15 - 25
June 2023
10 Isil Alben (TUR)
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Alben retires: ''It was a career full of memories I will forever cherish''

ISTANBUL (Turkey) - Isil Alben will leave the court as a legend of both Galatasaray and the Turkey national team after calling time on her impressive career and one that was decorated with so much history.

The guard was part of the Turkey national team that made the FIBA Women's EuroBasket Final for the first time in 2011, made a debut at the Olympics in 2012, the FIBA Women's Basketball World Cup in 2014. At club level she delivered a first EuroCup Women trophy for Galatsaray and perhaps most famously, the club's (and Turkish basketball's) maiden EuroLeague Women title in 2014.

In a touching goodbye message, Alben looks back on her stellar career, in her own words.

It has been a beautiful journey to be present on the floor as a player. It's hard to describe my emotions. Despite all the difficulties, I couldn't be happier because I have collected so many great memories. When I take a moment to look back at my career, I am asking myself, "Wow, did I really do all these?"

From Olympics to World and European Championships, EuroLeague Women and EuroCup Women... It was a career full of memories I will forever cherish. I am grateful and happy if I could encourage children and young people to do sports, play basketball and support new talents in our country this whole time.

So many emotions and experiences have fit into my basketball life, which I started at the age of 10 and lasted for 27 years. One that I value the most is certainly to prove and show young people that it is possible to go back on the floor after 3 ACL surgeries.

As an athlete, I am probably one of the people who has got the most attention and love throughout my career. Both in club and national team jerseys that I have carried proudly, I met fans everywhere I went. The immense love that was given by all sports fans, not just basketball, will always be in my heart.

And GALATASARAY... I believe "you are my childhood love" would be fitting to describe it all. It is inexpressible for an athlete to proudly wear the jersey of her dreams for 13 seasons, to become the captain, to accomplish many "firsts", to win trophies and to become a fan favorite.

As our founder Mr Ali Sami Yen said, I believe I have fulfilled the motto of "beating non-Turkish teams". Over the years, I learned from Mr Baba Gunduz that Galatasaray is the club of those who pull a rope together, know how to grieve together and rejoice together. From Mr Metin Oktay, I learned that those who love us shall not be sad, I have worn my jersey proudly and with the same excitement every time.


Together with my club and my people, we are set to make a great farewell season. I want to meet and say goodbye to everyone who watched and supported me in every city and in every organization.

I would like to thank all the chairmen, managers, trainers, healthcare staff, equipment managers, teammates, agents, sponsors, journalists, referees and all the stakeholders of the basketball community and the fans who have always been our greatest strength.

Isil Alben

Isil Alben was a standout leader for Turkey and played at six editions of the FIBA Women's EuroBasket and two editions of the FIBA Women's Basketball World Cup. A two-time Olympian, she also excelled at club level winning EuroCup Women twice with Galatasaray and then EuroLeague Women in 2014. Renowned for her ability to control the tempo of any game, her IQ and influence was exceptional.