The most successful and popular young player in Turkish basketball, Cedi Osman, is now part of the Eurohoops family. He launches his official blog through which he will maintain a direct channel of communication with all of his fans and authentically share his experiences, his thoughts and his feelings. We welcome him with joy and we are sure that you are going to enjoy the player of the national team of Turkey and Efes Anadolu, from his very first post!
By Cedi Osman /Follow @cediosman
A few hours before the EuroBasket tip-off and the very difficult mission that we have in the first stage of the tournament, I’m happy and eager. I got over my injury and I’m able to help the national team. I accepted Eurohoops’ invitation and through my official blog I will be presenting my thoughts about basketball as often and as authentically as I can. Which is my life!
How it all started…
I can remember myself since I was a little boy, having so much energy, that it was hard to release it throughout the course of a day. I was pacing up and down in the house and I was always in motion. My father and my mother both played basketball and so they urged me, in their own way, towards that direction.
My initial daily contact with basketball was at the age of 5 or 6. When I made my room into a court. My favorite hobby was to shoot the ball all day in order to become accurate, into a bin. One of those standard ones that we all have in our rooms, to throw stuff. The ball that I’d made was from my socks! I made them into the shape of a ball and I would shoot it for hours!
Back then I saw the sport as a hobby. It had never even crossed my mind that some day I would become a professional and play at a high level. My brother, who is older than me, was already playing basketball and so everything was pointing to that direction. I did like it, though, immensely. I could play 5, 10, even 15 hours straight without even having to eat. Not just with friends, even on my own. I felt the need to improve and discover new things that I was capable of.
The cosmogonic change
I started playing basketball in a team, in Bosnia, called Bosna. When I was 12 years old, some people from Efes came to the court and watched my brother Dzaner and me. They asked us to travel to Istanbul for 3 days, in order to try us out. We accepted. They arranged a few games to check us out. I remember that I played a game against Galatasaray and I was good. But I didn’t know what they thought of me. They didn’t say anything. We went back home and they informed us that they would let us know within the next few days.
Three days went by, a week, three weeks, a month. I’ll never forget that, when a month had gone by, waiting, we were talking with my brother and saying that apparently we hadn’t… passed the test. But that it was a good experience and we shouldn’t get discouraged. On that same day, a bit later, the phone rang. It was from Efes. They asked us to move with our family from Bosnia, to Turkey. I was 12 years old. Everything happened so suddenly. It was a very tough decision and a huge change for me and my family.
Adjusting – Tough times
We decided to accept the club’s offer. Before we even realized it, we were in another country, in a big city. We left our home, our school, our friends, everything. My parents had their jobs and their lives. For them this big change was even harder. For quite some time my father was going back to Bosnia, coming back and then the same again, back and forth. He couldn’t leave his job right away.
The adjustment period was not easy. I was able to obtain the player’s license and I started playing in Efes’s junior team. My brother didn’t make it because he was already 18 years old and the procedure was much more complicated. Time passed and he didn’t have the right to participate, he only trained. I saw him being sad. He had changed everything in his life, like all of us, and he didn’t have the right to play.
When I started out I wasn’t the best player on the team and I had – aside from the issue of adjustment – to respond to the competition. No one knew me then. I was a kid who had come from abroad and I was struggling to earn a place on the team. It wasn’t all rosy, there is competition in basketball. I understood that, it was normal, but the truth is that we went through some tough times. This was true for myself, as much as for my family. When my father moved permanently and was with us all the time, things got better.
Responsibility makes you mature sooner
At 12 my life suddenly changed 100% and that’s when I realized, because of these events, that basketball was going to become a profession, it was going to be everything for me. I found myself in a situation where all my loved ones moved and left behind the lives that they had. As things were unfolding I was realizing that it was all happening for me, and so that I could have a great opportunity in basketball.
This is something that filled me with a feeling of responsibility and forced me to mature abruptly, at a very young age. Every day I had to give everything I had. I had to make it, no matter what. Not just for me but also for every member of the family individually that had gone through this change.
Through this process I learned to work hard, to never be satisfied with myself, to become better. Now I receive respect and acceptance, but this didn’t come easy, nor did it happen on its own. I’ve won tournaments with the Turkish national teams, I’ve tasted some success with Efes, I’m getting ready for my 2nd big tournament with the men’s team. But I feel that I still haven’t achieved anything and I demand a lot from myself, and my career. I feel this way for the things that I have ahead of me, but also every day at practice.
Medal and the Olympics
Now my mind is exclusively on the EuroBasket. We will do everything in order to win another medal. Our group is difficult and we have to take it step-by-step and finish higher than 4th place… We don’t want to play France at home in a knockout game so early.
A distinction is what’s on everyone’s mind. If we don’t make it, we have to be among the top 7 spots, at all costs. So we can have the chance to fight for a qualification to the Olympic Games in Rio! If we continue to be tough and focused on defense, we can defeat any opponent.
I feel good and fortunately I got over my ankle injury. When I got hurt, the idea that I might miss the tournament went through my mind and I didn’t even want to think about that! Everything worked out. I missed so many friendlies, trainings… I have a lot of energy inside of me and I can’t wait for the games to start so I can get that energy out on the court with the national team!
I’ll be seeing you here, thank you!
One of the main reasons that I decided to have an official blog is so that there is a personal space online for the people who love me and follow me to be able to learn about me.
All these past few years the people in Turkey have supported me a great deal. I get a lot of respect and love and that means an even bigger responsibility for me to vindicate them and reciprocate the joy that they give me. This blog is a way to communicate and connect with them.
This is why I intend to be totally honest towards all the people that believe in me and are expecting joys and thrills from me. It’s the least I can do! Enjoy the blog, I’ll always read your messages and draw strength and some extra energy from them!