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Thread: Harun Erdenay, The Pegasus

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    Senior Member Levenspiel's Avatar
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    Default Harun Erdenay, The Pegasus

    Pretty long... but I know there are many Turkish members who'll finish this all in a single attempt. Allright, here's the best bball player ever! (in some of ours' eyes).


    PEGASUS OF TURKISH BASKETBALL FOR 20 YEARS



    Harun Erdenay, who is currently the oldest basketball player of TBL, is playing outside of Istanbul at the age of 37 for the first time in his 21-year-long TBL career, and he still maintains his outstanding scoring ability. Harun showed that he is still in the game by pouring 37 points against Buyuk Kolej and 31 against Tekel this year. Erdenay was nicknamed as Pegasus by Ismet Badem after his up-in-the-air slow motion lay-ups.

    Harun Erdenay, besides his sharp shooting skills and high lay-ups, raised in the hearts of basketball fans with his personality. For years, a specific fan group came to the tribunes only to see him. He is now making his retirement plans in Mersin with his wife, Gergana, and their son, Alihan.

    During the 60's and 70's, his father, Kemal Erdenay, was one of the leading players of Istanbul Technical University (ITU). Kemal Erdenay came from a prestigious family; his grandmother's sister was the wife of Sultan Abdulhamid II and his grand-uncle, Kasim Pasa, was the major of Baghdad. His three sisters were born in Baghdad, but he had lived his whole life in Istanbul until a transaction sent him to Ankara, Sekerspor.

    Harun Erdenay joined to the family right in those days in Ankara on May 27, 1968. Harun's basketball days began in his mother's arms as they went to his father's games during the unbeaten seasons of ITU. He started to play with the ball as a small child but was not able to find the rim. Then, a family-friend, 2.14m-tall Huseyin Alp helped him for his first dunk.

    Uncle's and Father's Encouragement

    Harun Erdenay spent most of his childhood days at home trying to make baskets through the wire-rim his uncle made.

    A few years later, Harun was enrolled to the basketball school of ITU in Gümüssuyu, where he learned the basketball fundamentals at the age of 7. When Harun's school days started, he switched to Efes Pilsen basketball school in Kadikoy, but he had to return to ITU after a short while with his father's insistence, as it was not easy to catch the training sessions from the European side: "I had to run most of the times after the school to catch the ferry."

    He showed early signs of a star player in his junior team. In those days his Bosnian coach, Ibrahim Halic, encouraged him that he'd be one of the best players in the world. His mother, Meral Erdenay, did not even think that Harun would became so good as a basketball player, "I asked to myself if Harun would really be a basketball player, whether he was as talented as his father. I thought Harun's was just a childhood interest." Despite his talent, Harun was never selected for junior or U16 national teams due to various problems, mostly injuries.

    In 1985, at the age of 17, he started to play with ITU senior team along with big names like Zeki Tosun, Necati Guler and Levent Topsakal. His father was now his team's head coach. During 1985-86 season, he could get only a few minutes of playing time. But he entered the following season very strong by pouring 20 points and grabbing 10 rebounds against Sekerspor, and suddenly attracted the attention of basketball authorities.

    Harun was unstoppable especially in fast-breaks. He was passing his man quickly and jumping very well. Recep Sen, who was one of his teammates in those days said "In 80's, mainly an offensive basketball was being played, and Harun was the best in that, no one could restrain him in the trainings."

    These abilities helped Harun become the scoring leader of 1989-1990 season among the stars such as Erman Kunter, Husnu Cakirgil, and Levent Topsakal. However, his defense was being criticized even in those days, when the practices were much lighter and more infrequent.

    Despite his talent, Harun has never been as ambitious as people asked from him. His father tried several times to arouse a passion in him. His uncle Omer Yucesoy said, "When he came to Ankara, we used to play with the youngsters in the street, but Harun never tried to win, he used to play for fun while I was going crazy. I even thought he was deliberately trying to lose the games."

    Harun continued his education while playing basketball. "We were not like today's young players. We used to attend all the classes in high school. I remember one day my father did not let me play because of my bad grades." In 1986, Harun began his university education at the Mathematics Dept. of Bogazici University. After the English preparatory school, he changed his department to Computer Programming, but his demanding sports career did not let him to complete this degree.

    His success opened the road to the national team. In 1992, during the elimination round for the European basketball championship, he scored 67 points in three games, and Turkey managed to join European Championships for the first time after 12 years.

    In 1990, he was transferred to Pasabahce. This was the first time he was playing for a title-contender. He won the Turkish Cup with Pasabahce; however, at the end of that year Pasabahce cut down the budget, and Harun turned back to ITU. He took them to the playoffs and became the scoring leader of the league one more time.

