Pinewood grad Sebnem Kimyacioglu qualifies for Rio Olympics


Stanford and Pinewood School grad Sebnem Kimyacioglu helped Turkey clinch the country's second Olympic berth at the recently concluded 2016 FIBA Women's Olympic Qualifying Tournament (WOQT) in Nantes, France.

The top five squads in the 12-team tournament punched tickets to Rio and Turkey earned its second trip by virtue of a 71-45 victory over Cuba on Friday.

Sebnem Kimyacioglu
In its first taste of Olympic action four years ago, Turkey finished second in its group before falling to Russia in the quarterfinals, 66-63.

In qualification, Kimyacioglu was third on the team in scoring, averaging 9.7 points on 55.6 percent shooting (10-of-18), including a 56.2 percent clip from behind the arc (9-of-16).

She scored 11 points on 4-of-4 shooting, grabbed four rebounds and handed out three assists in a 66-38 win against Argentina to open the tournament on June 14. The next day she chipped in nine in a 72-46 rout of Cameroon before scoring the same number in the Rio-clinching toppling of Cuba two days later.

For a video highlight, visit the FIBA YouTube channel.

Olympic play starts August 6 and Turkey was drawn into Group A along with France, Japan, Brazil, Australia and Belarus. Each team will play every other in its group with the top four advancing to the knockout rounds. Group B consists of Canada, Spain, the United States, Senegal, Serbia and China.

Stanford has had four of its players compete in the Olympics in addition to Hall of Fame head coach Tara VanDerveer, who guided Team USA to a 52-0 exhibition record and then to Olympic gold with a perfect 8-0 run at the 1996 Atlanta Games.

Jennifer Azzi and Katy Steding won gold with that United States team in 1996 and Jillian Harmon and Clare Bodensteiner represented New Zealand in Beijing in 2008. Harmon attempted to lead the Tall Ferns to another berth this year, but New Zealand didn't advance out of group play, falling to France (70-52) and Cuba (64-62).

Harmon led New Zealand in scoring (14.5), rebounding (9.0) and steals (1.0), was third in assists (2.0) and shot 42.3 percent from the field (11-of-26). In its close loss to Cuba on June 15, she dominated for the Tall Ferns, scoring 25 points and pulling down 14 rebounds.

— Stanford Athletics

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5 people like this
Posted by Puzzled
a resident of another community
on Jun 21, 2016 at 11:11 am

What sport was being played ?

Like this comment
Posted by WilliamR
a resident of another community
on Jun 21, 2016 at 1:21 pm

WilliamR is a registered user.

Women's basketball.

10 people like this
Posted by Whaaat?
a resident of Professorville
on Jun 21, 2016 at 1:24 pm

This person is not American, but went to American schools--only to represent Turkey?

2 people like this
Posted by Bewildered
a resident of Barron Park
on Jun 21, 2016 at 2:46 pm

Bewildered is a registered user.

@Puzzled--- I had the same question. Journalism ain't what it used to be.

Like this comment
Posted by Keith Peters
sports editor of the Palo Alto Weekly
on Jun 22, 2016 at 8:24 am

Keith Peters is a registered user.

She is an American and lived in this country most of her life, going to local schools. She has dual citizenship. She played locally at Pinewood School and at Stanford, making her a local story.

3 people like this
Posted by Really?
a resident of Another Palo Alto neighborhood
on Jun 22, 2016 at 12:25 pm

Does this mean it is simply EASIER for her to qualify to represent Turkey, than it is for her to qualify to compete for the US?

Sorry, but further commenting on this topic has been closed.

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