Yurtseven leaving NC State to pursue pro career or transfer

The Turkish center was one of the most improved players in the ACC this season while helping the Wolfpack to an unexpected NCAA tournament bid

NC State center Omer Yurtseven boxes out Wake Forest's Olivier Sarr during a game this season (Rob Kinnan/USA TODAY Sports)

Omer Yurtseven’s career with the NC State basketball program has come to an end.

According to a statement released by Wolfpack coach Kevin Keatts on Wednesday, the 7-foot center from Turkey has decided to either enter the NBA Draft or continue his college career at another school.

“Omer and I had an opportunity to visit and he expressed his intentions to either pursue a professional career or consider transferring from NC State,” Keatts said in the statement. “We will certainly grant his release.”

Yurtseven came to NC State as a five-star prospect, but struggled as a freshman after serving a nine-game NCAA suspension related to his participation with a Turkish club team by averaging just 5.9 points and 4.1 rebounds per game.

He entered the NBA Draft process following the season and went through the league’s pre-draft combine, but decided to return to the Wolfpack after Keatts was hired to replace Mark Gottfried as coach.

Yurtseven followed up a successful summer with the Turkish national team at the FIBA U20 European Championships in Greece by becoming one of the most improved players in the ACC — averaging 13.5 points and 6.8 rebounds while becoming a major cog in State’s unexpected run to the NCAA tournament.

“Omer made incredible strides this year, increasing his scoring in ACC play from 4.9 points per game to 14.9, improving his rebounding and hitting 46 percent from three-point range while developing into an All-ACC player,” Keatts said. “We wish him continued progress and success in his future.”