Turkish team wants to 'set an example' with Kanter, dad says
The father of Kentucky freshman Enes Kanter has told the Sporting News that the Turkish professional basketball team Fenerbahce Ulker is "trying to set an example with my son."
Mehmet Kanter said in an interview published online Tuesday that the club wants to manipulate his son's situation to "control and use the talent and youth anyway they like to" in the future and that his family turned down multi-million dollar deals "more than a few times."
Enes Kanter, a 6-foot-10 center rated the No. 3 player in this year's class by Rivals.com, is under review by the NCAA to determine his amateur status. A New York Times article last month quoted the Turkish club's general manager as saying the player's family received $100,000 to $150,000 in benefits during his three years with the team.
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Mehmet Kanter denied those allegations and said U.S. college basketball had long been the plan for his son.
"Since 2007, I wanted Enes to go to the USA and continue his basketball and education there, so I try everything to keep my son amateur and keep meticulous records of all the expenses, knowing someday I may be asked (to) fully cooperate with the NCAA."
A waiver from the NCAA had allowed the UK freshman to practice with the team until Sept. 30. UK hinted that it would request another exemption, but it is unclear when, if ever, Kanter would be allowed back on the court as the NCAA continues to review his eligibility.
"It hasn't been easy, but we believe it's worth fighting for," Kanter's father told the Sporting News. "Enes just turned 18 recently, so sometimes he gets confused over all this and doesn't understand what wrong he has done."
He added that his son "loves UK, his teammates, his coaches and all the people in Kentucky and doesn't want to let them down."
Herald-Leader Staff Report