Founded as a multi-sport club in 1914, Darussafaka found early success in football and volleyball before opening its basketball section in 1951. It took Darussafaka a decade to win its first Turkish League title in 1961. The club made its European debut in the 1961-62 Champions Cup and survived the two-game eighthfinals series against Hapoel Tel Aviv before losing to eventual champion Dinamo Tbilisi in the quarterfinals. Darussafaka bounced back and successfully defended its Turkish League title in 1962, but it would prove to be the club's last major trophy to date. Darussafaka ceased to be a title contender soon after that, went down to the second division in 1968 and did not return to the Turkish elite until the 1992-93 season. The team soon became a Turkish League playoffs regular and returned to European competitions after a 35-year absence in 1997-98 season. Led by Mike Ansley and William Strothers it lost against Crvena Zvezda in the Korac Cup eighthfinals. And in the next season was ousted at the same stage by FC Barcelona. Darussafaka reached either the Korac Cup or Saporta Cup eighthfinals over four consecutive years and took part in the ULEB Cup's maiden season in 2002-03 and then returned to the competition two years later to post a winning record. The club also advanced to the Turkish Cup final in 2002, but lost to Efes Pilsen. Cevher Ozer, Cuneyt Erden and Acie Earl were some of its best-known players in the early 2000s, when Darussafaka reached the Turkish League semifinals in 2001 and 2002. The team lost some of its competitiveness by the end of the decade and fell to the Turkish second division in 2010. After Dogus Group took the club over, Darussafaka quickly delivered by returning to the Turkish elite division in 2014. The next year it reached the Turkish Cup semifinals and finished third in the Turkish League regular season before losing in the playoff quarterfinals against Trabzonspor. Last season, Darussafaka reached Turkish Airlines Euroleague Top 16 in its debut in that competition and was seconds away from its first trophy in more than 50 years, but lost the Turkish Cup final against Fenerbahce Istanbul on a buzzer-beating triple. In the Turkish League playoffs, Darussafaka swept its best-of-three quarterfinal series against Banvit Bandirma before getting ousted by Anadolu Efes in the semis, which ended the club’s historic season.
|Turkish Basketball Championship: 1960-61, 1961-62