MACOMB, Ill. - Western Illinois women's basketball alum Tugba Palazoglu qualified for the 2012 London Olympic Games as a member of the Turkish Women's National Basketball Team. The shooting guard made 'The Fairies of the Net's' 12-person roster to achieve the honor.
She is the second Western Illinois women's basketball player in program history to qualify for the Olympics. Her former teammate Zane (Teilane) Tamane was the first, appearing in the 2008 Olympics in Beijing with the Latvian Women's National Basketball Team. Turkey opens pool play on July 28th against Angola and faces the United States on August 1st. Turkey will play five games as part of Group A. Eight of the 12 teams will advance to the quarterfinals after pool play.
Palazoglu transferred to Western Illinois after spending two years at Barton County Community College and played at Western in the 2001-02 and 2002-03 seasons. As a junior, she led the team with a 38.9 shooting percentage beyond the 3-point arc, was third on the team in points per game with 10.2 and was one of four returners who averaged double-digit scoring.
The Bolu, Turkey, native was awarded Second Team All-Mid-Continent Conference honors as a senior after leading the league in assists with 5.93 per game. She started 24 games, appeared in 27, led the team in assists with 142, averaged 9.9 points per game and was second on the team in steals with 65.
Palazoglu scored a career high 22 points against Saint Louis (Jan. 8, 2002), pulled down a career high seven rebounds against IUPUI (Jan. 25, 2003), dished out a career high 14 assists against Oral Roberts (Mar. 3, 2003) and tallied a career high seven steals against Chicago State (Jan. 14, 2002).
She started 53 games, appearing in a total of 58, tallying 1,699 minutes. The guard ranks tenth in the Western Illinois women's basketball record book with 75 career three-pointers made and fourth with .384 (75-for-195) in three-point field goal percentage. In her career, she scored a total of 583 points, 253 assists and 108 steals. Palazoglu still ranks fourth among the Western season leaders those 142 assists during her senior year.