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Ulubay twins accused of age-falsifying
By Eurohopes
Turk Okben Ulubay, MVP of the past summer’s European Championship U16, and his twin brother Oktay, as well as their parents are accused of age-falsifying. Although the process is still ongoing, Turkish Basketball Federation has reacted immediately. As reported by the Turkish media, the main proof is an anonymous letter sent to the Federation in June.

Okben Ulubay was the biggest phenomenon of last summer, as the 6-7 swingman led Turkey to a gold medal at the European Championship U16. Averaging a team-best 11.3 points and 5.1 rebounds, Ulubay was the most consistent performer and he was, in fact, named MVP of the tournament being the only 15-year-old in FIBA Europe history to do so. In addition, he also headed the all-tournament team.

As it has later turned out, there was meanwhile a serious ivestigation conducted against Okben and his twin brother Oktay with main charge of age-falsifying. As Turkish press has reported, on June 11 an anonymous letter was sent both to the Turkish Basketball Federation and to the legal authorities of Istanbul, accusing the parents of the Ulubay twins of age-falsifying. The clue is an evidence from Antalya Hospital’s records, where birth date of Okben and Oktay Ulubay states as 25 May 1996 at 08:35 am. According to the author of the anonymous letter, Ulubay’s parents made their registration a year later, in 1997, as if their kids were newborns.

Having experienced similar incidents in the past, Turkish Basketball Federation immediately banned Ulubay twins to compete at cadet level (U16) for the 2012/13 season and removed Okben from the U16 national team preliminary list. At the same time, Efes Istanbul released Oktay and suspended Okben until the end of the investigation.

Even as a year older Okben Ulubay would have been allowed to compete at the u16 European Championships. However, faked birth date and the ongoing investigation is hurting his stock. Earlier this year, Ulubay twins's parents demanded from Efes a new contract with better conditions for their kids. Both sides were far from reaching an agreement, and meanwhile Turkish press rumored about a possible Ulubay twins transfer to Spain, probably chased by Real Madrid or FC Barcelona, or even to the USA, with the NCAA option through a high school first as a possibility. Right now, their future is unclear; nonetheless, particularly Okben thanks to his pure talent, is yet a candidate to participate in upcoming European Championship U18, despite the scandal.


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