Synthesizing the East and the West with basketball, bringing different nationalities and identities together and creating a cultural interaction were our major motives to hold Pass the Ball Tournament. In 2011, through our project, we invited players from different cities of Turkey.
In 2012 and 2013, we welcomed basketball players from Hakkâri and Elazığ. We arranged a camp for 1 week in our school. Subsequently, we gave seminars in Hakkâri and Elazığ. Honorary guests such as Hidayet Türkoğlu (former NBA player and current Turkish Basketball Federation President), Sinan Güler (current national basketball player), Semih Erden (former NBA player), Ender Arslan (former national basketball player) and Harun Erdenay (former national basketball player and former Turkish Basketball Federation President) attended our opening event, and the project received praise in media as well.
In 2013, we felt ready to spread into a wider area and invited players from Western cities, such as Ljubljana, Belgrad, Zagreb, and Skopje, and from Eastern cities of Turkey, such as Şanlıurfa, Erzurum, and Mardin. In our 2013 summer tournament, we hosted Zeljko Obradovic (9 times Turkish Airlines Euroleague Championship-winning head coach) and Dimitri Itoudis (head coach of CSKA Moscow Men’s Basketball Team). League TV, a Turkish national sports channel, broadcasted a program, including interviews with these coaches about our project.
In 2015, our European guests came from Belgrade, Skopje, and Zagreb whereas our Eastern Anatolian guests came from Elazığ, Tunceli, and Erzincan. Our 3-days long tournament took place in the mornings. In the afternoons, we showed our guests the cultural and historical remarks of Istanbul.
In 2016, we focused more on the educational side of our project and we hosted 40 under-privileged male students in Istanbul. Students and their teachers came from Elazığ, Van, Diyarbakır, and Tunceli for a week in our school. We did several training sessions and played mixed basketball games with them.
In 2017, we organized a girls’ camp and hosted elementary and middle school students from Eastern Turkey. In our 1-week event, we arranged trainings and daily tournaments. In the afternoons, we attended a Bosphorus Tour and visited various historical places of Istanbul.
In 2014, we welcomed high school players from Elazığ, Erzincan, Muş, Slovenia, Greece, and Serbia. We showed the historical and cultural remarks of İstanbul to our guests. İbrahim Kutluay, Lazaros Papadopoulos, and basketball referees Recep Ankaralı (former Turkish Central Board of Referees President), Rüştü Nuran (current Turkish Airlines Euroleague referee) attended our opening night. Like in the previous years, articles on our organization were published.