Adam Zagoria covers basketball at all levels. He is the author of two books and an award-winning journalist whose articles have appeared in ESPN The Magazine, SLAM, Sheridan Hoops, Sports Illustrated, Basketball Times and in newspapers nationwide.
Turkish star Omer Yurtseven, a 7-footer projected as the No. 14 pick in the 2017 NBA Draft by DraftExpress.com, has signed a National Letter of Intent with N.C. State.
“They have had a Turkish player (Egin Atsur) before and I heard that it was all good for him,” Yurtseven told Evan Daniels of Scout, who first reported the news. “They have a pretty good team. They are on the edge and above average and they need another guy to take them up. They needed another guy.”
“It’s not just about basketball,” he added. “I’m interested in math and stuff and they have a pretty good computer science program.”
Scout now has N.C. State ranked No. 6 nationally with it 2016 recruiting class.
“Omer is a tremendous addition and we’re very excited to have him join our program,” N.C. State coach Mark Gottfried said. ” He’s a very skilled and athletic player for his size, and will bring great versatility and another dimension in a position of need for us.”
Yurtseven recently visited Utah, Syracuse and N.C. State.
He and point guard Dennis Smith Jr. will be strong additions for a program that lost Cat Barber to the NBA Draft and twins Caleb and Cody Martin to transfer. Abdul Malik Abu’s status is also up in the air.
Yurtseven recently said he was interested in leaving his Turkish club and joining an American college team for the 2016-17 season.
“Fenerbahçe is a really good club and they play at a high level,” he told Daniels at the Basketball Without Borders camp in Toronto in February. “I haven’t been playing that much, so I need to go some place that I can to play more and to improve. That’s why I want to go to college.
ESPN’s Fran Fraschilla recently saw Yurtseven and gave an update to Mike Waters of the Syracuse Post-Standard.
“I just saw him a couple weeks ago at the Basketball Without Borders,” he said. “He’s a very good player. He’s definitely a high Division I player.
“The biggest question is ‘Is he a pro or not?”
Yurtseven’s coach at Fenerbahçe, Zeljko Obradovic, said that his club offered Yurtseven a five-year contract that he declined but said the player has already taken money from the team.
“We offered him a five-year contract, a very big contract,” Obradovic said. “He said that he needed to think about it. He thought for two months and then said to us that he wasn’t going to sign. We gave him a lot of trust, because we thought he was our future. Do you know any other 17yrs old kid that play so much minutes? Only Doncic with Real. I don’t know what he’s thinking about, does he wants to play in NCAA? He took the money in the last three years and now he wants to leave. That’s him.”
Yurtseven declined taking any money.
“I did not touch it,” Yurtseven told Scout.
Depending upon how much money, if any, he received, Yurtseven’s eligibility could be an issue going forward.
Here is DraftExpress’ scouting report on him:
“A near 7-footer with a promising frame, a polished skill-set and impressive fluidity, the young big man averaged 6 points and pulled down 6 rebounds over 13 minutes per game in NBA preseason games against the Brooklyn Nets and Oklahoma City Thunder, looking like a potential future lottery pick in the process. Putting up huge numbers in the 2015 Adidas Next Generation Tournament and averaging 9.8 rebounds per game and 8.7 rebounds per game playing a year up at the U18 European Championship, Yurtseven is considered one of the more intriguing young big men in all of Europe. He lacks great length and has shown inconsistent intensity and toughness at times, but he’s widely considered one of the top-1998 born prospects in the world.”
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NTurkish star Omer Yurtseven, a 7-footer projected as the No. 14 pick in the 2017 NBA Draft by DraftExpress.com, has signed a National Letter of Intent with N.C. State, a source confirmed to SNY.tv.
Adam Zagoria is a Basketball Insider who covers basketball at all levels. A contributor to The New York Times and SportsNet New York (SNY), he is also the author of two books and is an award-winning journalist and filmmaker. His articles have appeared in ESPN The Magazine, SLAM, Sheridan Hoops, Basketball Times and in newspapers nationwide. He also won an Emmy award for his work on the SNY mini-documentary on Syracuse guard Tyus Battle.
A veteran Ultimate Frisbee player, he has competed in numerous National and World Championships and, perhaps more importantly, his teams won the Westchester Summer League (WSL) championships in 2011 and 2013.
He lives in Manhattan with his wife and children.