Sixers draft and stash Furkan Korkmaz was named Best Young Player of the Basketball Champions League at the league’s Final Four Gala Dinner Saturday night.
The 19-year-old Korkmaz was selected by the Sixers with the 26th overall pick in the 2016 NBA Draft. He’s currently the property of Turkish powerhouse Anadolu Efes, but transferred to Banvit in December so he could receive more playing time.
The move has certainly paid dividends. Korkmaz is averaging 9.3 points and 2.3 assists while shooting 45 percent from the floor in domestic play, and helped Banvit win their first ever Turkish Cup back in February.
In eight Basketball Champions League games, the third tier of international basketball tournaments, he’s averaging 10.8 points and 4.7 rebounds while shooting 50 percent from three on more than four attempts per game.
Sixers general manager Bryan Colangelo and vice president of player personnel Marc Eversley were in attendance for Banvit’s BCL semifinals victory over AS Monaco, where Korkmaz finished with 13 points on 4-6 shooting from three.
Korkmaz spoke to Eurohoops.net after the victory about Colangelo’s presence at the game.
“Of course, Colangelo’s visit brought extra motivation,” Korkmaz told Eurohoops. “My dream is to play in NBA. It’s always on my mind. I can not think of it in the match. It did not create much pressure anyway. I just knew I had to add something, give something. I am happy to have accomplished this”.
“My biggest weakness in the match was having some ups and downs,” he added. “I played very badly in certain parts and good in others. I need to improve this. But I’m glad I played well near the end. Actually the whole team played better at that point. My shots came to me down the stretch.”
Korkmaz and Banvit will take on Spanish club Iberostar Tenerife in the championship game Sunday evening. For more on Korkmaz, check out Wesley Share’s up-to-date scouting report on the Turkish teen.