For nearly two decades Omer Onan was a key force at the top levels of Turkish basketball and little has changed since his retirement in 2014. The famed shooting guard remains in a leadership position as Fenerbahce Istanbul's team manager and continues to set an example for the next generation.
A review of Onan's career is akin to an overview of Turkish basketball highlights. A product of the Efes Pilsen youth system, Onan was a teenage practice player on the squad that won the 1996 Korac Cup, which was the first European trophy won by a Turkish club. As he became a rotation player and later a starter, Efes reached new heights by advancing to back-to-back Final Fours in 2000 and 2001. After finding success on the international level as a junior, Onan debuted with Turkey's senior team at EuroBasket 2001 and celebrated with a silver medal, the country's first medal at a major tournament.
After nearly a decade with Efes, he moved to Ulker – which later merged with Fenerbahce – in 2005 and helped it reach the Euroleague playoffs for the first time in 2008. Two years later, Onan was a starter as Turkey won another silver medal at home in the FIBA World Championships, the biggest highlight in Turkish basketball history. He retired as a winner in 2014, after celebrating the last of his 11 Turkish League titles. Onan also collected eight Turkish Cups in a splendid career that Fenerbahce honored when it raised his No. 7 jersey to the Ulker Sports Arena rafters at the start of the following season.