ISTANBUL (EuroBasket/FIBA Basketball World Cup) – Battles with injuries late in his career have forced Mehmet Okur to stop playing basketball.
Turkey's lone NBA champion, when he was a member of the Detroit Pistons in 2004, Okur has left the game at just 33 years of age.
The 2.11m center had been in the reckoning for a spot in Turkey's team in 2010 when they hosted the FIBA World Championship but he ruptured his Achilles tendon that April and was ruled out of the biggest basketball tournament in his nation's history.
Though he returned to the court with the Utah Jazz the following year and played 13 games, and spent part of last season with the New Jersey Nets after the NBA Lockout, Okur was not the force that he once was.
"A player of certain level should say goodbye to the sport he loves when his body doesn't let him to be as he used to be," Okur said in remarks carried by the Anadolu Agency.
Okur also said: "I want to thank my family, coaches, partners, and all those who have accompanied me in basketball.
"Also, a special thanks to the fans who have always supported me."
Okur had many more highs than lows during his career, with his crowning achievement the NBA title he captured with Detroit.
He parlayed that title-winning campaign into a big-money move to Utah and had a solid career with the Jazz, even making the Western Conference All-Star Team in 2007.
Okur was in good form in the 2009-10 season, averaging 13.5 points and 7.1 rebounds and was deemed a lock to make the national team that summer but he went down with the Achilles injury.
Turkey still had a good team and won the silver medal after falling to the United States in the Championship game.
Okur did have a very important role in the Turkey team that hosted EuroBasket 2001 and clinched the silver medal.
His last appearance with the national side was at EuroBasket 2007 in Spain, when Bogdan Tanjevic's team had hoped to earn a place in the FIBA Olympic Qualifying Tournament but came up well short of the Quarter-Finals to fall out of contention for a spot in the Olympics.