Updated, 4:45 p.m. | Former Knicks player Enes Kanter has moved his youth basketball camp to Island Garden Basketball, an indoor arena in New York, according to his manager.
The new Boston Celtics center had canceled a free camp at the Islamic Center of Long Island ahead of this weekend after threats from the Turkish consulate in New York, Kanter said.
New York Rep. Kathleen Rice was anything but on the sidelines — she stepped in to help Kanter find a new location.
“My office is working with Enes Kanter to find an alternative location,” she said in a Thursday tweet, calling the situation “shameful.”
This is shameful. My office is working with @EnesKanter to find an alternative location nearby that can host his camp.These kids deserve this opportunity. Stay tuned for an update. #NY04 https://t.co/ZF2koxv6vJ — Kathleen Rice (@RepKathleenRice) July 25, 2019
Later Thursday, after the new arena was secured, Rice told Heard on the Hill in a statement, “I’m glad I could help Enes find a new location for his camp and I look forward to supporting his advocacy against President Erdogan’s authoritarianism.”
Kanter, who’s Turkish, has been vocal about his disdain for Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan. He revoked the basketball player’s passport in 2017 and put a warrant out for the 27-year-old’s arrest, making it difficult for the basketball player to travel internationally for work.
Just last week Kanter responded to a tweet about Erdogan by saying he “can’t have a heart attack, he doesn’t have a heart.”
“I am even more disappointed in the mosque for not calling the police on these thugs,” Kanter said of the basketball camp cancelation in a Twitter statement.
Kanter was on Capitol Hill this week meeting with members of Congress, including Massachusetts Sen. Ed Markey and Oregon Sen. Ron Wyden. (Kanter played for the Portland TrailBlazers last season.) They discussed human rights, free speech and Kanter’s ability to travel outside of the U.S. for the upcoming NBA season.
Kanter has tweeted out several photos with various lawmakers thanking them for their support.
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