Tuesday, May 29, 2007

Texas’ Newest Turk – Doğuş Balbay

Well folks, it’s time to bust out the dusty atlas and catch up on your kebab eating skills. According to official University of Texas sources, Turkey’s top point guard prospect, Doğuş Balbay, has signed a National Letter of Intent to play Longhorn basketball in the fall.

This move clearly signals that Texas coach Rick Barnes is ready to not only follow other NCAA coaches in internationalizing the recruitment process, it also indicates his unwavering support for Turkey’s bid to join the European Union. Of note, Balbay’s arrival follows a recent trend by Barnes to recruit top international players, including Edgar Moreno, Sydmill Harris, and planet Vulcan’s highly-touted prospect, James Thomas.

In addition to providing “quality depth at the point guard position” because of his “clever international game and good athleticism,” Balbay is expected to ride a camel to practice and get really excited around Thanksgiving. A regular on the U-18 Turkish National Team for several years, Balbay should bring maturity and poise to the Texas backcourt despite his young age. His quickness on the court not only makes him undeniably un-Turkish (see Mehmet Okur/Hidayet Turkoğlu for more details), it adds a defensive component desperately needed in the guard position.

Wikipedia is quick to point out that the 6’1”, 170-pound high school senior at Brewster Academy in New Hampshire is currently playing basketball for the University of Texas, a tough competitor in the ACC Conference every year. (http://www.en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Doğuş_Balbay) Thankfully both the Dallas Morning News and TexasSports.com used the pronunciation (Dohge Bal-bay) provided by the same wiki-genius; we wouldn’t want Doğuş Balbay (roughly pronounced Doh-oosh Bawl-bye) to think that we aren’t taking him seriously.

In any case, Balbay’s energy, quickness, and court vision should provide depth and an added spark to Texas in the coming season. We should all welcome and look forward to Texas’ newest Turk, not to mention the addition of shish kebab and cold Efes Pilsen at Erwin Center concessions.

No comments: