|Team: NON-NBA College Team: Turk Telekom|
H: 6' 10"|
W: 260 lbs
(36 Years Old)
|Agent: Misko Raznatovic ||
Hometown: Korce, Albania
A team looking for a banger in the mold of Fabricio Oberto to bring in for cheap might decide to look in the direction of Albanian/Turkish big man Ermal Kuqo (pronounced koo-cho). Kuqo is also known as Ermal Kurtoglu since having received a Turkish passport. While not considering a particularly quick or athletic player, he’s a tough guy who likes to push players around and has shown to be effective at the highest levels of European basketball, including the Turkish National team.
Kuqo played Junior College basketball in the States (at Fort Scott CC and Seminole JC) but never became eligible to play D-1 from the NCAA’s standpoint due to his professional background. Since his American adventure he’s played in Croatia, Slovenia and in Turkey with Efes Pilsen for the last four years. He considers himself an Albanian through and through, though, and is often looked at as an ambassador of sorts for a culture that has had to deal with hardships over the years.
In terms of his skill level, Kuqo can find some production with his back to the basket (despite his fairly basic footwork) or facing the basket, thanks to a nice jump-shot with range that extends to the 3-point line. He’s usually never the most talented player on the floor, but he often is the most physical and hardest working, setting good screens, knocking guys around, and presenting himself as a threat on the pick and roll. He boxes out well thanks to his strength and frame, but often comes up a bit flat-footed for rebounds.
If this doesn’t sound like the most attractive prospect in the world—he probably isn’t—but considering his size, strength, experience, toughness and ability to knock down a jumper, teams could probably do worse than to consider him in the 1-1.5 million dollar range.