Korkmaz pursuing Turkish history on-and-off the court
ISTANBUL (Turkey) - Furkan Korkmaz is ready to answer the call for the Turkey national team once again this summer, whilst embarking on new challenges off the court as well.
The 24-year-old was included in Turkey's initial squad for the upcoming FIBA Basketball World Cup 2023 European Qualifiers third window, which marks the start of an important international period.
"THE NATIONAL TEAM HAS A DEEP MEANING FOR ME. I WILL BE READY FOR THE TEAM WHEN NEEDED."
Korkmaz recently completed a fifth season in the NBA with Philadelphia 76ers as one of four Turkish players in the league along with Cedi Osman, Alperen Sengun and Omer Yurtseven.
The guard-forward first made an appearance with the senior national team as a teenager having previously starred at junior level including winning the FIBA U18 European Championship in 2014.
"It will be a busy and important summer," Korkmaz told FIBA.basketball. "The National team has a deep meaning for me, so it does not matter how long the season was, I will be ready for the team when needed."
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The aforementioned names bring a renewed sense of optimism for Turkey's national team as they look to establish themselves as a force on the international stage.
They have just two silver medals - at EuroBasket 2001 and the World Cup in 2010 - in their history and the latest edition of Europe's flagship event, in September, presents the next opportunity to make it back to the podium and live up to their potential.
"I think this is a very proud picture for our country - we have a very young and talented generation," enthused Korkmaz. "Besides we are experienced. We have players from the NBA, players who compete at the European top level. Yes, we have potential but we have the power to show our potential on the field too.
"We have a high potential as a team and at the end of the day, we can achieve significant success, but the most important thing is to be able to play as a team, and everyone needs to reflect their performance on the court as much as possible.
"We are a talented team and we are a 'real' team built up by the guys who enjoy to play together. That will be the secret."
Basketball is not the only passion for Korkmaz and he recently embarked on a different challenge with the launch of a new video series exploring some of Turkey's historic landmarks.
"Being in front of the camera is more difficult than playing basketball in front of fans," he laughed.
The Istanbul native's love of history was the inspiration for the series, which premiered with a visit to the ancient city of Nysa before heading to Laodikeia for the most recent episode.
Korkmaz meets local experts to gather a better understanding of the sites and offer unique insight for the viewers, whilst developing a new avenue away from basketball.
"We are living in a period where the influence of athletes is not only on the court," Korkmaz explained. "While I was talking about my off-court plans with my management team, they came up with a brilliant idea. They know me very well; I like to read, I like to learn, I like to discover.
"Turkey has a great potential of history and culture. We shot a 'road trip' where I drive to some historical gems of Turkey and try to discover their secrets."
Making history on the court will be the ultimate aim for Korkmaz and Turkey this summer, culminating at FIBA EuroBasket 2022.