Welcome to Istanbul

As part of NBA Europe Live presented by EA SPORTS™, the National Basketball Association, Euroleague Basketball, Efes Pilsen Sports Club and the Turkish Basketball Federation held a press conference today, in the historical heart of Istanbul, in the presence of NBA Legend Darryl Dawkins and Efes Pilsen Legend Tamer Oyguç.

The press conference welcomed the arrival of the first NBA game in Turkey, which will feature the Minnesota Timberwolves and Euroleague Basketball's Efes Pilsen at the Abdi Ipekçi Sports Hall on Oct. 6 as part of 2007 NBA Europe Live presented by EA SPORTS™. The conference, which was part broadcast live by NTV, also announced that tickets are now on sale and can be purchased on-line through the website www.biletix.com with prices ranging from 15 - 75 YTL.

The speakers included Tuncay Ozilhan, President of Efes Pilsen Sports Club who spoke of his delight at welcoming the NBA team to Istanbul and how he was looking forward to Efes Pilsen competing against them on home soil. Memhet Atalay, Director General of Youth and Sports and Turgay Demirel, President of the Turkish Basketball Federation also spoke of what the game would mean for basketball in Turkey.

Jordi Bertomeu, CEO of Euroleague Basketball, who was also at the conference, spoke of what a great team Efes Pilsen is and how he was looking forward to the game in a country that is so passionate about basketball. Efes Pilsen Legend Tamer Oyguç echoed Bertomeu and was clearly excited about the game.

Peter Fink, NBA Vice President Events and Attractions said “The Minnesota Timberwolves are a very exciting young team and they are looking forward to being the first NBA team to play in Istanbul in front of the basketball-loving fans here.” He also spoke of how the Timberwolves would not only be in Istanbul for the game but that they would be spending a week of their training camp in the city. However the game was definitely on everyone’s minds and NBA Legend Darryl Dawkins summed it up “Efes Pilsen want to win the game, but so do we! So you had all better sit tight on your seats because it’s going to be a great game.”

After the press conference Darryl Dawkins took part in a basketball clinic for around 100 children from Efes Pilsen Sport Clubs’ grassroots program at the Efes Pilsen training facility. The children put Dawkins through his paces and were all thrilled to be coached by the NBA Legend. It gave them a taste of what is to come.