|When he arrived as an unknown in the middle of the 2007-08 season, it's fair to say that Fenerbahce Ulker center Omer Asik took the Euroleague by storm. His first full phase was that season's Top 16, during which he averaged more blocks, 3.2 per game, than any Euroleague player in any phase of the competition in the previous five years! What's more, his 20-minute-per-game contribution helped lift Fenerbahce to the Quarterfinal Playoffs, still its high-water mark in the competition. While answering your Fan Mail this week, Asik recalled that fast Euroleague start among the highlights of his young career, even as he promised that he and his Fenerbahce teammates were ready to push for even more success. "As a team, we have a desire to be in the Final Four," Asik said in one answer. "The thing is that, sometimes being a quality team is not always enough to be a success. For this reason, we know that we have to act together as a team, and then it will not be impossible for us to reach our goals."
My question: What is your target as a team this year in the Euroleague? By the way, we would like to see you more confident on the court! Thank you very much and good luck in the next games.
Ali Ruhi Yildirimer - Turkey
"First, our goal is to finish our regular season group at the highest level and take every advantage from the standings. We have some new players like Greer and Kinsey with whom we are making our team chemistry better day by day. In my opinion, all together as a team, we have the ability to go far and be part of the Quarterfinal Playoffs."
Omer, Would you be interested someday to play in Spain?
Cayetano Puerto - Malaga
"I think that the Spanish League is one of the best leagues and organisations in Europe. I know that Spanish fans like basketball very much and are interested in basketball games, because I have seen that interest when we play our games in Spain. My goals are always high and I always try to do my best, so yes, in the future maybe I can think of playing in Spain."
Omer, Your scoring, rebounding, and blocking records are simply amazing. However, your significantly low performance in free-throw shooting hurts both the national team and Fenerbahce. How many extra free throws do you practice? Have you hired any special trainer to help you with this? Best of luck in Euroleague!
Turgut Mustafayev - Baku, Azerbaijan
"Yes, I know that I have to work on some points about my game. I am working on my free throws every day; both individually and with our team coaches. I believe I will improve my free throw percentage and become more consistent in a short time."
Except your teammates, among Euroleague players, whom do you think it could be fun to play with?
Haluk Ozcan - Istanbul, Turkey
"Apart from my teammates, it would be very enjoyable for me to play with Kerem Tunceri and Ender Arslan from Efes Pilsen. In EuroBasket 2009, we played together on the Turkish national team and they helped me a lot to get confidence and play better. It was really a pleasure for me to play with them on the national team."
Omer, did you know that you have fans in Germany, too? How is your health after your knee injury las year? And how important is it for you to play a full Euroleague season?
Baris Sener - Hamburg, Germany
"Last season I had an unlucky, serious injury and because of this I could not play for the national team, in the Euroleague and in most of the Turkish League games. After the injury, it was really hard for me to get back in shape and mentally ready, although I feel really lucky because I had a good operation and rehabilitation process. In addition, I am happy to learn that there are some fans from Germany supporting me."
Dear Omer, As a successful Euroleague and national team player, there are increased expectations on your career. What, if any, parts of your game can be strengthened to make you a higher class player? All the best,
Cem Berk - Turkey
"Like every player who wants to improve himself, I am working on my basketball also with individual practices in addition to the team practices. In order to be a better player, I have to improve my low-post offense, mid-range shots and my free throws. I believe I will carry my basketball to a higher level by working hard, though."
Hi Ömer, I hope you are well. I'm Firat from Istanbul and a fan of Fenerbahce as well. How do you see our team's chances to qualify for Final Four? By the way, I feel so good whenever you make dunks and blocks. I wish you good health,
Firat - Istanbul
"Thanks for your good wishes! As a team, we have a desire to be in the Final Four. The thing is that, sometimes being a quality team is not always enough to be a success. For this reason, we know that we have to act together as a team, and then it will not be impossible for us to reach our goals."
Omer, what has been your favorite moment or favorite game playing in the Euroleague so far in your career? We hope to see a lot more of you!
Gabriele Rizzo - Bologna, Italy
"Reaching the Quarterfinal Playoffs in my first Euroleague season and having the most blocked shots in the Top 16 that year were special moments for me till now. I also want myself and my team to have bigger successes in the coming days."
Hello young Mr. Asik, How much are you looking forward to the World Championships coming next summer to your country? What is most important to get ready for them? Best of luck,
Rory Holcombe - Devon, England
"I am very happy and excited that the 2010 World Championship will be held in Turkey. At EuroBasket 2009, which was our last tournament as a national team, although we beat the winner and runner-up teams in the earlier stages, we did not finish the tournament as we had wanted due to two unfortunate losses. In my opinion, if we continue our team play and have some luck on our side, we can succeed and finish the World Championships with victory."