiers, the experienced head coach said, “From time to time, our players playing in the USA asked for forgiveness from the national teams. Ömer Faruk was at the 2023 European Championship, but he came last year and said, “I couldn’t play, I didn’t feel ready, but I want to play now.” Of course, our son is a Turkish child, we included him in the squad. I think the same thing will happen for Cedi. Cedi was the captain of the Turkish national team in previous years. Cedi was one of the most important players of the Turkish national team, and he made such a decision this season. There are examples of this in Europe as well. Our doors are open to all our players playing in the NBA, they are our children, we are proud of them. But are we resentful? Yes, of course we are a little resentful, I wish they were. “There will be resentment within the family, I hope it will be resolved,” he said.


Speaking about the latest situation of national basketball player Furkan Korkmaz, who was left out of the NBA after the trade, Ergin Ataman said, “Furkan Korkmaz was traded after the national team squad was announced. The club he was traded to left Furkan out, but Furkan is now an NBA player. He has a contract in the NBA. The NBA does not allow its players to play in Europe anyway. If I had the opportunity to call Furkan, I would call him immediately. Furkan was with our national team with great devotion in the European Championship and summer Olympic qualifiers. He took part in the tournament wholeheartedly. “If this situation of Furkan Korkmaz had happened a week ago, he would have found a place in a good team in the Euroleague,” he said.


Turkish Basketball Federation (TBF) President Hidayet Türkoğlu made a statement at the event held at Sinan Erdem Sports Hall. Türkoğlu said, “The excitement of all of us is at the highest level. I hope we will pass these processes with the best results, worthy of the national jersey. I wish success to the whole team. I would like to thank the Turkish people in advance, who will not leave us alone.” Stating that there are no players playing in the NBA among them, but they do not see this as an excuse, President Türkoğlu said, “The absence of players playing in the NBA is an opportunity for those here. Friends who will have the chance will make the most of this opportunity. The organizations organized by FIBA, in this process “It can leave us in such situations. We should never use this as an excuse. We need to start a new process so that our friends here become more experienced in their clubs. I wish success to all my friends. Everyone who is invited here is here because they deserve it.” said.

2024-02-20 21:20:08
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