From the time Corey Fisher stepped onto Villanova’s campus four years ago as a highly touted recruit out of Saint Patrick’s High School; it was widely assumed that he had a future in professional basketball. After graduating from Villanova this spring, Fisher will now embark on that professional career; however not in the setting he imagined it. Fisher was not selected in the NBA draft, and has signed a contract with the Turkish club Antalya.
The European leagues have provided a lucrative path to many American college stars, including recent Wildcats Curtis Sumpter, Allan Ray, and Mike Nardi. Turkey in particular has greatly raised its profile as a basketball destination in recent years. Last season, the Turkish club Besiktas made great waves by signing Allen Iverson. This year, the same club has reached an agreement with New Jersey Nets point guard Deron Williams in which he will play for them if the NBA season is delayed by a lockout. There have been rumors of other NBA stars following Williams’ lead, including possibly Kobe Bryant. In terms of popularity, basketball is a very close second to soccer in Turkey, and Turkish players such as Mehmet Okur and Hedo Turkoglu have had some success in the NBA.
While it may not have the glamour and recognition of the NBA, Turkish basketball is rapidly growing and is a great opportunity for aspiring players. We wish corey fisher the best as he joins the growing contingent of Wildcats overseas.