Turkey calls SIUE standout guard back home to play pro ball
Burak Eslik is going home as a pro.
The former Southern Illinois University at Edwardsville (SIUE) men’s basketball star has signed a professional contract to play basketball in his native Turkey.
Eslik, a 6-foot-4 guard was born in Istanbul and came to SIUE to play ball for the Cougars. Last season, he averaged 13 points per game. In 2015, Eslik led the team in scoring with 14 points-per-game and set an SIUE single-game record by scoring 40 points against Morehead State.
Eslik will be joining Trabzonspor Medical Park B.K. (basketball club) in Trabzon, Turkey. The team plays in the Basketbol Super Ligi, the top pro league in the country. The team was founded in 2008 and has performed well in its short history. In 2015, Trabzonspor finished in fourth place in the league and in second in the 2015 FIBA EuroChallenge, a European-wide tournament.
According to an SIUE press release, Eslik is expected to see a good amount of playing time for Trabzonspor and could start. SIUE head coach Jon Harris said in the press release that he believes that Eslik will find success in Turkey.
"This is a great opportunity for Burak, and we're excited to follow him as he embarks on his professional career," Harris said, according to the release. "He came here with a goal to play professionally, and he approached every day with that in his mind."
Trabzonspor B.K. will start its season in October. Last season, Trabzonspor had only four players who averaged more than 10 points per game.