Blackmon Signs Pro Deal in Turkey


Former SFU basketball standout and 2020 NEC Player-of-the-Year Isaiah Blackmon has signed a professional contract with Besiktas Sompo Japan Istanbul of the Turkish Basketball Super League.

He enters the pro ranks after a stellar career at SFU, one in which he helped lead the Flash to last year’s NEC championship game.

Blackmon, who overcame two serious knee injuries during his collegiate career, ranks seventh on SFU’s all-time scoring list with 1,606 points. Last season, he averaged 18.8 ppg and became the third player in program history to earn NEC Player-of-the-Year honors.

“It’s still just a game, they just pay you to do it now,” said Blackmon about his opportunity in Turkey.

Besiktas finished in eighth place in the Turkish BSL last season with an 11-12 record.

“It’s a young team and I want to help us get past the playoffs and make it to the Euro Cup,” said Blackmon.

It has been an adjustment period for the Charlotte, North Carolina, native since arriving in Istanbul. 

“It is completely different, all the way to the food, things to do in your free time, and their pace of life. Everything they do is relaxed and they really take their time.”

While Blackmon notes that people in Turkey are relaxed off the court, the challenge on the court is significant for the former SFU star in this very good international league. Blackmon said he needs “to match the other players’ intensity” in order to enjoy success.