Hedo Turkoglu, the name Hidayet Turkoglu is commonly referred to as, is a professional basketball player from Turkey. The small forward player, is a solid shooter, inside and outside the three point line. Turkoglu has played several positions, apart from his current small forward, these include, power guard to point guard.
Turkoglu was selected in the first round of the 2000 NBA draft, by the Sacramento Kings, while he was with Efes Pilsen, one of the topmost clubs in Turkey and Istanbul. Displaying immense skill from a young age, Turkoglu was the finalist for the league’s Sixth Man of the Year Award, in his sophomore season itself. This was a consequence of his 10.1 average points per game, 2.0 assists oer game, coming off the bench, and 4.5 rebounds per game. In fact, he garnered so much fame that Burger King released an entire menu in his name, Hido Menu. This was during his first few years with the NBA.
Following all the attention, Turkoglu was transferred to San Antonio Spurs, in 2003, which traded Brad Miller, of the Indiana Pacers, in return. Indiana on the other hand attained Scot Pollard from the Kings, as well as Danny Ferry, from the Spurs. Meanwhile the Spurs also acquired Ron Mercer, from the Pacers.
In 2004, Turkoglu became a free agent, following which he signed up with Orlando Magic. At this point Turkoglu was also a member of the Turkish national basketball team. In fact, he has represented his country at numerous international events, though he opted out of the team for the 2006 World Basketball Championship. He has also won a silver medal, for his performance in 2001 with Turkey national team.
In 2008, Turkoglu was awarded the NBA’s Most Improved Player Award, for his performance in the 2007-08 season. The season was marked by 52 wins for Orlando Magic, in which Turkoglu himself obtained career highs in assists per game, at 5.0, rebound per game, at 5.7 and points per game 19.5, this placed him second to LeBron James.
Turkoglu took the Magic to their first NBA Finals since 1995 but after losing in 5 games, he decided to end his contract and move to the Toronto Raptors in July, 2009.