Omer Yurtseven: “Fenerbahce and Anadolu Efes were interested, but now is not the time”

2023-08-13T11:02:51+00:00 2023-08-14T16:13:35+00:00.

Nikola Miloradovic

13/Aug/23 11:02

The Turkish national team player, who will represent the Utah Jazz in the upcoming season, spoke to Eurohoops about the offers he received to return to Europe this summer

By Semih Tuna/

In the FIBA Olympic Qualifying Tournament, the Turkish National Team started the group stage with a victory, defeating Iceland 99-72. Utah Jazz‘s Omer Yurtseven, who finished the match with 13 points and seven rebounds, spoke to Eurohoops after the game.

Even though he recently joined the Salt Lake City team, he decided to spend the summer with Turkish National Team.

Being a part of the National Team feels great. Playing in front of our fans is a great honor. I’ve missed this. Seeing everyone’s interest, the love from the kids, it’s very exciting,” Yurtseven said.

He confirmed that there were offers to return to Europe after he left the Miami Heat and before he decided to join Utah.

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Fenerbahce and Anadolu Efes were interested. Fenerbahce is my home, and I also love Erdem Can, my former coach, but even if I wanted to come here towards the end of my career, now is not the time.”

Choosing Utah was easy.

Having coach Will Hardy at Utah Jazz, playing with Europeans in significant positions, and being a young team, I couldn’t see any negatives, so it was an easy choice among my top 3 preferences.”

Over the years, the Turkish National Team almost always had a naturalized player, but this time Shane Larkin and Scottie Wilbekin won’t be helping Ergin Ataman’s side.

The topic of naturalization is something above me. It’s a decision made by coaches and executives. But of course, I want everyone to play with national feelings. What matters is representing this place with national pride and winning,” Yurtseven concluded.

Alongside Omer Yurtseven, another NBA player Alperen Sengun, also came to Turkеy’s aid this summer and talked to Eurohoops about his goals and dreams with the Houston Rockets.