    He did not accept the NBA Offer

    During the 1993 Eurobasket in Germany, Harun attracted the attention of both Spanish club Barcelona and the NBA's Cleveland Cavaliers. Cleveland team representatives invited him to the try-outs for the following summer but Harun rejected the offer, "it was very difficult in those days to play in NBA for an European player. Even the best ones were rotting in the bench. I did not accept the invitation since they told me I would probably sit on bench till I proved myself even if I was signed."

    Fenerbahce added Harun to their strong roster that year, but they could not win the championship despite dominating the regular season. Most remarkable day for Harun in that year was the game in Korac Cup against the Greek team Panionios, in which he scored 44 points.

    During the early nineties Harun's reputation reached its peak; everyone he met in the street was asking for his autograph or a picture. Some girls were even calling him at nights to meet him, but he usually used to spend his evenings with his little sister, Deniz. He was also more interested in sports cars and dogs.

    At the end of 1993 season, Ulker signed him by offering a double salary, and they won the league title that year with great shooters like Serdar Apaydin, Orhun Ene, and Haluk Yildirim by defeating Fenerbahce in the finals. This was Harun's first championship in TBL.

    During his career in Ulker, Harun reached two more TBL titles in 1998 and 2001. He also lifted one Turkish Cup and three Presidential Cups. Even though Erdenay had no difficulty in scoring, the desired success at the European cups was not to come.

    Play of the Day

    He scored his possibly the most valuable basket on October 9, 1997, against Barcelona. "We were down by two points in the last 5 seconds, and our coach Çetin Yılmaz told me to take the ball and go for the basket. I had to throw the ball just as passing the middle court line." His shot from 9 meters found its way to rim, and Ülker won the game, 67-66. This play was later shown in CNN international's "play of the day."

    During these days, he found the love of his life. A fellow player, Kemal Tunceri, introduced a Bulgarian basketball player, Gergana Baranzova, to him, and their relationship started. They began living together, and in 2003 the couple got married.

    His career reached one of its peaks in 2001 European Championships, where Turkey managed to make its best record in tournament history and get the silver medal. He had to play point guard in the last three games since the team's point-guard Orhun Ene was injured. "We had the chance to win against Yugoslavia in the final, but they were really strong and referees favored them in the crucial minutes."

    Another Scoring Title at the Age of 37

    Following the 2002 World Championship, Harun announced his retirement from the national team and one year later he also withdrew from the top stage by leaving Ulker. "I did not want to play 2 games a week any more, so I signed with my modest home team." He saved ITU from relegation that year. His former teammate Recep Sen was his coach in ITU now, where he claimed the scoring title once more by averaging of 21.4 points per game at the age of 37.

    Last summer, while he was thinking of retirement from active basketball, newcomers of the league, Mersin BSB, offered a contract for both him and his wife. He decided to play one more year with his wife in Mersin. He scored +30 points two times already. His young coach Rebah Sidali said they wanted him to play one more year, but Harun is considering the retirement before reaching his 38th birthday. He is currently living in Mersin with his wife and 2 year-old son, Alihan. "I am not going to leave basketball, but do not want to become a coach at the moment, either. We will see in the future."

    His Successes

    1995, 1998 and 2001 TBL championship
    1995, 2001 and 2002 President's Cup
    1992 and 2003 Turkish Cup
    1990, 1993 and 2005 TBL scoring leader
    2001 Eurobasket silver medal
    Last edited by Levenspiel; 02-05-2010 at 06:13 PM.

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    Senior Member Levenspiel's Avatar
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    And some photos of him:

    - The lady in the second photo is his wife,
    - NT players in the 6th pic: Volkan Aydın, Tamer Oyguç, Efe Aydan, Levent Topsakal, Harun Erdenay.

    .
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    Administrator rikhardur's Avatar
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    Thanks sariss for posting such valuable information about Erdenay, he's one of *those* legends
    Die Liebe wird eine Krankheit, wenn man sie als eine Heilung sieht
    Artificial Nature

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    Senior Member Levenspiel's Avatar
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    Harun Erdenay

    Height: 1.90 m
    Birth date and place: May 27, 1968 in Ankara
    Nationality: Turkish
    Position: SG

    TBL Career:

