Youngsters between the ages of 14 and 18 can upload videos displaying their skills to a Web site (www.nba-garanti.com), because the NBA is teaming up with Garanti Bank to launch Skill Challenge, a three-month competition that will scout talented ballplayers in Turkey and pave the way for them to basketball's top league. Following voting by visitors to the site, 100 players with the highest votes will be move to the next level and, after a period at a training camp, two girls and two boys will earn the right to attend a summer camp in the United States in July. “Getting more people to play the game is what the NBA is about,” said Sophie Goldschmidt, vice president of NBA Europe. She emphasized that relations between the NBA and Turkey are quite satisfying, as evidenced by the success of players Mehmet Okur and Hidayet Türkoğlu. “It is nice to see that both Orlando and Utah are going strong in the closest title race in history.”
Goldschmitt added that the enthusiasm in Istanbul while hosting the Efes Pilsen-Minnesota Timberwolves game last summer was great. However, NBA Live Europe will not be visiting Turkey this year. She said that there were a lot of markets the league is involved with, but confirmed that it will “definitely come back.” Garanti Bank General Manager Ergun Özen added that their collaboration with the league will continue in the future.
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