“Wheelchair Basketball is My Life Style”

“Wheelchair Basketball is My Life Style”

As he is one of the players of the Pamukkale Municipality Sports Club Wheelchair Basketball Team that took place among the first acts of Pamukkale Mayor Hüseyin Gürlesin; Doğan Can Köktaş is a talented player to overcome obstacles with sports.

Doğan Can Köktaş, who has been the team captain for two years and aims to be a National Team player, talked about his life story and the process of starting basketball and his goals.

First, we want to know you; can you share your life story?

My name is Doğan Can Köktaş. I was born in 1997 in Denizli. I am a student of Pamukkale University Vocational School of Social Sciences. Yet, at 6-7 months of age, I had a feverish illness and I contracted poliomyellitis because of a wrong injection by the doctor. I went to many physicians during physical therapy, but my foot was damaged. But I went on with my life, and I started wheelchair basketball, which was more than a sport and a lifestyle for me.

When and how did your interest in basketball begin?

My interest in basketball began in 2012 when I met my teacher Erol Kayhan. I went to practice a few times during that period, but I felt bad and did not continue. My real beginning was in 2015 again with the request of my teacher Mr. Erol. I started training, I went to the matches, I knew I had to work hard. In my second official match I was one of the starting five. Among many of those experienced players I was chosen for starting five and it was a great victory for me. I have been a team captain for two years.

What does Pamukkale Municipality Sports Club Wheelchair Basketball Team mean for you?

Pamukkale Municipal Sports Club Wheelchair Basketball Team was the beginning of my new life. We’re not just in a team, we’re very close friends. We know each other. We are meeting with our team mates not only in training or games but also in our normal lives. All my team mates are good, they all love me, and I like them. I send my greetings to all of them.

You have a successful line as a team. What is the role of Pamukkale Municipality Sports Club Wheelchair Basketball Team and Hüseyin Gürlesin in this success?

Yes, we have a successful line. The architect of this successful line is Hüseyin Gürlesin. I am grateful to the President for pioneering the establishment of this team. Our team has a goal like every season. In this season,  we’ll introduce Pamukkale Municipality Sports Club Wheelchair Basketball team tothe whole Turkey to move up to a higher league, too. We will not frustrate the support given to us by our municipality and our Mayor.

What do you think about participation in sports of people with disabilities in Turkey? What can be done to encourage this?

In Turkey, the disabled are afraid to come out to the streets or their families do not allow. However, if they are included in a sports branch, they can be re-connected to life and enrich their social lives and meet new people. We need to announce that disabled sports are being done. In traditional and social media, teams like us should have more news. My disabled brothers who see this, I’m sure, will be enthusiastic. When I talk to people around me sometimes I open the subject saying, “I’m a wheelchair basketball team player.” Whoever hears this say “what is that? Is there a sport like that?”.

What are your future goals, what successes in basketball you dream of?

I would like to experience the championship with Pamukkale Municipality Sports Club Wheelchair Basketball Team. But of course my main goal is to play for the National Team and make my best for it and become the world championship