Former Pitt guard Brad Wanamaker and Fenerbahce, his current Istanbul-based team, became the champions of the Turkish Basketball Super League on Wednesday with a 94-64 win over TOFAS in Game 5 of the league finals. The former Panther played a significant role as well, as he was a consistent scoring threat and earned MVP honors in the championship series.
In the finals, Wanamaker averaged 16.2 points and 4.2 assists, helping the Yellow Canaries establish a sizable advantage in a series that only saw them drop a single matchup. That included five straight double-digit scoring performances, with a game-high 17 points and five assists in Game 1, a game-high 18 points in Game 2, and a team-high 20 points and six assists in Game 3.
Prior to Fenerbahce claiming the BSL title in Turkey with several dominant victories, the team fell to Real Madrid in a close 85-80 EuroLeague title game on May 20. However, Wanamaker had a productive season in the top tier of European basketball as well, as he ranked second on the team in scoring behind Jan Vesely during his first year with a notable international contender.
Since the 2006-07 season, Fenerbahce has appeared in nine of the BSL’s 12 finals and won eight of them. Overall, the club has won nine championships, including three in the last three seasons, and finished as runners-up on eight occasions. In the EuroLeague, Fenerbahce has appeared in each of the last three championship games, winning its first title in 2017.
As for Wanamaker, the 2018-17 season was his seventh in Europe, and the former Pitt standout has spent his time overseas developing his game and gradually climbing the ranks. In that time, he rose from a minor player on a now defunct Serie A team in Italy to a key contributor for a team that has ruled one of the most talent-rich domestic leagues in Europe for three consecutive years.
The question now is whether or not even greater opportunities might present themselves to Wanamaker this offseason, given his significant contributions to Fenerbahce’s championship campaign in Turkey and its sustained excellence in international competition.