Ataman supports the idea of Larkin playing for the Turkish NT

2019-09-30T20:40:11+00:00 2019-09-30T20:40:11+00:00.


30/Sep/19 20:40

Ergin Ataman talked about Shane Larkin’s wish to play for the Turkish national team and fully supports it

By Eurohoops team/

Shane Larkin has recently shown interest in playing for the Turkish national team and his Anadolu Efes coach Ergin Ataman noted that this wasn’t the first time he did so: “Larkin is not stating his will to play for the Turkish National Team for the first time. He said the same thing in April and also right after the Final Four, and we let the Turkish Federation know about the situation. We told them that Larkin is eager to play for Turkish NT in FIBA World Cup if requested.

He also had high praise for Larkin who decided to stay in Turkey for another season despite NBA offers: “I really don’t want to talk about this. Larkin is an important and competitive player. He is one of the best players in Europe. He can actually play in the NBA as well, but he decided not to go to the NBA since he couldn’t find an option where he would be the first or second guard, and stayed in Turkey.”

Ataman continued with an interesting point about the 26-year-old guard’s attitude towards the offseason: “And he doesn’t like much practicing in summer. I mean, he gives all he has during practices, but still, he doesn’t like these offseason practices much. I felt this way. We had similar issues also last year. Maybe he would rather play in the national team, competitions, Olympics than to practice in camps, etc.”

However, Turkish NT hasn’t been the only squad in the race as Croatia has been in contact with Larkin, and Ataman believes they are closer to adding him: “As far as what I’ve heard, Croatians are a step further. They had some negotiations with him. I suppose that he will be playing for one of the important national teams in Europe next year. We let the TBF know of this in April-May, but they were not so willing. They preferred Wilbekin,” he said and added:

“As I said, I disagree with the Federation on many topics, especially the National Team. So, let’s hope for the best.” 

Turkish Basketball Federation president Hedo Turkoglu addressed the topic as well recently and noted that Turkish NT coach Ufuk Sarica will decide on Larkin’s situation.