Today, we are with Mustafa Özben who is the world-famous sports announcer of Anadolu Efes. We thank Mustafa Özben for accepting our interview offer. We tried to ask all of the questions our followers’ curious about:
1-) How did you start this job?
Basketball has always been one of my main interests. I’ve always wanted to be in the basketball community. It was the time I was on a quest. One day I saw an advertisement for a special tournament in the newspaper. I said I called the Turkey Basketball Federation and I aspired to the announcement job. The same day they invited me to the basketball centre. Coincidentally, there was a friendly game in the basketball court that day. Before I realized what was happening, the microphone came and I made the announcements that day at that game. They liked it! I served as a volunteer in the tournament. Then I evaluated the offer from Anadolu Efes and I was a professional basketball announcer in October 2002.
2-) Is there anyone who you inspired by sports announcement? Also, who do you like in your job?
The announcer of the Detroit Pistons, John Mason and legendary ring announcer Michael Buffer. Recently, I like Bruce Buffer very much.
3-) You took part in both World Cups and Olympics. How does it feel to be so known in your job? Probably in your social life, there are people who want to know and talk about you, is there an interesting moment you have experienced?
Actually, I do not know exactly how well I am known. If I had done television work, I would probably be much more known. But people often recognize me by my voice. Yes, especially when starting this job, young people frequently contact and ask questions on social media. I try to help them as best I can. About 3 years ago, something interesting happened. A teenager in his 20’s came to me before a game. He said, “I was 9 years old, I was listening to your announcements and I liked it very much. I still listen fondly”. I said “Okay, how old are you now?” He said, “24”… My entire career passed before my eyes. It made me feel how much effort I put into this job. And of course, I’m getting old.
4-) Can you tell us about your changeover process from Fenerbahçe to Anadolu Efes?
I served both Fenerbahçe’s women and men basketball teams with great honor for 9 seasons until 2014 when I left Fenerbahçe. As in every season before the 2014-2015 season, I persistently asked the Fenerbahçe’s executives what our plan for the new season was, and when we would meet in order to advance by agreeing on the terms of the agreement when 2013-14 season is over. However, despite my long wait and insistence, I could not get a kind of return. At that time, an offer came from Anadolu Efes. I said that it would be right to wait with the club I have served for 9 years. Anadolu Efes received this with respect. However, when I could not get a return from Fenerbahçe, I turned to Anadolu Efes in the direction of “I can evaluate” the offer. When some other non-material details were agreed, the agreement was reached.
5-) Your job is a job that all basketball fans dream of. And usually, there are comments like “I can do this job too”. What are the difficult aspects of your job that people do not know?
First of all, you need to know basketball very well. You have to use the microphone and your voice with great skill. The announcer serves as an important bridge between the team on the court and the fans in the stands. If you know basketball well, if you filter the breaking moments well, if you are an effective guide to the correct use of the energy of the fans at the right time, then you can make serious contributions. These are, of course, very hard work. Many young people see it as a magical job… But it is a very difficult job! It also requires to know a little bit about psychology, mathematics and sociology. You have to train your brain-eye-voice coordination very well. You should also love this job wholeheartedly and put your heart into it. You must respect your work. People respect you as much as you respect your work.
6-) What are your favorite players to announce their names?
Considering my entire career, Damir Mrsic, Cedi Osman, Hidayet Türkoğlu, Mirsad Türkcan, Kerem Gönlüm, Ömer Onan, Willie Solomon, Birsel Vardarlı, Cappie Pondexter, Diana Taurasi, LeBron James .. And Kobe Bryant.
7-) Is there an unforgettable moment in your career?
Of course, there are special moments, maybe thousands… But there is not a moment that I can’t forget. My basic philosophy is: Every match is the first match for me …
😎 How will it feel for you that most of the matches will be played without fans this year?
Pretty odd. Recently, I announced my first games both in the Euroleague and in the Basketball Super League of this season. Frankly, I have very different feelings. I hope we can see our fans as soon as possible. Otherwise, my job is very difficult.
9-) Do you think Anadolu Efes will be able to win the Euroleague this season?
One word: yes!
Onat Orhan Selvi