How did you get started playing basketball?
I began playing basketball when I was 9 years old. I joined a big organized basketball club at the age of 11 which gave me exceptional fundamentals. I continued playing organized ball in sports clubs, high- school (in Europe), and college (US), all the way up to professional (Europe), national and Olympic levels with the Turkish national team. I then began to coach, and coached around the country in various camps and basketball clinics for organizations such as Stanford University, Philadelphia 76ers and Bob Hurley, among many others.
Why did you decide to become a private coach, and what do you enjoy most about coaching?
Basketball is my joy and passion. After my college and professional career, I decided to stay in the basketball community to help young players develop their skills to become better players and teammates. Basketball is a team sport that you can succeed in only when individuals go after the same goal.
I can’t agree more with legendary coach John Wooden: “What you are as a person is far more important than what you are as a basketball player.”I was fortunate enough to work with many great <>a href="https://www.coachup.com/resources/basketball/tags/Coaching"basketball coaches and players who taught me the skills and fundamentals that I apply in my life and in my basketball career. I am happy to pass that knowledge on to younger generations, especially members of the basketball community, and I enjoy seeing players develop these skills and gain an understanding of the game.
What can a client expect from private lessons with you?
My relationship with my players is not only about teaching them skills like shooting with good form or playing defense, but it’s also about helping them understand the game and leading them to become the best player they can be. There is no right way of playing basketball, everyone has a different game and style. I help my players reach their maximum capacity.
Who is your favorite coach and why?
It’s a cliche but I’m going to have to say Phil Jackson. Not just because he coached the best players who played the game, but because he led them to be the best players they could be and let them do what they do the best, while helping them synchronize with their teammates.
What is your favorite sport in the Olympics to watch besides basketball?
After basketball, my favorite sport is soccer in the Olympics. Everyone plays soccer as a little kid growing up in Europe. Turkey is a big soccer country. Even though the goal is quite big, it is not easy to score in soccer. I enjoy watching where strategy meets talent and skill in soccer, very much like basketball.