'Suddenly, North Carolina Is On The Screen'

It all happened so fast for Cem Dinc. Just a few days ago, Dinc's mindset was that he was preparing to pack his bags for a return to Brewster Academy (N.H.) in a few weeks. Now he may be heading to either Bloomington, Ind., or Chapel Hill, N.C.

  • Foreign Post Enters UNC Radar

    "It's unbelievable how quickly this has all happened," Dinc said from his hotel room Thursday in Italy. "Indiana coach Mike Davis called and offered me a scholarship the other day [Wednesday] – and then North Carolina assistant Steve Robinson called me yesterday and offered me a scholarship. I was flabbergasted."

    The 6-foot-10, 255-pound Dinc has basically played his way onto the Turkish National Team (the team roster will be trimmed to 12 in a couple weeks) after a lackluster month-long stint at Brewster Academy a year ago in which he returned back to Germany to get his high school degree.

    "I'm the only one on the Turkish National Team that doesn't earn money playing basketball," Dinc said. "Even if I don't make the team, I've come so far."

    Dinc's mind was made up that prep school would be this year's destination until Turkish national coach Bogdan Tanjevic told the dual-citizen (German and Turkish) that he was good enough to not only play big-time college basketball, but make an impact in the Big Ten or ACC.

    Tanjevic's first call went to Indiana coach Mike Davis, who he had coached back in the 1980s. Davis wasted no time in offering a scholarship.

    Then came North Carolina, courtesy of an interesting twist. One of Binghamton University's assistant coaches knew about Dinc, told his head coach, Al Walker, who went to grad school at UNC. Walker informed Robinson, who proceeded to call and apparently offer Dinc.

    "Mike Davis said I'd get a lot of playing time and plenty of opportunities," Dinc said. "I'd play outside and not just under the basket. I'd be able to show my perimeter skills."

    "Immediately after I spoke to Coach Davis. North Carolina called me and said they heard I wasn't going to Brewster," added Dinc. "They offered me a scholarship right away. I don't even know if they've seen me play. I think it was Binghamton's head coach, who went to North Carolina, who let them know there was a player on the Turkish national team who wants to go to college."

    "Suddenly, North Carolina is on the screen," he continued. "I was not prepared for something like this."

    While Dinc claims a scholarship offer, Inside Carolina's sources report a UNC scholarship has not yet been offered.

    Dinc has always wanted to attend college in the United States instead of playing pro ball in Europe with a dream of playing in the NBA. But he figured that his chance at college ball – or maybe even a jump directly to the NBA – would come after this season at Brewster under coach Jason Smith.

    Dinc, a straight ‘A' student who posted a 940 on his only SAT attempt, worked quickly and registered with the NCAA Clearinghouse online. He has sent his transcripts and SAT score to the NCAA – and both Indiana and North Carolina.

    He will visit Indiana for certain on Aug. 22 – and may head from there to Chapel Hill.

    "It may happen," Dinc said of his trip to UNC. "I'm just not sure yet. I'd like to go directly from Indiana to North Carolina, but I can't stay for too long because of my commitment to the national team."

    Dinc admitted it would be a difficult decision between Indiana and North Carolina – primarily because of the allegiance he has to Tanjevic.

    "I understand Mike Davis is under big pressure to win and there's no time to waste," Dinc said. "Right now if I had to choose, I'd probably choose North Carolina because they're a big-time program and will always be a big-time program.

    "It's not even that important that I visit North Carolina," Dinc added. "But it would be nice to get a chance to visit so I can get a chance to know the coaching staff. But even without seeing the campus, I could commit there."

    Stay tuned for more from Inside Carolina, with an insider scouting report on Friday ...

    Cem Dinc Profile

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