Club profile: Fenerbahce Beko Istanbul

Jul 30, 2019 by Print

Fenerbahce Beko Istanbul comes off a difficult season in which injuries late in the season prevented the team from achieving its goals. With a strong core led by Kostas Sloukas, Jan Vesely, Gigi Datome, Nicolo Melli and Nikola Kalinic, not to mention legendary head coach Zeljko Obradovic, Fenerbahce was nearly unstoppable early in the Turkish Airlines EuroLeague Regular Season and won 15 of its opening 16 games. Vesely was chosen as the MVP of December, but soon joined the injury list along with Tyler Ennis and Joffrey Lauvergne. Fenerbahce kept going and ranked first in the regular season with an unprecedented 25-5 record. Once in the playoffs, Zalgiris Kaunas stole Fenerbahce's home-court advantage, but back-to-back wins in Kaunas allowed the Turkish powerhouse to reach its fifth consecutive Final Four. Vesely, who was chosen as the 2018-19 EuroLeague MVP, and Kalinic were sidelined from the end of the playoffs until the semifinals and even though both of them played, Fenerbahce was abruptly stopped by Anadolu Efes Istanbul, 73-92. Sloukas was also chosen to the All-EuroLeague First Team. Fenerbahce was able to win the Turkish Cup by downing Efes 80-70 in the championship game and took the Turkish League finals to do-or-die Game 7, but Efes prevailed this time.


2018-19 EuroLeague 28-8 Final Four
2017-18 EuroLeague 25-11 Final Four
2016-17 EuroLeague 23-12 Champion
2015-16 EuroLeague 23-6 Final Four
2014-15 EuroLeague 22-7 Final Four
2013-14 EuroLeague 14-10 Top 16
2012-13 EuroLeague 7-17 Top 16
2011-12 EuroLeague 8-8 Top 16
2010-11 EuroLeague 10-6 Top 16
2009-10 EuroLeague 3-7 Regular Season
2008-09 EuroLeague 7-9 Top 16
2007-08 EuroLeague 9-13 Playoffs
2006-07 EuroLeague 5-9 Regular Season
2005-06 EuroLeague 6-14 Top 16
2004-05 EuroLeague 10-12 Playoffs
2003-04 EuroLeague 9-11 Top 16
2002-03 EuroLeague 12-8 Top 16
2001-02 EuroLeague 10-10 Top 16
TOTAL: 409 231-178

Founded in 1907, Fenerbahce opened its doors to basketball seven years later, but waited decades until it claimed its first titles. Fenerbahce was the Turkish national champion in 1957, 1959 and 1965 before the Turkish League was formally founded in 1966. Fener, as it is popularly known among fans, also made EuroLeague appearances each year following the titles, but a quarter-century passed before club experienced more success. Fenerbahce beat Tofas for the 1991 Turkish League title, returned to the Turkish League finals in 1992, 1993 and 1995 and finished third in 1998 to qualify for the EuroLeague. With a strong team featuring Mahmoud Abdul-Rauf, Marko Milic, Ibrahim Kutluay and Conrad McRae, Fenerbahce advanced to the playoff eighthfinals before losing to Real Madrid. The club reached the Korac Cup quarterfinals in 1996 and 2001 and ranked fourth in the 2005 FIBA Europe League, but it wasn't until the summer of 2006 that the team became a European powerhouse. That's when Fenerbahce merged with Ulker, one of the winningest clubs in Turkish basketball history, which had won four Turkish League titles between 1995 and 2006 with Harun Erdenay, Kutluay, Michael Anderson, Orhun Ene, Mirsad Turkcan and Serkan Erdogan among its many stars. Ulker made the Top 16 for five consecutive seasons between 2002 and 2006 and reached the 2005 EuroLeague Playoffs where it lost to CSKA Moscow. In the first two years of the new Fenerbahce Ulker, the team won the Turkish League and qualified for the EuroLeague Playoffs in 2008. Emir Preldzic, Turkcan, Omer Onan and Roko Ukic helped Fenerbahce win Turkish League and Cup doubles in 2010 and 2011 and the club won another Cup in 2013. With the arrival of Coach Zeljko Obradovic came another Turkish championship in 2014 and a year later Fenerbahce made history by reaching its first EuroLeague Final Four. However, its memorable run was halted in the semifinals by eventual champion Real Madrid. That turned out to be a title-free campaign, but Fenerbahce made up for that in 2015-16 when it reached the first of three consecutive EuroLeague championship game appearances. It lost an overtime thriller against CSKA, however, the team won another domestic double. The 2016-17 season was a historic one as Fener became the first Turkish team to win the EuroLeague, forever changing the face of the proud club. Coach Obradovic's men swept Panathinaikos Athens in the playoffs behind a red-hot Bogdan Bogdanovic. At the Final Four in Istanbul, Ekpe Udoh took the lead as Fenerbahce rolled past Real Madrid in the semifinal and Olympiacos Piraeus in the championship game. Udoh earned Final Four MVP honors and Obradovic conquered his ninth EuroLeague title with a fifth different team. The celebrations saw millions of Fenerbahce fans partying throughout the world. Fenerbahce used the momentum and went on to sweep its way through the Turkish League playoffs. Led by Kostas Sloukas, Jan Vezely, Gigi Datome and Nikola Kalinic, Fenerbahce reached the 2018 EuroLeague championship game against Real and the Final Four last season. It also lifted a third consecutive Turkish League trophy in 2018 and claimed the Turkish Cup in 2019. Fenerbahce's motto, Never Enough, says it all; this team will always be hungry for success.

Trophy Case

EuroLeague: 2016-17
Turkish National League: 1990-91, 2006-07, 2007-08, 2009-10, 2010-11, 2013-14, 2015-16, 2016-17, 2017-18
Turkish National Cup: 1967, 2010, 2011, 2013, 2016, 2019
Turkish President Cup: 1990, 1991, 1994, 2007, 2013, 2016