Red Bull Half Court Turkey Championships ready for world final

The grand final of the Red Bull Half Court 3 × 3 Basketball Tournament, one of the largest street basketball tournaments in the world, was held in Kadıköy. This year’s champion in the Red Bull Half Court tournament, which keeps the street culture alive and adds color to the basketball courts in the countries where it is held, was Alsancak Premium for men and Celal Bayar University for women. When he represented Turkey in the World Cup final in Italy in 2021, Alsancak Premium team captain Kıvanç Dinler said: “We aim to be even more successful this year.” Celal Bayar University team captain İlkay Ocak said: “It is a great honor to represent Turkey. We will show the return of this pride in the best way in Egypt,” he said.

Kıvanç Dinler: The secret is to work 365 days

You managed to win the championship twice in a row. What do you owe this success?

Despite all the difficulties, we continued to work. We have always aimed to train more. When one thinks that his goal is still one year, he can sometimes feel complacent, but the real secret is to work 365 days in one year. The team we played for consisted of fantastic young people. There were some very strong grounds. There were tall actors or those with audience support behind them. There are so many teams in the world and they are all fantastic, but the total number of workouts for all of them cannot reach our annual training number. That’s the only difference.

What kind of training process does the team expect for the world final?

The sessions become much heavier and of course the intensity increases. Manisa Celal Bayar University, where I also work, supports the educations. Now that the schools are closed, the conditions are more suitable and suitable for the concentration we have planned.

You have world finals experience from 2021. What do you expect for results in the finals this year?

I have three world finals experience. Two 1 × 1, one 3 × 3. In addition, I have experience abroad as a player and team coach in the national team. For this reason, abroad is more than a factor that creates stress for me, that is my goal. Last year we beat three of the four teams in the group, hosting Italy, in the first match. At the end of the tournament, we lost to the Serbian champions in the group and to finalist Russia in the quarterfinals. From this point of view, I can say that the tournament was very successful for us. This year we aim to be much more successful and see the semifinals.

How did you find Red Bull Half Court this year? Can you talk a little about the tournament process?

In a word, I can say amazing. Although a handful of youngsters seem to play basketball from the outside, it is difficult to organize such a tournament. Especially if you are the only national tournament in the country, all young people are waiting for this moment all year round, and you have a world final prize in addition to that, it is a real success to organize thousands of young people and present this tournament with a festive atmosphere.

Will we see Alsancak Premium on the pitch next year?

I would love to. Celal Bayar University supports me 24/7, our sponsor Alsancak Premium is already satisfied. No problems at the moment. You should also ask the real 3 × 3 young people; “Shall we go or stay?” proverb…

İlkay Ocak: A more challenging tournament awaits us

You became champion by getting very good results in qualifiers and finals. What do you owe this championship to?

We owe this championship mainly to our teacher Kıvanç Dinler, who made us discover this event. Cansu and I found this sport and tournament thanks to our teacher Kıvanç Dinler at Celal Bayar University. Afterwards, our teacher added Selma and Emilia to our team, who are both experienced friends in 3 × 3 basketball. And he gave us Ulah. He is also our coaching friend. We worked very hard, we did exercises. Of course we were happy when we came to Istanbul because it was our first Red Bull Half Court tournament. It was even me and Cansu’s first 3 × 3 tournament. In the end, everything went well and to our heart.

Are you excited to represent our country in Cairo as a Turkish champion?

It is a great honor to represent Turkey. I am sure we will show the return of this pride in the best way in Egypt. We are of course very excited. We will work hard for this.

What kind of training process does the team expect for the World Cup?

We will continue our work to add a little more to our training so far, as a more challenging tournament awaits us. Our goal is to get us out of the group in the first place. For this we will add a little more strength and endurance-oriented exercises to our training.

How did you find the format of Red Bull Half Court?

Red Bull has left us very good experiences and unforgettable memories. Everything was perfect. The field, the events, the awards … Everything about the tournament was given great care. Thanks to Red Bull for these opportunities.

Are you planning to go to Red Bull Half Court next year?

Of course we want it to happen every year. We are so happy that we already plan to participate as a stronger team every year. I hope this support for women’s basketball does not end.

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