As if Turkey were not good enough already in producing top level talent, now the Turkish Basketball Federation is planning a new development program on par with the wildly-successful INSEP institution and starting possibly as early as the 2012-13 season.

“We are doing something like INSEP from France,” Turkey basketball’s youth coordinator Nihat Izic told heinnews.

The Turkish government, Izic said, has granted the federation a big piece of land on which they will have three court, including one main court. There will also be two hotels, one for the senior national team and one hotel for the young teams.

“The federation is strong to invest that much money, and the government is behind us. Not only for basketball but also for the country and young people. It’s a very important project. They will support us,” said Izic.

“The first program is always difficult. But once all the families see the success of the program, then I’m sure we will have so many players that we will not know where to put them all.”

Izic said the current plan is to have 40 players starting from 13 or 14 years old and put them all through the program for four years – after which 40 more players will enter the program. The youngsters will practice in the morning and evening and then go to school in between.

“Every four years, we will have 40 more players to give to the market in Turkey. And the basketball in Turkey will be a higher level and the national team will have more players to choose from,” said Izic.

Although he did not know the exact details, the Turkish youth coordinator thinks it might be possible for the school to sell the players to the clubs upon their finishing the program and then invest that new money in the next generation of players.

It is also yet-unclear where this Turkish youth development team would play. The INSEP team in France is locked into the third division NM1 and cannot be promoted or relegated, giving the players a chance to develop and play against a strong level of adult competition.

When asked where the Turkish team would play, Izic said: “It depends on the age. From the third (division) to second. Or if they are 18 years, then maybe first division. Why not? If you have a good program and do good work I think they can play.”

The players in the program will then form the main foundation for Turkey’s U16 and U18 national teams for European Championships and U17 team for the World Championship – similarly to how it works in France.

“I think that will be a step to make Turkey even better. Throughout the country we have coaches that want to win the game and show themselves and sometimes talented players stay on the bench. So we will collect these talented players and play them like a team,” added Izic.



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