UK Men's Basketball

Reports: Ex-Cat Kanter receiving death threats for stance on Turkish politics

Dallas Mavericks guard Monta Ellis (11) shoots backwards toward the basket between Oklahoma City Thunder guard Dion Waiters, left, and center Enes Kanter (34) in the fourth quarter of an NBA basketball game in Oklahoma City, Wednesday, April 1, 2015. Dallas won 135-131.
Dallas Mavericks guard Monta Ellis (11) shoots backwards toward the basket between Oklahoma City Thunder guard Dion Waiters, left, and center Enes Kanter (34) in the fourth quarter of an NBA basketball game in Oklahoma City, Wednesday, April 1, 2015. Dallas won 135-131. AP

Enes Kanter of the NBA’s Oklahoma City Thunder, who spent one season at the University of Kentucky, says he has received a series of death threats in the wake of the failed military coup in his home country of Turkey.

Stories in the The Oklahoman and on YahooSports.com detail the death threats, which came to Kanter on Twitter. Kanter has been outspoken about his opposition to Turkish president Recep Tayyip Erdogan, according to the reports.

The death threats Kanter posted on his Twitter feed are written in Turkish. The website Sportando translated some of them as saying, “You will die soon,” and “You’ll be executed.”

The Oklahoman translated a statement from Kanter saying, “Death threats continue to fall. Prayer does not stand still.”

Kanter was a member of the UK team in 2010-11 but never played a game. The 6-foot-11 center was ruled ineligible to play by the NCAA, which said he accepted impermissible benefits from a professional club team in Turkey.

He was the No. 3 pick in the 2011 NBA Draft by Utah and was traded to Oklahoma City last year.

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