Turkish Delight: 24 Seconds With Batuk and Özcan


In our latest installment of 24 seconds we caught up with Turkey duo Birkan Batuk and Can Özcan.

Both players have been integral to their team’s success but they had more on their mind then just basketball, like superstitions, Mr. Bean and Spanish girls.

FIBA Europe: Can, Birkan, congratulations on another win and good performance. What targets has your coach set you here both as a team and individually?

Özcan: We’ve come here to win a medal, at least bronze, but our first target is to get the gold medal.

Batuk: Yes, we’re playing well as a team so our target has to be to get a gold medal.

Özcan: But for the coach, his main target is always us as players, to make us into good players. I think it’s more important to him that we grow and become good players than winning medals.

FIBA Europe: As players do you have any superstitions or pre-game routines that you carry out?

Özcan: Just talking, we don’t do anything strange or special.

Batuk: No, that’s not important for us. It’s just important for us to concentrate on the game, really important.

FIBA Europe: What’s the atmosphere like in the team?

Özcan: We’re good friends, you know, on the court and off. We’re always together, and when we go out we go together. No one is separate, we all enjoy being here as a team.

FIBA Europe: Who’s the joker on the team?

Batuk: (laughing) [Melih] Yildiz, the number 11. He’s so mad. Like there’ll be some coach, and he’s doing what they’re doing, you know, copying them.

Özcan: Yeah, and really well too.

FIBA Europe: And apart from copying coaches how do you guys relax after a game, away from basketball?

Batuk: I go on the internet and I watch movies. Here with me I have ones like Mr. Bean and 300. But after the games I’m always sleeping.

Özcan: Internet, MSN and Spanish girls!

FIBA Europe: That’s one way to relax! And finally, when not watching Mr. Bean or chasing Spanish girls which players in the game do you most enjoy watching at the moment?

Özcan:  My favourite now is Dirk Nowitzki. I try to copy him a little but he’s a little bit taller than me but, I just like him.

Batuk: I like Kobe Bryant and I watch him all the time. I’m number eight, you know, like him so, he’s the man.

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