    1985-86 İTÜ
    1986-87 İTÜ
    1987-88 İTÜ
    1988-89 İTÜ
    1989-90 İTÜ.........................???? ppg.......Scoring title
    1990-91 Paşabahçe
    1992-93 İTÜ.........................???? ppg........Scoring title
    1993-94 Fenerbahçe
    1994-95 Ülker.......................???? ppg.......TBL championship
    1995-96 Ülker.......................???? ppg.......TBL final
    1996-97 Ülker.......................???? ppg.......TBL semi-final
    1997-98 Ülker.....................20.85 ppg.......TBL championship
    1998-99 Ülker.....................21.26 ppg.......TBL semi-final
    1999-00 Ülker.....................14.83 ppg.......TBL semi-final
    2000-01 Ülker.....................17.48 ppg.......TBL championship
    2001-02 Ülker.....................15.29 ppg.......TBL final
    2002-03 Ülker.......................9.74 ppg.......TBL final
    2003-04 İTÜ........................18.96 ppg.......Playoff 1st round
    2004-05 İTÜ........................21.43 ppg.......Scoring title
    2005-06 Mersin BSB.............14.70 ppg

    International Career:

    1993-1997... ??? (no data available yet)

    Euroleague

    1997-98 Ülker.........(5-11)......16 games.....20.1 ppg
    1998-99 Ülker.........(7-11)......18 games.....20.1 ppg
    1999-00 Ülker.........(9-10)......16 games.....14.6 ppg
    2000-01 Ülker.........(12-9)......21 games.....14.6 ppg
    2001-02 Ülker........(10-10).....19 games......13.7 ppg
    2002-03 Ülker.........(12-8)......19 games.....10.5 ppg

    European Championship
    1995 EC Greece..........(1-5)........6 games.....12 ppg........12th place
    1997 EC Spain............(3-6)........6 games......5 ppg.........8th place
    2001 EC Turkey..........(4-2)........5 games......7.8 ppg.......2nd place

    World Championship
    2002 WC USA............(4-4)........7 games.......8.1 ppg.......9th place
    Last edited by Levenspiel; 01-10-2007 at 05:30 PM.

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    Senior Member Levenspiel's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by rikhardur
    Thanks sariss for posting such valuable information about Erdenay, he's one of *those* legends
    You're welcome, rikhardur. It's great someone in fact paid attention to this thread :P.

    Where's Önder? We need his unique "statsman powers" urgently. Erdenay's most impressive stats are not available on the net; the ones I could collect usually belong to his late years, after his 30s.

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    Member HT133's Avatar
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    Sariss, my thanks for such interesting facts about this legend. My husband had told me all about him but you have added some facts that I hadn't known. I do hope you go on and do this about other Turkish players, it is a great way to help newcomers like me to understand the history of basketball in Turkey and to know who your heroes are.

    I met him at the WC last year and when I asked him for his autograph, he modestly said to me "but I am not a player in these championships". I think the NT were lucky to have such an inspirational person with them, a great player but also such experience to pass on to such a young team (Ibo excepted of course).

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    Member HT133's Avatar
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    Default Photos of Harun

    From the WC in Japan 2006. (As always with my home photos, one of my sons is in the picture!)

    The first one was at the press conference after the Lithuania game and the second one was after the France match.

    Enjoy!
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    Senior Member mktackabery's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by HT133
    I think the NT were lucky to have such an inspirational person with them, a great player but also such experience to pass on to such a young team (Ibo excepted of course).
    Pretty neat that the NT got to hang out with this guy, I'm sure that was great for morale.
    Michelle Tackabery
    Tackabery Chronicle
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    Senior Member sony's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by HT133
    From the WC in Japan 2006. (As always with my home photos, one of my sons is in the picture!)

    The first one was at the press conference after the Lithuania game and the second one was after the France match.

    Enjoy!

    Hi "HT133", yeah our National Team and also we are lucky to have great sportsman like Harun Erdenay and I think you were (and are) so lucky to have spent time with them in WC, too.I strongly wish I could go to Spain this year for EC to see National Team and be with them in matches Maybe my prays will be accepted

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    Quote Originally Posted by HT133
    From the WC in Japan 2006. (As always with my home photos, one of my sons is in the picture!)

    The first one was at the press conference after the Lithuania game and the second one was after the France match.

    Enjoy!
    Hi! HT133
    I was there too and took your sons picture.Because very pretty!!
    I was volunteer at the WC so found your son

    By the way will Harun play at play-off of 2.TBL??

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    Senior Member mktackabery's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by mogo
    Hi! HT133
    I was there too and took your sons picture.Because very pretty!!
    I was volunteer at the WC so found your son

    By the way will Harun play at play-off of 2.TBL??
    mogo - welcome! no doubt you are about to get hounded for stories, so if I were you I'd post pictures immediately before you get bombarded with requests for pictures of Engin and Ermal.
    Michelle Tackabery
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    Senior Member sony's Avatar
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    Welcome mogo.

