(Editor’s note: Story by Montana Sports Information)
MISSOULA – Montana tapped into a deep connection to land its newest player, welcoming mid-year transfer Yagizhan ‘Yagi’ Selcuk to the program.
Selcuk (pronounced: yoggy saul-chook) is a native of Istanbul, Turkey, but has been in the United States for more than three years, first playing for his high school, Phelps School in Pennsylvania, and then beginning his collegiate career at Towson University in Maryland.
Selcuk, a 6-8, 225-pound forward, played in five games for the Tigers, scoring nine points on 3-of-8 shooting. Seven of his nine points came at the Islands of the Bahamas Showcase, a November tournament that Montana was also part of.
Coming out of high school, Selcuk had narrowed his offers down to Montana and Towson, but elected the Tigers because of a prior relationship. A month into his first season, however, he was looking for a different opportunity and reconnected with the relationships he had already built.
“If it was still an option, I knew I wanted to come to Montana,” Selcuk said about reengaging conversations with the Griz coaching staff. “I had already taken a visit and really liked it here, and I knew there were great people here.”
Selcuk recently moved to Montana and enrolled as a student at the University. Fans may have seen him on the team bench during this past weekend’s games. He’s participating in team activities, but will be unable to compete until next December, one year removed from his transfer.
“We thought he would have been a really good fit for us this year, giving us the flexibility to play Sayeed (Pridgett) at the 3 more,” head coach Travis DeCuire said. “He shoots threes, can handle the ball. We’re still evaluating some areas, but I think his skill and ability to score the ball will be huge for us as our upperclassmen graduate next year.”
While playing for Phelps School in Pennsylvania, Selcuk averaged 13.0 points and 8.5 rebounds as a senior. He also scored 16 points and 11 rebounds during a game in the prestigious Pennsylvania Showcase. Proven to be a strong scorer, rebounder and post player, he scored a game-high 21 points during his team’s playoff win over Episcopal Academy.
“I’m a stretch four,” Selcuk commented on his game. “I can shoot the ball, I can put the ball on the floor. I like creating for my teammates and I like rebounding.”