2012-13 Pre-Draw Profile: Besiktas JK Istanbul

Jun 18, 2012 by Euroleague.net Print
2011-12 Results
EuroChallenge: Champion
Turkish League: Champion
Turkish Cup: Champion
Tutku Acik - Galatasaray Medical Park
Tutku Acik
Coming off its best season ever, Besiktas JK Istanbul storms into the Turkish Airlines Euroleague with every intention of keeping its great momentum going. Besiktas started the season with a major disappointment, as a new squad did not come together in time to beat Dexia Mons-Hainaut in the Eurocup Qualifying Round. However led by Carlos Arroyo, Zoran Erceg, Pops Mensah-Bonsu and David Hawkins, Besiktas bounced back by lifting the Turkish Cup, then winning the EuroChallenge for the club’s first continental trophy and rounding out a near-perfect season by downing three Euroleague Top 16 sides – Fenerbahce Ulker, Galatasaray Medical Park and Anadolu Efes – in the Turkish League playoffs to win the title for the first time in 37 years. Besiktas was founded as a multi-sport club in 1903, its basketball section came along in 1933, was stopped in 1936 and started again in 1940. Remarkably enough, Besiktas has kept its name in the Turkish first division for more than six decades - with the exception of the 1987-88 season. Besiktas, however, traveled a long road to basketball success. It won its first – and until last season only – Turkish championship in 1975. The “Black Eagles” needed more a dozen more years to add more hardware to the trophy case by conquering the Turkish Cup in 1987. Besiktas spent more years struggling, but started the road to the top by placing fifth in Turkey in 1998 and making it to the following season's Korac Cup quarterfinals with Virginijus Praskevicius, Kevin Thompson and Andre Woolridge as its star players. In the 2003-04 season, Besiktas muscled its way to the Turkish League semifinals and then advanced to the 2005 FIBA Champions Cup quarterfinals. The arrival of Khalid El-Amin and a trip to the 2005 Turkish League finals, where it lost against local power Efes Pilsen, was the sign that Besiktas was ready for further glory. Besiktas reached the ULEB Cup Final Eight in 2008 with Kaya Peker, Preston Shumpert and Christian Dalmau leading the way, but archrival Galatasaray stood in its way to success. Despite becoming the Turkish League regular season champion that season, Besiktas once again exited in the semifinals. Besiktas was not able to get past the Eurocup regular season in either of the next two seasons, though it returned to the Turkish League semifinals. Things changed for the good last season when Besiktas played outstanding basketball and won its very own triple crown - Turkish League, Turkish Cup and EuroChallenge - after 25 title-free years. With basketball becoming more and more popular in Turkey, Besiktas steps into the Euroleague regular season for the first time in club history ready to keep riding its recent wave of growth and success. The first big move of the team was at the helm, with the arrival of veteran coach Erman Kunter, who will have the mission of building a team who can compete in the top continental competition. All signs point to large crowds and a great basketball atmosphere at Besiktas home games, as Euroleague Devotion arrives at a new hot spot in 2012-13.