The winner of the Gianluigi Porelli EuroLeague Executive of the Year Trophy for the 2021-22 season is Alper Yilmaz, General Director of Anadolu Efes Istanbul, who has garnered the award for the second consecutive year.
Efes's Yilmaz repeats as EuroLeague Executive of the Year
Yilmaz was selected for the award by his EuroLeague peers as the best executive for the Turkish Airlines EuroLeague campaign that finished with his team lifting the trophy as only the fourth back-to-back champion in the Final Four era. Yilmaz and Efes succeeded by keeping the roster virtually intact for a span of four consecutive seasons during which the team reached the maximum of three Final Fours.
The Executive of the Year award honors the person and club whose management decisions have best exemplified the EuroLeague's commitment to excellence in all facets of club direction during the previous season. Among the categories considered before casting votes are sporting merit, fan experience, and marketing and communications. As more proof of the club's success both on and off the court, Efes was recognized with Euroleague Basketball's Gold Marketing Award earlier on Tuesday. Among the reasons Yilmaz's peers chose him for the award were his efforts to keep a championship roster together and the club's attendance records for the post-pandemic period.
Yilmaz, 47, spent six seasons as a player for Efes at the start of the century. As a shooting guard, he also suited up for Turk Telekom Ankara, Tofas Bursa, Beykoz and Erdemirspor as well as the Turkish national team. After retiring as a player in 2009, Yilmaz was appointed Efes's sports director and was promoted to general director in 2015.
The Gianluigi Porelli EuroLeague Executive of the Year has been awarded annually since 2005. The executive award recognizes those whose efforts build Turkish Airlines EuroLeague clubs into success stories. Mr. Porelli, who served as president of Virtus Bologna for more than two decades, was among the founders of ULEB and later its president. He passed away in 2009.
Yilmaz is the fourth man to win the Porelli Trophy for the second time and just the second to do so in back-to-back years. The other three were Marco Baldi of ALBA Berlin (2009 and 2015), Jose Antonio Querejeta of Baskonia Vitoria-Gasteiz (2005 and 2016) and Paulius Motiejunas of Zalgiris Kaunas (2018 and 2019). This is also the third time the trophy has gone to an Efes executive, with club president Tuncay Ozilhan having received the award in 2013.