Ataman bashes Yurtseven: 'Omer needs to aplogize to the Turkish people'

2022-08-10 19:02
Credit: FIBA; TRT Spor
Credit FIBA; TRT Spor

Omer Yurtseven's surprise departure from the Turkish national team despite playing during the July window of the 2023 FIBA World Cup Qualifiers made headlines a week ago.

The player later release a statement trying to clarify the situation but it did not extinguish the fire. Now, Ergin Ataman, the flamboyant head coach of the Turkish national team, gave an exclusive interview to broadcaster TRT Spor where he gave his own point of view about the incident.

"I am very sad and shocked that Omer Faruk Yurtseven did not attend the camp. He was in the squad in the matches, he played very well. We tried to reach him with my assistants but he didn't answer them," Ataman started off.

Omer Yurtseven

Omer  Yurtseven
Position: C
Age: 24
Height: 213 cm
Weight: 120 kg
Birth place: Tashkent, Uzbekistan

"He called the president. He always left us in a position to deal with an American manager," Ataman told. "Omer Faruk Yurtseven is a young player, I am not in favor of losing him. In the future, he will realize his mistake and return to his friends. I see this as a mistake of youth."

Later that week, the Turkish Basketball Federation announced that Ercan Osmani would replace the absent NBA center.

"Omer Faruk needs to apologize to the Turkish people, not to me or the TBF. The national team is everyone's team, all players must come here willingly," the Anadolu Efes Istanbul specialist said. "We are here not just to play basketball but to raise the Turkish flag to the top. The players I have are also very good players. We will replace Omer Faruk with another player."

Despite the overwhelming majority of local basketball fans bashing Yurtseven for his failure to show up to camp without notice, the Miami Heat big man called out the media for it.

"I won't have hard feelings with Turkish NT despite media manipulations," his tweet wrote following his letter of explanation.


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