Celtics' Enes Kanter to Open Charter School in Oklahoma City

Scott Polacek@@ScottPolacekFeatured ColumnistJanuary 10, 2020

SALT LAKE CITY, UT - DECEMBER 11: Enes Kanter #11 of the Oklahoma City Thunder during the game against the Utah Jazz on December 11, 2015 at Vivint Smart Home Arena in Salt Lake City, Utah. NOTE TO USER: User expressly acknowledges and agrees that, by downloading and or using this Photograph, user is consenting to the terms and conditions of the Getty Images License Agreement. Mandatory Copyright Notice: Copyright 2015 NBAE (Photo by Melissa Majchrzak/NBAE via Getty Images)
Melissa Majchrzak/Getty Images

Former Oklahoma City Thunder big man Enes Kanter, who currently plays for the Boston Celtics, is reportedly planning to open a charter school in his former team's city. 

Nuria Martinez-Keel of The Oklahoman and the Associated Press reported the news, noting Kanter and a group of "civic-minded individuals" plan on submitting the application to the Oklahoma City Public Schools on Tuesday, where it will then be considered in a vote.

According to the AP, the school will primarily help "low-income minority students and those from immigrant families with limited English-speaking abilities."

The AP pointed out Kanter, who is a native of Turkey, has faced a number of challenges for being an outspoken critic of Turkish president Recep Tayyip Erdogan and his regime, including missing a game last season against the Toronto Raptors because he was afraid he could be arrested if he left the United States. The Turkish government revoked Kanter's passport, has labeled him a terrorist and put a warrant out for his arrest for his criticism, per the AP.

The school he proposed would be for students from the fourth through 12th grade and focus on reading, writing, math and science, as well as physical, emotional and mental health education.

"Despite playing for other teams, I continue to return to Oklahoma City to host my annual basketball summer camps and to support programs that serve the OKC children," Kanter wrote in a letter to the school district. "Through my foundation, my philanthropic activities extend to all of the cities where I have played for: Utah, Portland, New York, and Boston."

Kanter entered the league in 2011 as the No. 3 overall pick and has played for the Utah Jazz, Thunder, New York Knicks, Portland Trail Blazers and Celtics.

He played in OKC from 2015 to 2017 before he was traded to the Knicks as part of the deal that sent Carmelo Anthony to the Thunder.

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