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Bahçeşehir Koleji and Sam Dekker win 2022 FIBA Europe Cup

The Badgers legend is now a European champion!

Cleveland Cavaliers v Toronto Raptors Photo by Vaughn Ridley/NBAE via Getty Images

Sheboygan native and Wisconsin Badgers basketball legend Sam Dekker has had a professional basketball career that has, literally, taken him all over the world. After being cut by the Toronto Raptors at the beginning of the NBA season, he returned to Turkey to continue playing ball. He was signed by Bahcesehir College in Istanbul, a relatively new team (only five years old) in the Turkish Super League.

Dekker has appeared in 17 games for the club this season, averaging 13.5 points per game, which is second best on the team, while adding 5.5 rebounds, 1.9 assists and 1.0 steals per game too. He shot 35.1% from deep and 48.4% from the floor overall. So, overall, a pretty good season from Dekker.

Bahcesehir College made the FIBA Europe Cup, which is the tournament on the second level of European basketball similar to the UEFA Europa Cup in soccer. Dekker and the Red Dragons made it to the finals and won both legs of the home and home tie against Italy’s UnaHotels Reggio Emilia, 162-143 (72-69 away, 90-74 home).

In the entire tournament, Bahcesehir College went 17-1 on their way to the first trophy in club history. Dekker scored 10 points and grabbed six rebounds in the first leg of the finals and then added 12 points, five boards and an assist in the second leg in front of a FIBA Europe Cup Final record crowd of 13,485 in Istanbul. The Red Dragons didn’t lose a game at home all season.

This is awesome news for Dekker and I hope that he continues to find success in Turkey or wherever else his basketball career takes him. It’s great to see former Badgers win titles, regardless of what league it is in, because that still speaks to how well the program prepares them for basketball after college.