The finish that Turkish basketball fans were hoping for in the Euroleague Final Four came true on Sunday night as Fenerbahce Istanbul clinched the championship. This was the Turkish side’s first ever Euroleague triumph and it was the first title triumph for any Turkish side. The win was very well received and makes up for... Continue Reading »
The history of Fenerbahçe’s basketball team dates all the way back to 1913 and the club has achieved a great deal of success in over 100 years of basketball. In 2006, the club completed a merger with Ülkerspor, forming the new team of Fenerbahçe Ülker, a decision which has been justified by the team being at the forefront of Turklish basketball since then. However in the summer of 2015, the sponsorship deal with Ülker came to an end, with the team being known as Fenerbahçe Istanbul.
While sponsorship hasn’t been as prevalent in Turkish basketball as it has been in some European countries, Fenerbahçe have been party to a number of sponsorship agreements this millennium, including:
- 2003 – 2005 Aras Cargo
- 2005 – 2006 Alpella / Aras Cargo
- 2006 – 2012 Ülker / İçim
- 2012 – 2013 Ülker / metro
- 2013 – 2015 Ülker / metro
- 2015 Ülker / OdeaBank / metro
The club currenly plays its home games at the Fenerbahçe International Sports Complex Ülker Sports Arena which opened in January of 2012 and is a multi-purpose arena in the Ataşehir region of Istanbul. For basketball games, the arena has a capacity of 13,000.
Fenerbahce were part of the Istanbul Basketball League which ran from 1927 to 1966 and won the title on 7 occasions, being the dominant team from the mid-1950s until the league disbanded. Fenerbahçe triumphed in 1954/55, 1955/56, 1956/57, 1962/63, 1963/64, 1964/65 and in 1965/66.
The club also featured in the Turkish Basketball League which ran from 1946 to 1966 and they were triumphant on three occasions, in 1957, 1959 and in 1965. After this, the Turkish Basketball League started and while it took Fenerbahçe a number of years to find their feet in a highly competitive league, they have triumphed on 6 occasions. The successful seasons for Fenerbahçe have been 1990/91, 2006/07, 2007/08, 2009/10, 2010/11 and 2013/14.
Fenerbahçe have also won the Turkish Cup on four occasions, triumphing in 1966/67, 2009/10, 2010/11 and in 2012/13.
International success has been harder for Fenerbahçe to achieve but in the 2014/15 season, the club reached the Final Four of the Euroleague, bowing out to eventual winners Real Madrid in the semi-final matchup and then losing in the Third and Fourth placed game to CSKA Moscow. The club is a well-regarded name in the Euroleague and Turkish fans have enjoyed a number of major results from Fenerbahçe over the years.
Fenerbahçe against NBA teams
As of 2015, Fenerbahçe have played against NBA opponents on 5 occasions, three times in Turkey and twice in the United States of America. At this point, Fenerbahçe have a 2-3 record against NBA opponents.
In 2012, Fenerbahçe became the first team from Turkey to win a game against an NBA opponents when they defeated the Boston Celtics by a score of 91-97 in Turkey. In 2015, Fenerbahçe became the first Turkish side (and at this point in time, only Turkish side) to defeat a NBA team in the USA when they beat the Brooklyn Nets in Brooklyn on the 5th of October. This is only third time that a European basketball team has defeated a NBA side in the USA, so Fenerbahçe can be rightly proud of their record against teams from the NBA
- October 2012 Fenerbahçe Ulker 97 – Boston Celtics 91
- October 2013 Fenerbahçe Ulker 82 – Oklahoma City Thunder 95
- October 2014 Fenerbahçe Ulker 90 – San Antonio Spurs 96
- October 2015 Brooklyn Nets 96 – Fenerbahçe Ulker 101
- October 2015 Oklahoma City Thunder 111 – Fenerbahçe Ulker 81
Fenerbahçe players who have been included in the NBA Draft include:
- Ömer Aşık who was picked by the Chicago Bulls in the 2008 NBA Draft
- Semih Erden who was picked by the Boston Celtics in the 2008 NBA Draft
- Emir Preldžić who was picked by the Phoenix Suns in the 2009 NBA Draft
- Bojan Bogdanović who was picked by the Minnesota Timberwolves in the 2011 NBA Draft
The NBA right for Bogdanović currently lie with the Phoenix Suns.
In the modern Euroleague era, Fenerbahçe have had a number of players who have been highly regarded and acknowledged for their basketball skill and play. Šarūnas Jasikevičius and Željko Obradović were both included in the list of 50 Greatest Euroleague contributors while İbrahim Kutluay and Mirsad Türkcan were both nominated but just missed out on being included in the list.
A major honour was bestowed on the team when Nemanja Bjelica was announced as the Euroleague MVP for the 2014/15 season. The strength of Fenerbahçe’s showing in this campaign was indicated by the fact that accolades and acknowledgment were also provided to Andrew Goudelock, selected in the All-Euroleague Second Team and Bogdan Bogdanović, who was recognised as the Euroleague Rising Star.
The captain has a vital role to play in the performance of a team and some of the most notable captains for Fenerbahçe include:
- 1988–1993 Ali Limoncuoğlu
- 1993–1995 Hüsnü Çakırgil
- 1995–1998 Güray Kanan
- 1998–2003 Zaza Enden
- 2003–2006 Zeki Gülay
- 2006–2010 Damir Mršić
- 2010–2014 Ömer Onan
Fenerbahçe have taken the step of retiring two numbers from their playing squad. The number 6 has been retired in honour of Mirsad Turkcan, who played for the club between 2006 and 2012 and the number 7 has been retired in honour of Omer Onan who played for the club in the 2004/05 season and then again between 2006 and 2014.
Long serving players
Players who have served Fenerbahçe for a considerable period of time include Zeki Gülay who across two spells enjoyed 11 years at the club as did Ali Limoncuoğlu who enjoyed 11 years at Fenerbahçe between 1982 and 1993. Kemal Dinçer featured for 9 seasons between 1984 and 1993, as did Oğuz Savaş and Ömer Onan while Zaza Enden appeared for 8 seasons between 1995 and 2003.
Latest News about Fenerbahçe
The stage is set for the Euroleague Championship match and it looks like being a fantastic evening. The team from the host city are involved in the match and not only are Fenerbahce Istanbul looking for their first ever Euroleague, they want to be the first Turkish team to lift the trophy. This may see... Continue Reading »
The Euroleague Final Four is upon us again and the Semi Final games take place on Friday evening. The matches are all taking place in Istanbul and it is inevitable that focus will on Fenerbahce, playing in their home city. There will be plenty of backing for the Istanbul side but of course, they face... Continue Reading »
It isn’t quite home court advantage for Fenerbahce in Istanbul this weekend but it is certainly close enough to give the Turkish team an edge heading into the Euroleague Final Four. There will be fans backing all four of the teams involved at this stage of the tournament but you have to think that the... Continue Reading »
This is the series that caused all of the commotions so far in the Euroleague Playoffs. Fenerbahce are clearly a very strong team in the Euroleague, as their runner-up spot in last year’s Championship proved, but not many people predicted that they would win the opening two games in Greece. Panathinaikos’ home court advantage has... Continue Reading »
We are all set for an excellent evening of basketball action on Thursday night with Game 2 of the Euroleague Playoffs getting underway. There isn’t much time for teams to catch their breath this week and the players roar back into action after having played on Tuesday night. That was a spectacular game of basketball... Continue Reading »