By FIBA Europe.
Ekrem Memnun has been tasked with continuing the rise to prominence of Turkey as a global basketball power after being handed the reins for EuroBasket Women 2015.
Having made history last year by taking the first-ever Turkish club to the EuroLeague Women title with Galatasaray odeabank, the play-caller will now face the challenge of sustaining the momentum for the national team.
And, his predecessor and current Adana Botas head coach, Ceyhun Yildizoglu could prove a tough act to follow.
The outgoing head coach delivered a first ever EuroBasket Women Final in 2011, an historic maiden Olympic Final appearance at London 2012, bronze at EuroBasket Women 2013 and a last four spot in their debut outing at the FIBA World Championship for Women last year.
“We have a very successful national team,” conceded Memnun during his unveiling to the Turkish media at the Abdi Ipekci Arena.
“Our task is to do even better and demonstrate that this success is sustainable.”
“This is the start of a new period in my life,” he added.
Turkey will be one of the frontrunners to make the podium at EuroBasket Women 2015 and it may be the case that Memnun will be able to persuade national team leader Nevriye Yilmaz to step out in Hungary and Romania.
He is certainly well placed to do so, since he has the legend in his locker room at club level with Galatasaray.
Turkey have been drawn in Group B for EuroBasket Women and will head to Oradea for the first phase where they will tussle with Belarus, Greece, Italy and Poland.
“The goal for both of our national teams this summer is to qualify for the upcoming Olympic Games,” declared Director of Sport, Barbaros Akkaş, after introducing Memnun.
“Our Senior Women’s national team has drawn the world’s attention with its successes in recent years.
“I wish him every success.”
However, before Memnun can concentrate on his new role, he must firstly focus on trying to maintain a successful defence of Galatasaray’s EuroLeague Women crown, with their hopes of making the play-offs still balanced on a knife-edge.