|10-17-2009, 11:03 PM||#1 (permalink)|
Join Date: Sep 2009
Hedo Turkoglu: Raps Turkish Delight
The words resonated with Hedo Turkoglu, wisdom passed from father to son on how to handle oneself, a lesson on how to live life to gain respect and to give it.It has to do with the substance of a man regardless of his circumstances in life and it is the way the newest Raptor carries himself at all times.
"My father always tells me, no matter what happens, you have to be a person, a good person," Turkoglu said in an interview this week. "Famous, not famous, rich, not rich, it doesn't matter. Be a good person."
Off the court, Turkoglu is a man of no pretense. Quiet, polite and accommodating. Entirely normal.
Ask him to describe himself and it takes minutes before he can come up with a suitable response. Not because he's trying to find the appropriate adjectives but because he really doesn't think in those terms.
"I'm a normal guy," is how he finally puts it. "I know I'm famous, you know, but I don't try to separate myself from people. I do what regular people do.
"I know I get a lot of attention but it doesn't mean that I have to hide or keep myself away from people."
Married to Banu and the father of a daughter, Ela, who will turn 1 in February – he wears jersey No. 26 in honour of the day of her birth – Turkoglu is trying to fit into a new city, a new country, a new team.
"I have a different personality; it doesn't mean that I don't socialize or anything," he said. "I don't know how to say, but I don't like to be loud or crazy."
Which is the first thing you notice about him.
"He's not quiet in a weird way," said teammate Chris Bosh. "He's just quiet and reserved. You can tell he likes to have a good time, he likes to joke around and he likes to work when it's time to work."
"I like to be with people because people get you here," he said. "It doesn't bother me at all to give them, like, high-fives or shake hands or take a picture. I know how happy they're going to be and it won't take a whole lot of time off me for that. They follow you, they support you and in the end they see that you're just normal.
"It'll make them feel much better than me not doing it."
Turkoglu's on-court persona matches his off-court personality perfectly.
"It was hard to come in here, the first one to represent yourself, your family, your country," said Turkoglu. "It's not just on the court, it's off the court, too. We have to make a good impression about Turkish people, how friendly they are, how much hospitality they have.
"I think I've done good so far."
Just like his dad wants..
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