Fenerbahce Beko Istanbul history
Founded in 1907, Fenerbahce opened its doors to basketball seven years later, but waited decades until it claimed its first titles. Eventually, Turkish national championships arrived in 1957, 1959 and 1965 and the club also made EuroLeague appearances following those titles. Another quarter-century passed before the club enjoyed more success when Fener beat Tofas for the 1991 Turkish League crown. With a strong team featuring Mahmoud Abdul-Rauf, Marko Milic, Ibrahim Kutluay and Conrad McRae, in 1999 Fenerbahce advanced to the EuroLeague playoff eighthfinals before losing to Real Madrid. The club reached the Korac Cup quarterfinals in 1996 and 2001, but it wasn't until 2006 that Fener truly became a European powerhouse. That is when Fenerbahce merged with Ulker, which had won four Turkish League titles between 1995 and 2006 with Kutluay, Harun Erdenay, Michael Anderson, Orhun Ene, Mirsad Turkcan and Serkan Erdogan among its stars. In the first two years of the new Fenerbahce Ulker, the team won the Turkish League and qualified for the EuroLeague Playoffs in 2008. Turkcan, Emir Preldzic, Omer Onan and Roko Ukic then secure domestic doubles in 2010 and 2011. The arrival of Coach Zeljko Obradovic led to another Turkish championship in 2014 and a year later Fenerbahce made history by reaching its first EuroLeague Final Four, seeing its memorable run halted in the semifinals by eventual champion Real Madrid. That was followed by three consecutive EuroLeague Championship Game appearances, losing an overtime thriller against CSKA in 2017 before becoming the first Turkish title-winner a year later, as Obradovic's men rolled past Real and Olympiacos Piraeus at the Final Four in their own city. Ekpe Udoh earned Final Four MVP honors, Obradovic conquered his ninth EuroLeague title with a fifth different team, and the celebrations saw millions of Fenerbahce fans partying throughout the world. Led by Kostas Sloukas, Jan Vesely, Luigi Datome and Nikola Kalinic, Fenerbahce reached its third straight EuroLeague title game against Real in 2019, this time finishing on the losing end. Obradovic departed a year later, but his spell in charge had helped transform Fenerbahce into a true European superpower that remains hungry for more success. Last season, Fenerbahce won its 10th Turkish League title but missed the EuroLeague Playoffs for the first time since 2014. The ever-ambitious Fenerbahce has started a new era by signing Dimitris Itoudis and should be hungrier than ever, too.