In Order to set up an assertive team capable to combat for the top of Turkish Women’s Basketball Super League, the Near East University Women’s Basketball Team transferred notable figures of basketball in line with the strategies set forth for 2015-2016 basketball season. Alyssa Thomas, Kelsey Bone and Tiffany Hayes, NEU’s new transfers from Women’s National Basketball Association of the United States (WNBA), came together with the press members.
Assoc. Prof. Dr. Hakan Atamtürk, the Head of Health, Culture and Sports Office of NEU, stated that their primary goal was to represent the Near East University and our country in Turkey in the best way by struggling toe to toe with the most challenging teams of the Super League. “Assoc. Prof. Dr. Irfan S. Günsel, the Chairman of NEU Board of Trustees, has set his goal and he has not spared any sacrifices and mobilized all the means to set up a very assertive team playing for the top of Turkish Women’s Basketball Super League. I think, to be amongst the top eight may not be satisfactory for such an assertive team, we want to be the leader of the league. One of our primary goals is also to participate in the European Cup. Ana Daboviç, our new transfer from Serbia and the MVP (Most Valuable Player) of EuroBasket 2015 will come to our country and join the team in two days time. Then, the players of the team will be all together.
Stating that they had set up an assertive team by transferring very notable figures of basketball, Assoc. Prof. Dr. Murat Tüzünkan, Vice Chairman of NEU Board of Trustees, underlined that they had mobilized all their means to represent our country in Turkish Women’s Basketball Super League in the best way. “A serious basketball organization was launched under the helm of Assoc. Prof. Dr. Hakan Atamtürk. This organization is running in a professional manner. We are confident that NEU Women’s Basketball Team under the coaching of Alper Durur will represent our country in the Super League in the best way. We have concluded our transfers within this frame. We are putting the wheels into motion for a long and challenging league. So far, we have received the significant support of the precious members of our press. In this context, I’d like to extend my appreciations to all of you” said he.
“We have put our stamp on the league history by transferring four WNBA players; this demonstrates how ambitious we have prepared for the season. I am confident that we will achieve good results in the preparation tournament in Kayseri as well as in the official matches of Turkey Cup” said Erhan Ayaz, the Manager of NEU Women’s Basketball Team.
Upon a question, Assoc. Prof. Dr. Murat Tüzünkan stated that they wished to play the home matches in our country but they couldn’t play due to known reasons. He indicated that they would play the home matches in Ankara adding that they were in cooperation with Dorana tourism to provide a packet program for the basketball fans who wanted to support them. He noted that they would provide detailed information regarding the program through press in a few days time.
Alyssa Thomas: I’m excited of being a part of this team
Touching upon the excitement that she felt upon choosing the Near East Women’s Basketball Team, Alyssa Thomas stated that she was very happy because she chose a team with goals. “We started training all together in order to enhance a number of values that comprises and embodies basketball fundamentals, our skills in supporting each other, sharing feelings, goals and playing basketball within a sound of team spirit. We will be a very assertive and ambitious team playing for the top of the Super League” said she.
Kelsey Bone. I chose Near East University Women’s Basketball Team since it is a new team with great goals.
Kelsey Bone, who wore the uniform of New York Liberty Team, Galatasaray and Connecticut Sun WNBA, is known well for her great contributions that she provides for her teams by her tough defense and her domination in rebounds and underneath the basket. Kelsey Bone, who has experienced a EuroLeague Championship and 2 Turkey Championships so far, knows Turkish Women’s Basketball Super League well as she played in Galatasaray before. Addressing to the press, Kelsey Bone stated that she chose the Near East University Basketball Team as it was a new team with great goals. She also underlined that NEU’s confidence in her as well as her willingness to play together with Alyssa and Tiffany under the coaching of Alper Durur, who she knows, were the other factors encouraging her to sign a contract with NEU Women’s Basketball Team.
Tiffany Hayes: A new team and new excitements
Addressing to the press, Tiffany Hayes voiced her feelings and considerations. “I have never been to Cyprus before, this is my first time and I liked it a lot. I am also excited for my new team. I am extremely happy to play with Alyssa Thomas and Kelsey Bone in the same team. All the players in the team are very strong players. We have started training all together recently, we know each other well. I think we will have a nice season” said she.
After having a symbolic signing ceremony at the press conference, a training open to press was performed with the participation of all players.