St. Francis College Brooklyn men’s basketball alumnus Deniz Celen ‘20 has signed his first professional contract with Petkim Spor of the Basketball Super League (BSL) in Turkey. Petkim Spor is coming off of a Championship season and was promoted to the BSL’s first division in 2020.
“I’m really excited to begin this next chapter in my life. I believe that Petkim can help me improve and become a better player,” said Celen as he discussed signing his first professional contract with Petkim.
Celen concluded a memorable two-year career in Brooklyn Heights this past season, which culminated with him earning All-NEC Third Team honors. Over his two years on Remsen Street, he scored 610 points and grabbed 371 rebounds. Celen averaged 9.5 points, 5.8 rebounds, 1.5 assists, and 1.1 blocks per game in 64 games and made 60 starts as a Terrier.
“We are very proud of Deniz and congratulate him on signing his first professional contract in Turkey. He arrived on Remsen Street and worked extremely hard to earn a scholarship, and developed into an All-League player upon his final season. Deniz is a person of high-character, and we look forward to watching him play on the professional level, where we know he’ll be an asset to his team. He has worked really hard to get to this point in his career, and we wish him the best of luck,” said Coach Glenn Braica.
As a senior in 2019-20, he tallied 11.6 points, 6.3 rebounds, 1.6 assists, and 1.2 blocks per game. The forward shot a highly efficient 55.5 percent from the field, 43.6 percent from three, and 82.4 percent from the free-throw. Celen ranked second in the league in field goal percentage, seventh in blocks per game, 12th in rebounding, and tied for 18th in scoring.
He scored in double figures 17 times and scored 20 or more points in a game five times, which were the second-most on the team. The Ankara, Turkey native registered four double-doubles, the second-most on the team.
On December 23, Celen was tabbed NEC Co-Player of the Week after he led all scorers with a career-high 27 points on 11-of-17 shooting from the field in the Terriers’ 81-62 victory over Delaware State on December 22. It was the first time in his career that he earned the award as he also recorded 11 rebounds. Additionally, he was named a Metropolitan Basketball Writers Association Weekly Honorable Mention.
Celen joins a long list of former Terriers who have gone on to play professionally after playing for Coach Braica. Celen joins Akeem Bennett ‘11, Ricky Cadell ‘11, Alex Harrington ‘11, Stefan Perunicic ‘12, Akeem Johnson ‘13, Aleksandar Isailovic ‘14, Ben Mockford ‘14, Kevin Douglas ‘15, Jalen Cannon ‘15, Lowell Ulmer ‘15, Brent Jones ‘15, Chris Hooper ‘16, Tyreek Jewell ‘16, and Gunnar Olafsson ‘18 who have all enjoyed successful professional playing careers overseas.
For more information on the St. Francis College Men’s Basketball team fans are encouraged to click on the link seen here: