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BASKETBALL > Türkcan ends his triumphant career

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Mirsad Türkcan is carried on the shoulders of his Fenerbahçe Ülker teammates as the 36-year-old power forward puts an end to his successful basketball career.

Mirsad Türkcan is carried on the shoulders of his Fenerbahçe Ülker teammates as the 36-year-old power forward puts an end to his successful basketball career.

Fenerbahçe Ülker power forward Mirsad Türkcan, one of the most successful Turkish basketball players in history, called an end to his prolific career on Sept. 16.

Türkcan ended his career with an exhibition match between Fenerbahçe Ülker and CSKA Moscow at the Ülker Sports Arena in Istanbul. After being brought off the bench to replace Kaya Peker in the first period, Türkcan played a few minutes and equalized the game at 6-6. Then Türkcan, who has worn the number six all throughout his career, was substituted back out of the game, drawing an end to his career.

“Last year I had an important injury and I decided to quit,” the 36-year-old said, who won four titles with Fenerbahçe Ülker. “I could have played another season but I did not want to keep on playing just for a limited time. Basketball fans remember me for my ambitious, fighting spirit. I wanted to remain in their memories that way,” he said.

Türkcan is the all-time rebounder in the Euroleague and the first Turkish player to be drafted to perform in the NBA. He was also a member of the silver medal winning Turkish team in the EuroBasket 2001.

Born in Bosnia, Türkcan immigrated to Turkey to play basketball as a teen and in 1993 he was given a professional contract by Anadolu Efes, then Efes Pilsen.

During his six years at Efes, he won three league titles as well as the Korac Cup in 1996, when Efes became the first Turkish sports team to claim a European trophy.

He played for the New York Knicks and the Milwaukee Bucks in the NBA. He played in Paris Basket Racing, Montepaschi Siena, CSKA Moscow and Dynamo Moscow in his return to Europe. In 2002, he became the first Turkish player to win the Euroleague Regular Season Most Valuable Player award with CSKA.

September/18/2012

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