Turkish star adapting to basketball in U.S.

Onuralp Bitim, a 2017 Turkish wing prospect, made his way to the United States in the fall and is playing at Huntington Prep. Although the season has just begun, Bitim is starting to draw interest.

Just before the season got underway Huntington (W.V.) Prep added foreign prospect Onuralp Bitim to their roster.

And if his play at the Marshall Couny Hoopfest was any indication, Bitim, a 6-foot-5 wing prospect out of Kadikoy, Turkey, will certainly help boost Arkell Bruce's perimeter play.

“I try to first go to the rim and I think my creativity is good,” Bitim explained to Scout following a 9-point, 9-rebound outing at the Hoopfest. “I try to create situations for myself and my teammates.”

Bitim, 16, is a playmaking wing prospect that looks to drive the ball, is a talented passer and is capable of athletic finishes at the rim. He’s also a good rebounder that plays hard on both ends of the floor.

“I’m playing OK, but not my best,” Bitim said. “But I still have one and a half years in high school. This year is more about the adaptation.”

“I’m still trying to adapt here,” he add. “Everything is different. There are new rules, basketball and the language. I have very good teammates that help me. This whole thing is different. Just basketball is the same. It’s the same ball and goal.”

On the recruiting front, Bitim has had a number of college coaches reach out and express interest. Bitim cited a scholarship offer from Georgia Tech, but indicated he had others as well.

Bitim played in the FIBA U16 European Championship this past summer and led Turkey to a 3rd place finish. Bitim was second in the event in scoring, as he averaged 22.4 points through eight games.

In early April, Bitim participated in the Jordan Brand International game. Although he only played in the first half because of an injury, Bitim scored 12 points and added six rebounds.

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