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New country, new culture, same game

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For many students, moving to a new country is difficult enough, but for junior Doruk Ozyurt, not only was he introduced to an entirely new culture, but a whole new world of sports as well.

“I like American basketball better, I like the faster pace and the more athletic kids”

— junior Doruk Ozyurt

Ozyurt who made the move from Turkey this past summer, is on the boys varsity basketball team after transferring from Saint Benoit French school, Istanbul’s oldest high school.

“My father works for PepsiCo which is headquartered in Frisco so then he was forced to move here so we moved here as well,” junior Doruk Ozyurt said.

His basketball career began in Turkey at the age of six, but Doruk said that American basketball is completely different and more difficult than basketball in his home country.

“Turkey is a lot more skilled based here everyone is a lot more athletic and just as skilled,” Ozyurt said. “It is a lot difficult. Basketball in Turkey was easier, but in the U.S. I have to work harder and play better than I did in Turkey.”

Despite the differences in play between European and American basketball, his teammates believe he has adjusted well to the new atmosphere.

“Given the circumstances I believe Doruk has done a great job in adjusting to the new area,” junior Zac Bishop said. “The team has really accepted him and been friendly and he is really growing everyday.”

There is so much different between U.S. and Turkey basketball, but I think he has done a good job adjusting”

— boy's head basketball coach Stephen Friar

For the coaches they understand the difficulties Doruk faces being a foreign player, and believe he has handled these well.

“Of course there is so much different between U.S. and Turkey basketball,” basketball coach Stephen Friar said. “In Turkey they don’t start playing competitively till they are around 10 years old so they work a lot more on fundamentals versus here we work on skill and talent. There is also a language barrier between that to but I think he has done a good job adjusting.”

Ozyurt is excited to play in the new atmosphere and says that he has a lot to improve on regarding the start of the season

“I like American basketball better, I like the faster pace and the more athletic kids,” Ozyurt said. “It’s just more fun the electricity and the speed is more exciting and just better playing in.”

About the Photographer
Roy Nitzan, WTV Daily Update Producer

Roy Nitzan is a junior in WTV, he is the producer who still can’t make a basket in the trash.

Contact Roy: [email protected]

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New country, new culture, same game