Basketbol coach apologizes for team’s record 299-0 win: I am not a good educator
HAKKARİ – Doğan News Agency
The young players of Hakkari Gençler Gücü had made the headlines after destroying thire rivals Amatör Gençlik Basketbol Spor with a mind-blowing score of 299-0 on March 2. DHA photoA mind-boggling record was broken over the weekend in a provincial youth basketball league when Hakkari Gençler Gücü wiped the court with Amatör Gençlik Basketbol Spor with a final score of 299-0, however, the coach of the winning team is all but proud of his players.
Three days after the game, coach Mahmut Şimşek expressed his discomfort at the score and publicly apologized. Şimşek said his Hakkari Gençler Gücü players, ranging from age 14 to 15, had succumbed to their own greed during the game while he was off the bench. “The greatest sadness on my behalf is not being a good enough educator to prevent this over ambition” Şimşek said.
The 28-year-old coach emphasized that the southeastern province of Hakkari, bordering both Iraq and Iran, was one of the poorest, if not the most impoverished provinces of Turkey and as educators they were trying to promote basketball with very scarce financial means for the sake of sharing the game. Şimşek founded the club two years ago without a budget and the club was only able to survive thanks to the help of a Turkish international basketball player, whom he did not name.
The team sometimes had to train in the school canteens due to a lack of facilities, he said. According Şimşek, over time basketball became a way for the young players to clutch to life and brought hope to many children, showing them there were other paths to success in life.
“So such a score is awkward and upsetting. Because I was appointed a referee for a wheelchair basketball match in Muş province I was not on the bench. But I assume responsibility as their coach and [acting] older brother. I have to infuse more discipline to help them overcome their ambition in winning and losing. The children that we succeed in pulling to basketball courts should go after hope, not hate. This is the biggest lesson of my life,” Şimşek said.