Turkey boast youthful looks to their EuroBasket team

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On the eve of the tournament, Turkey head coach Ergin Ataman has announced a 12-man squad for EuroBasket 2015 which features as many as six players below the age of 25, including three below 20.

Turkey travelled to Berlin with 13 players on Wednesday night and coach Ataman decided that the last player to be cut from the squad would be Birkan Batuk.

The 25-year-old shooting guard was aiming to make a second consecutive EuroBasket appearance, as he had suited up in the 2013 tournament in Slovenia.

On Tuesday however, prior to the team’s departure for the German capital, point guard Dogus Balbay suffered an injury that ruled him of the EuroBasket and left coach Ataman with even more difficult decisions when it came to deciding the composition of his final roster.

Team captain Sinan Güler and Ali Muhammed are the only two players above the age of 30.

Furkan Korkmaz, the 18-year-old winger who enamoured Turkish fans this summer with his performances at both the U18 European Championship and the U19 World Championship, is the youngest player on the sqaud.

The youngster collected a silver and a bronze medal the two youth championships he participated in and to cap off his summer with a third medal, on his debut with the senior national team, would be an unprecedented achievement.

Cedi Osman, the U20 European Championship MVP of 2014 and his team-mate on that gold-medal winning team, Kartal Özmizrak, are the two 20-year-olds on Turkey’s EuroBasket team.

Philadelphia 76ers’ big man Furkan Aldemir, Hüseyin Köksal and sharp-shooter Melih Mahmutoglu are the other three players below the age of 25 on this year’s Turkish squad.

Ersan Ilyasova, who had missed out on last year’s FIBA Basketball World Cupwill lead Turkey’s efforts in Berlin.

The star power forward who recently moved to the Detroit Pistons from the Milwaukee Bucks forms a formidable frontcourt together with veteran centers Semih Erden and Oguz Savas, power forward Baris Hersek as well of course with the rebounding machine that is Aldemir.

Turkey commence their EuroBasket 2015 Group B campaign against Italy and will then go up against Spain, group hosts Germany, Serbia and finally Iceland.

Turkey’s final EuroBasket 2015 roster: Furkan Aldemir, Ali Muhammed, Semih Erden, Sinan Güler, Baris Hersek, Ersan Ilyasova, Hüseyin Köksal, Furkan Korkmaz, Melih Mahmutoglu, Cedi Osman, Kartal Özmizrak, Oguz Savas.

FIBA

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