I first met Cavit Altunay in 2009 through a chance e-mail he sent me. He was impressed with my Planet Hoops site and wanted to share with me his “Modular Basketball” system of play. I was very impressed with his ideas. In the last year we decided to try to bring his system to the world and are taking the first step by offering a Basketball Camp in his native Turkey this summer of 2010.

Cavit Altunay currently teaches young players in his home city of Istanbul. I will place a short Biography of Cavit which he prepared for me today. His English is not perfect but you will get the idea. He is very passionate about basketball and especially about teaching Basketball. I truly believe that his methods may one day revolutionize the game of basketball. We will find out this summer in Turkey. If you are interested in learning more about the camp Cavit is puting on with Planet Hoops please go to our Basketball Camps page here.

Here is the biography of Cavit Altunay:

1932 (official – real 1930, Orenbourg – Russia)
Mother Zarife, From Kazan – Russia
Father Mustafa, From Turkey. The family used to run Hotels and Restourants at Batumi, Black sea- east.

We have passed to Kars Turkey 1937, changed towns, to Zonguldak where I studied Primary School.
I studied High school in Istanbul, Lycee de Galatasaray, where I’ve learned French and a some Old latin.
I quit European football for basketball in 1947 on the most famour club of Turkey, Galatasarau Sports Club.

Studied Medicine, at Istanbul University 1952 – 1957

I am the founder of Istanbul University Club and Basketball teams for man and women.
Women team became Turkish champion on 1954
1 – The pivot Ayhan was the first women using hookshut.
2 – Her doughter also played basketball in national team.
3 – Her also playing basketball. I trained her, just to show her some tricks.

I quit playing basketball in 1949 due of tuberculosis.
After treatment, I worked body building. 1954 After feeling OK I resume playing amateur BBall.
And coaching women team + men team. Meanwhile I was helping Mc Gregor Firm USA.
and coaching U16 and U18 men teams.

1956, I was the headcoach after Mc Gregor for Three season (the first professional coach in Turkey)
1959 – 1960 I coached Beyoglu Spor  and Galatasaray both of them ( Greek minority club ) .
I became very famous in Turkey for building top teams without any transfer. (CHEAPEST TEAMS)
For that reason I was the most expensive coach of Turkey.

1961 I have signed a contract with ITU (Istanbul Technic University) I created compleately a new team. The younguest of Turkish BBall history. Below U18. To play super fast BBall with perfect results.
3 times back-to-bach 2nd place. Every year loosing one or two best players of the team (under the table Pro).

1964 I accepted the proposition of Be?ikta? Sport Club, newly came from 2nd division. to build with players without any reputation. Contrary the opinion of reporters, we won Istanbul Championship. and continue to be very interesting team using ” Concealling defence ” and changing from man-to-man to a zone press. Keeping all teams below 50 and sometimes below 40.

Every Thursday I was explaining the defence we will play. The times where we will switch defence.
Which player will leave to shoot. etc, etc…
Every meeting players were asking the score. It was a fun for them.

Leaving the room, I was writing the result. 51 for 47. Or we will keep them below 48. I am not sure about offence because….All seasons I never made a mistake for defence.
This team was playing full court M2M and different type of zone presses for 40 minutes.
This team was the team with minimum personal fouls.

1967 I re-signed with Galatasaray. Again, with jobless players an amazing Championship.
I signed again the most expensive contract of Turkey history with Be?ikta?.

1971 coached Turksh University team, for Universiad Tel -Aviv.
I had the chance to be together with the famous Adolf Rupp of Kentucky.

While we were at practice, Kentucky practice was after us.
A. Rupp had watched us. (I didn’t remarked).

All teams were on the same campus. Around 21:30 Lancaster (Assistant Coach) came to our campus to tell me that Mr. Rupp is ill ( Heart attack ) otherwise he wanted to visit me for a friendly talk, and asked me respectifully, if I would like to visit their campus.

Then I was with him for 9 days, minimum 2 hours of talking basketball.
At the and, he proposed me to assist him. Salary will be the same as Lancaster’s. $ 50.000
But I would be responsible for the team the team defence.

At that time, zone press was unknown in Europe. We beat Italy, Greece, Belgium as far as I remember. We finished the champinat 6. Everytime we go down, all spectators were for us.

I didn’t accepted. Because I was at the army that time.
He gave the key of Kentucky and a letter of invitation and shaking my hand “Anytime you would like to come send me a message, I will send you the a ticket for Kentucky.”

Returning back, I made my mind to quit coaching. And at the end of the season I quit.

Years after, Technical university (all board directors were my close friends) insisted to help them, just for a year. Because they’ve lost all players at the transfer. I coached them for three years. Preparing the existing  U 18 team’s players.

That time we were playing for high percentage shooting from selected points.
Our centers was smaller then the other teams.
At the first game we beat the last season champions. Eczac?basi.
With only +1.5 rebound (never mind offense or defense) we would be champion.

And I have now resumed coaching  basketball again to prepare students for USA colleges and Basketball scholarships.

Thats all for that moment.

We will change first the philosophy. Basketball will be played aggressively. On offence too.
To run, is not really dominant.
To run earlier without any risk is very important. On offence and defence as well.

Cross over is not the fastest footwork.
Using a ” Big Step ” technique, receiving the pass, is faster and most dangerous footwork.

Always 3 men on offensive and defensive rebounding.
Always 3 men on defensive break.

There is much to teach.

Thank you,

Cavit Altunay


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