    I want these two guys' pictures, now Just joking, we will be pleased to see all of the pictures of our 12 Giant Men and other teams pictures
    Last edited by sony; 01-24-2007 at 05:54 PM.

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    ermen kuntar was mentioned in the opening post. didnt he scored 140 pts or so sometime at the 80's?

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    Senior Member Levenspiel's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by ArnoldPettybone
    ermen kuntar was mentioned in the opening post. didnt he scored 140 pts or so sometime at the 80's?
    Yes, he scored 153 points in 1988 under Fenerbahçe jersey against Hilalspor.

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    Quote Originally Posted by mktackabery
    mogo - welcome! no doubt you are about to get hounded for stories, so if I were you I'd post pictures immediately before you get bombarded with requests for pictures of Engin and Ermal.
    Hi! mktackabery and sony.
    Im sorry I couldnot take many picture because the organization forbad volunteers taking player's pictures or autographs. Sorry... I like Engin very much.He is nice guy! I hope to watch again his play someday...

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    Quote Originally Posted by mogo
    Hi! HT133
    I was there too and took your sons picture.Because very pretty!!
    I was volunteer at the WC so found your son

    By the way will Harun play at play-off of 2.TBL??

    Welcome Mogo, Konichiwa. My son had his picture taken a lot at the WC which he found unnerving to start with and then fun. Glad you support Turkey and hope to see you at the WC in 2010, perhaps you can be a volunteer then too as they will need Japanese speakers there too.

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    Quote Originally Posted by sony
    Hi "HT133", yeah our National Team and also we are lucky to have great sportsman like Harun Erdenay and I think you were (and are) so lucky to have spent time with them in WC, too.I strongly wish I could go to Spain this year for EC to see National Team and be with them in matches Maybe my prays will be accepted
    Thanks Sonay, you never know, if the NT players stop fighting over you perhaps you will get to spend some time with them!

    We will not be able to go to Spain either as my son goes back to school at the end of august and I doubt it will be on TV so we will have to rely on friends with DVD recorders and the internet.

    Hope all the exams went well and you can relax now, and Muse too. My brother in law is at Uni in Ankara and just finishing his exams then coming here to Singapore on Friday for 10 days for a holiday. He is working so hard, he will probably just want to sleep but his nephews will have other plans for him!

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    Senior Member sony's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by mogo
    Hi! mktackabery and sony.
    Im sorry I couldnot take many picture because the organization forbad volunteers taking player's pictures or autographs. Sorry... I like Engin very much.He is nice guy! I hope to watch again his play someday...
    We want to see you here and other threads more "mogo".

    It's bad for you and us not having possible good pictures from Japan but anyway, as we talked before, we are more tended to rely on the professional photos

    We couldn't watch Engin and his team in America but we have a wonderful fan, Michelle, there, so even though we can't watch him live, Michelle gives us all and more infos about him. We hope that he will play next year and after for Efes Pilsen in Turkey

    See you.

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    Senior Member sony's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by HT133
    Thanks Sonay, you never know, if the NT players stop fighting over you perhaps you will get to spend some time with them!

    We will not be able to go to Spain either as my son goes back to school at the end of august and I doubt it will be on TV so we will have to rely on friends with DVD recorders and the internet.

    Hope all the exams went well and you can relax now, and Muse too. My brother in law is at Uni in Ankara and just finishing his exams then coming here to Singapore on Friday for 10 days for a holiday. He is working so hard, he will probably just want to sleep but his nephews will have other plans for him!
    They don't listen to me "HT133", I really try to say to them not to fight but, they are like Haislip

    I suggest to unite our forces in order to go to Spain for EC. We can handle the school thing too "HT133", don't worry Like they said in ekşisözlük "Gelin Canlar Bir Olalım (like "Let us unite people" ). But if this is not going to happen, then I have to find a friend like yours

    The exams are over but for me having 3 exams in a day was horrible, I was not in a good mood, and the result was not good for me too as I have a great flu right now

    See you.

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    Senior Member Levenspiel's Avatar
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    Welcome on board, mogo .

    Quote Originally Posted by mogo
    By the way will Harun play at play-off of 2.TBL??
    There's a link which says he will: http://www.ajansspor.com/haber/165196

    According to the article, Harun says: "İTÜ fights to be promoted to TBL again, and my father said I'd be of great help to the team in this goal. So, I had my player's licence renewed. But I won't be playing in the regular season. I'll be on court for the play-off games only. I won't continue with the next season, either."

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