NBA’s 76ers sign Turkish forward Furkan Korkmaz
ISTANBULTurkish forward Furkan Korkmaz has signed a contract with the Philadelphia 76ers, completing a “dream move” for the 19-year-old player.
“We are happy to have Furkan Korkmaz join us in Philadelphia this year where we feel he will be best positioned to develop physically and acclimate to the NBA game,” Sixers president of basketball operations Bryan Colangelo said in a statement.
“Furkan is another talented young player that we are excited to have in our program,” he added.
Former Anadolu Efes and Banvit player Korkmaz spent a week in Philadelphia getting to know the Sixers and their staff back in June. He stated his desire then to come over and play in the NBA as soon as possible.
“My dream is to be an NBA player,” Korkmaz said on June 12 at the Sixers’ training complex.
“I am looking for that next year. Nobody knows yet what’s going to happen for the next season. We are talking about it and then we are going to decide in these couple weeks,” he added.
Korkmaz was selected as the 26th overall pick in the 2016 NBA Draft. He spent last season in the Turkish league playing for Banvit, on loan from Anadolu Efes.
A native of Istanbul, Korkmaz has been named a Turkish Basketball Super League All-Star three times and is a two-time Turkish Cup champion.
He has represented his home country Turkey in international play in multiple competitions, earning a gold medal at the 2014 FIBA Europe Under-18 Championship and silver at the same event in 2015.
The young star also won the Slam Dunk Contest in the Turkish All-Star Game in 2016.
Korkmaz will join Ersan İlyasova of the Atlanta Hawks, Ömer Aşık of the New Orleans Pelicans and Enes Kanter of the Oklahoma City Thunder to become the fourth active Turkish player in the NBA.