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13/07/2011
Enes KANTER (TURKEY)

ISTANBUL (EuroBasket 2011) - Enes Kanter is back in Turkey after a whirlwind month.

In June, he became the third overall pick in the NBA Draft by the Utah Jazz.

The NBA is in his future.

In his present, though, is Turkey.

The 2.08m Kanter, who only turned 19 on May 20, is one of the biggest talents ever to emerge in Europe and he wants to establish himself not only in the NBA, but on the international stage as well.

Should Kanter make his country's final squad for the EuroBasket, which tips off at the end of August in Lithuania, he and his teammates will fight for a place at the London Games.

"My purpose of coming back to Turkey is the national team," Kanter said.

"I really want to wear the national team jersey because this way, I'll represent Turkey better.

"At the moment, I'm focused neither on the Utah Jazz nor the (NBA) lock-out.

"My sole purpose is to represent Turkey in the best way."

Kanter admits it's going to be a real joy to run onto the court with the likes of Hedo Turkoglu, Kerem Tunceri and Omer Onan - veterans in the Turkish team that celebrated a silver-medal triumph at last year's FIBA World Championship in Istanbul.

He believes the quality in the squad is good enough to carry the team to London.

 "The names you mention are really worth respect," Kanter said.

"I'm very excited and happy to play with such good players.

"We have many quality players and I believe we'll do a great job.

"Together, we'll represent Turkey in the Olympics next year."

Without question, Kanter will be hoping that the NBA lockout ends in time for next season to start on time.

Being at the draft in June was a great experience and he thinks it gives him an opportunity to fly the flag for Turkey in North America in the years to come.

"I think the draft was a success for me," he said.

"I believe as the sixth Turkish player in NBA, from now on I will carry our basketball further ahead and represent our country in the best way.

"I thank the whole Turkish people for their support."

FIBA
 

  
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