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BASKETBALL > NBA opens doors for three Turks

NEWARK, New Jersey - - Hürriyet Daily News

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Turkish center Furkan Aldemir (L) was picked by the Los Angeles Clippers.

Turkish center Furkan Aldemir (L) was picked by the Los Angeles Clippers.

Three Turkish players were picked by NBA teams as the draft was made on June 28.

The Denver Nuggets had 2.16-meter center İzzet Türkyılmaz, who was playing for Banvit in Turkey, as a No. 50 pick in the second round, while Galatasaray Medical Park center Furkan Aldemir was picked by the Los Angeles Clippers and the Brooklyn Nets picked Pınar Karşıyaka forward İlkan Karaman.

“Congratulations to İlkan, İzzet and Furkan,” Utah Jazz’s veteran center Mehmet Okur tweeted yesterday. “Now we are nine [Turks] in the NBA. Welcome to the club.”

That is the first time that three Turkish players were picked in the NBA draft.

Meanwhile, the Kentucky Wildcats became the first college to have its players selected with the first two picks in the NBA draft and tied a record with six players taken overall, the Associated Press reported.

After the New Orleans Hornets made the long-expected selection of forward Anthony Davis with the first pick, Charlotte followed by taking Michael Kidd-Gilchrist.

“It’s crazy,” Davis said. “Michael is a great player. We have two down and four more to go. Hopefully, all of them will go in the first round.”

They didn’t, the only disappointment for the Wildcats. They settled for four in the first round and a tie with North Carolina.

Harrison Barnes (No. 7, Golden State), Kendall Marshall (No. 13, Phoenix), John Henson (No. 14, Milwaukee) and Tyler Zeller (No. 17, Dallas) all went between Kidd-Gilchrist and the next Kentucky player, Terrence Jones at No. 18 to Houston.

June/30/2012

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