Philadelphia 76ers: Furkan Korkmaz impresses in FIBA World Cup

Furkan Korkmaz | Philadelphia 76ers (Photo by Lintao Zhang/Getty Images)
Furkan Korkmaz | Philadelphia 76ers (Photo by Lintao Zhang/Getty Images) /

Checking in on the Philadelphia 76ers’ lone FIBA World Cup participant.

Inexperienced Philadelphia 76ers guard Furkan Kormaz continues to raise eyebrows as his amazing form progresses at the FIBA World Cup.


Turkey initiated their World Cup campaign by taking on a much weaker Japanese team, which mainly consisted of lower-class players.

Regardless of this, the Japanese continued to confront the Turks during the dying minutes of each quarter, where the smaller and quicker guards continued to pull up ridiculous shots over much taller defenders.

However, this all came to a dead stop as the Turks introduced the young Furkan Korkmaz. His court vision and quick footwork continued to keep the defenders second-guessing themselves. Playing alongside established players such as Ersan Ilyasova and Cedi Osman allowed Korkmaz security and assurance, enabling the guard to seize scoring opportunities and ultimately all shine throughout the game.

Stats vs. Japan

Minutes: 21
FG%: 41.7%
3 PTS: 0/2
PTS: 10
Rebounds: 3
Assists: 2

Although the numbers don’t suggest highly entertaining games, like those in which LeBron James and Stephen Curry would play, Korkmaz has shown great improvements based on fan expectations. Similarly, the stats do not show the impact which Furkan had for the team on the court, as his superb footwork and movement off the ball gave Turkey plenty of scoring opportunities — some of which they were unable to capitalize on.

With a great duo supporting him on the court, Korkmaz played a significant role alongside Osman and Ilyasova to lead Turkey to an 87-67 win over Japan.

Final grade: B-


Bolstering with confidence, and trust in each other, Turkey went into their second game, against the USA, with no fear, and nothing to lose. This unquestionably paid off, as the Turks put the US right to the blade, capitalizing on every mistake they made.

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Turkey showed their worth on the court with their players boasting reputable scores: Ersan Ilyasova (23 points), Mahmutoglu (18 points), and Furkan Korkmaz (15 points). Like in their first game, Korkmaz looked ‘shaky’ and slow whilst defending the taller Americans. However, this soon changed as each quarter progressed, where Korkmaz looked more and more dangerous, especially with the ball in hand.

His swiftness to get around defenders, efficiency in knocking down ‘clutch’ threes, and ability to draw useful fouls were mesmerizing to watch. His performance was so impressive that the FIBA World Cup website gave him an efficiency rating of 16, which was the third highest in the game, behind Ersan Ilyasova (26) and Kemba Walker (20).

Midway through the fourth quarter, when USA were up 69-63, Furkan rose up and sunk a dagger triple, reducing the lead to only three points. Later Furkan continued to surprise everyone as he attacked the rim, before kicking the ball out to Mahmutoglu, where he hit another crucial three, to cut down the lead to just two points.

With just four minutes on the clock, USA was in full control of the game (up by three), before Korkmaz hit another clutch three to even the playing field, annihilating all the momentum built up against them. The game continued into overtime, as Tatum was fouled whilst taking a three. They eventually lost a very tight game (93-92).

Stats vs. USA

Minutes: 27
FG%: 54.5%
3 PTS: 3/6
PTS: 16
Rebounds: 4
Assists: 2

Final grade: A-

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Turkey lost its final game to Czech Republic this morning. Korkmaz tallied 16 points, four rebounds and one assist in over 32 minutes of action.