USA Basketball faces Turkey and the familiar face of Quanitra Hollingsworth in last exhibition before Olympics

Quanitra Hollingsworth during the FIBA World Olympic Qualifying Tournament for Women. Photo: FIBA.
Quanitra Hollingsworth. Photo: FIBA.

Exhibition: USA vs Turkey, July 22, 11 a.m. EDT, Istanbul, Turkey

The United States faces Turkey today in Istanbul in their last warm-up exhibition match before heading to England for the 2012 London Olympics. The Turkish squad features several players who are teammates of U.S. players during the WNBA offseason on EuroLeague teams such as Galatasaray and Fenerbahçe.

A familiar face from the U.S. on the Turkish national team is Virginia Commonwealth graduate and former New York Liberty center Quanitra Hollingsworth. She gained Turkish citizenship earlier this year.

The Minnesota Lynx drafted Hollingsworth, a native of Chesapeake, Virginia, as the ninth overall pick in the 2009 WNBA draft. The Lynx traded her to the Liberty in May 2011. Last season she averaged 4.6 points and 4.4 rebounds in 31 games. She played for Uni Seat Gy?r of Hungary in the last WNBA offseason.

Tugce Canitez, a junior forward at Westmont College (Santa Barbara, California), is also on the Turkish national team. The native of Izmir, is the 2012 Women’s Basketball Coaches Association NAIA Player of the Year and an NAIA First Team All-American. She arrived at Westmont after playing for two years at North Idaho Community College.

Westmont College junior forward Tugce Canitez. Photo: Westmont Athletics.
Tugce Canitez. Photo: Westmont Athletics.

“I am so excited for Tugce and the opportunity she has to represent her country,” said Westmont head coach Kirsten Moore. “I can think of no greater honor as an athlete than to represent her country and to do it at the Olympic Games. She is a goal oriented and driven person. When we asked her what her goals and dreams were when she came to Westmont, going to the Olympics was part of it. To see her do that is a sign of all the hard work she has put in and of continuing to believe in all that she could do.”

Turkey’s berth in the Olympics is the first for the country’s women’s basketball national team. They qualified by beating Argentina, 72-58, in the FIBA World Olympic Qualifying Tournament Quarterfinals last month in Ankara. Hollingsworth scored 12 points and pulled down eight rebounds in that game. Over the course of the tournament she averaged 11.7 points and 6.3 rebounds. Canitez tallied 29 minutes, 11 points and seven rebounds during the tournament.

Turkey faces Angola in the preliminary round of the Olympic competition on July 28. The U.S. faces Croatia on the same day. Yesterday, the U.S. defeated Croatia, 109-55.

The Turkish Roster

# Name P Height DOB Place Of Birth Club
4 Tugba Palazoglu G 172cm5’8″ 04/12/1980 Bolu , Turkey GALATASARAY (TUR)
5 Yasemin Dalgalar F 183cm6’0″ 08/06/1988 Istanbul, Turkey FENERBAHCE SPORTS CLUB (TUR)
6 Birsel Vardarli SG 174cm5’9″ 12/07/1984 Izmir , Turkey FENERBAHCE SPORTS CLUB (TUR)
7 Nilay Kartaltepe G 170cm5’7″ 13/01/1979 Bakirköy, Istanbul , Turkey BOTAS SPORTS CLUB (TUR)
8 Tugce Canitez F 188cm6’2″ 10/11/1990 Konak (TUR), Turkey WESTMONTH COLLEGE (USA)
9 Esmeral Tuncluer G 175cm5’9″ 07/06/1980 Ede (NED), Netherlands FENERBAHCE SPORTS CLUB (TUR)
10 Isil Alben SG 172cm5’8″ 22/02/1986 Eminönü , Turkey GALATASARAY (TUR)
11 Nevriye Yilmaz C 194cm6’4″ 16/06/1980 Plovdiv , Bulgaria FENERBAHCE SPORTS CLUB (TUR)
12 Quanitra Hollingsworth C 196cm6’5″ 15/11/1988 Pertsmouth, VA, United States of America UNI GYÖR (HUN)
13 Yasemin Horasan PF 188cm6’2″ 01/08/1983 Sisli , Turkey BESIKTAS JK (TUR)
14 Saziye Ivegin F 180cm5’11” 08/02/1982 Niksar , Turkey GALATASARAY (TUR)
15 Bahar Caglar PF 190cm6’3″ 28/09/1988 Izmir , Turkey GALATASARAY (TUR)
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One Comment

  • […] and early this morning (our time), the US went up against Turkey, a team boasting a familiar name: Quanitra Hollingsworth. If you were an NAIA fan, you’d recognize player of the year, Tugce Canitez. There was a nice […]

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