Kanter Gamble Paying Off, Says Ene

01 August 2011

EuroBasket 2011

Enes Kanter (Turkey)
Enes Kanter has impressed in past youth tournaments for Turkey

Turkey coach Orhun Ene has admitted the inclusion of Enes Kanter in his EuroBasket squad was a risk but has been impressed with how quickly the Utah Jazz draftee has integrated himself into the squad.

Kanter, 19, was called in by Ene despite not playing at all last season, when he signed for the University of Kentucky in the United States, only to be declared ineligible by the NCAA due to his previous contract with Fenerbahce.

It means that Kanter, who declined a call-up for the 2010 FIBA World Championship, has not played organised basketball since April 2010, when he scored 34 points in the Nike Hoops Summit to break the record previously held by Dirk Nowitzki.

But fears that he would be too rusty to make an impact for Turkey this summer have been dispelled, Ene said.

"He is already playing as part of the team," he said. "Both on the court and off it, he has become part of the team very quickly. The fact that he had not played for so long posed a serious question in our minds at first, but he has adapted very quickly."

Ene was speaking as Turkey wrapped up their training camp in Bormio, Italy, and headed home to continue their work in Istanbul.

Ene hailed the camp as a success, but admitted an injury to Kerem Gonlum had disrupted the team.

"We worked well, and took the camp very seriously," he said.

"It is one of the most important parts of the process, and the players have built up their stamina.

"However, Kerem Gonlum has had to have an operation and the injury has upset us."


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