Özlem Şencan, the head coach of the crescent-star team, and Esin Bilgili, the team captain, made statements.
Özlem Şencan stated that the World Championship will be held in Greece on 13-23 June.
“We have started our preparations. There are 12 main players in the team, we also conduct screenings in different cities. We will hold our first camp in February. We follow individual studies until the camp.”
Şencan stated that he became the head of the team with the goal of participating in the Olympics.
“We couldn’t achieve the degree we wanted in the Olympics, but it was a great experience. We saw our opponents, the opponents there will come in the World Championships. Greece is advantageous because it is the host. There are also the USA, Italy, Lithuania, these are well-established teams that have been in this business for years. We have the strength against them, I believe that if we draw a good lot, the medal will come.”
Şencan stated that he learned how to communicate with the athletes and that the coaches helped him in communication.
“We have very few players who can’t hear and speak, most of them can speak. We formed a good partnership, I hope we will see the result in the World Championship. Our goal is to return from the World Championship with a medal, this team has placed 3rd, 4th and 5th in the world championships, but it is the first place or the other. Why not second place?”
Esin Bilgili: I started playing basketball in primary school.
Team captain Esin Bilgili explained that she was born in Istanbul in 1994 and that they are two brothers.
“It turned out that I suffered from hearing loss because I had convulsions when I was a baby. I started playing football on the street, and when my mother didn’t allow football, I started playing basketball in primary school.”
Esin stated that she continued to play basketball professionally at Küçükçekmece Youth and Sports Club.
“Afterwards, I transferred to Uşak Anadolu 64 Sports Club. At the same time, I continued my education at Uşak University. Despite my hearing impairment, I trained with normal people.”
The captain of the crescent-star team told that he received special language therapy training in his childhood to improve his speech.
“I went to hearing impaired education, I took speech training in order to live better in the future and not have trouble. I had difficulties in primary school because my friends made fun of me for wearing a device. But I forgot this, I learned everything by experience, sports contributed a lot to my forgetting.”
Esin Bilgili talked about the captainship process of the Deaf Women’s National Basketball Team.
“I met our teacher Burcu Pelister when I was playing in Küçükçekmece in 2014, she explained the work of the federation, the national team and the organizations. I was very happy and I joined immediately. That year, we won the silver medal in the under-21 championship in Samsun. The hardest thing for me was not being able to win a medal although we fought well at the 2019 Poland, 2021 World Deaf Basketball Championship in Italy and last year’s Olympics in Brazil. But we gained experience, we can use it in future tournaments. We’ll see.”
Goal world championship
The crescent-star athlete stated that they started training early this year.
“Obviously, after Brazil, our motivation was higher, we will increase our performance to higher levels with the new friends who joined us. Our friends continue to train in different cities, we tell each other about our shortcomings. We want to be the first in the World Championship to be held in Greece in June.”
Esin stated that she has always received great support from her family.
“My family has always been my biggest source of motivation and they are still very supportive. My sister is also a teacher, so I get on very well with her. I want to play basketball until the end and leave with very good grades. Then I want to start as an assistant coach and continue as a head coach.”
Esin stated that she will encourage her children to this sport when she becomes a mother.
“Currently, I am also coaching athletes from the infrastructure. In addition, this sport has expanded my friends and my circle, it has contributed a lot to me. I would love for children and people with hearing loss to go to a sport.”
Source: TRT Haber