Turkish prospect and potential lottery pick, Alperen Sengun, has submitted paperwork to the league office to make himself eligible for the 2021 NBA Draft, according to ESPN’s Jonathan Givony.
“At the beginning of the season, I didn’t think my performance would be this high, but with every passing game I felt I could do more and more,” Sengun said via email. “I believe that there are no limits for me to get better as a basketball player.”
Sengun currently ranks as the No. 14 prospect in the ESPN Top 100.
The 18-year-old is having one of the most productive seasons in European basketball history for a teenager, averaging 19.2 points, 9.4 rebounds, 2.5 assists, 1.3 steals and 1.7 blocks per game, while shooting 64.6 percent from the field in 29 games for Besiktas in the Turkish Super League.
“I have always played with and against older players so adjusting to playing in a league with professionals was not unfamiliar,” said Sengun. “I am aware of the things I have done well but I also recognize aspects of my game I want to strengthen. I enjoy focusing on those aspects and becoming a better basketball player every time I step on the court.”
Sengun is described as a “dominant interior scorer with preternatural instincts crashing the glass, creating for teammates, getting in passing lanes, and protecting the rim” and NBA scouts have compared his style of play to players like Domantas Sabonis and Kevin Love.
Sengun made his debut for the Turkish National Team at the FIBA EuroBasket 2022 Qualifiers where he averaged 12.0 points, 7.3 rebounds, 1.0 assist, 1.3 steals and 1.0 block per game in four games, including a 24-point, 12-rebound performance against Sweden.
“Being selected to the Turkish National Basketball Team was a huge step forward for me and my performances in the qualifiers gave me more confidence that I am ready take the next step to the NBA,” he said.
The 6-foot-9 big man also intends to represent Turkey at the FIBA Olympic Qualifying Tournament next month in Victoria, Canada.
Turkey plays Uruguay on June 29 and Czech Republic on June 30, then either Canada, Greece or China in the elimination games.
If Turkey doesn’t qualify for the Olympics, Sengun will then head to the United States in July to prepare for the NBA pre-draft process, per Givony.