Gators Secure Fifth Newcomer in Elif Portakal

Elif Portakal (pronounced: ee-LEAF POOR-ta-call), a native of Istanbul, Turkey signed a National Letter of Intent to attend the University of Florida for the 2016-17 season, UF Head Coach Amanda Butler announced today.

Portakal, a 5-9 point guard, was the starter and team captain for the Galatasaray U18 and U16 teams that won the Turkish national championship, equivalent to winning a high school title in the United States.

At the 2014 U16 European Championships, Portakal averaged 6.9 points during the 22 minutes she averaged over Turkey’s nine games, converting 6-of-13 three-pointers (45.7 percent).

Portakal also played in the 2015 FIBA 3×3 U18 World Championships and her strengths were noted as her shooting, 1-on-1 abilities and passing skills.

Portakal is the fifth newcomer for the Gators, as she joins Sydney Morang, Funda Nakkasoglu, Sydney Searcy and Delicia Washington, each of whom has already officially committed to the program.

Coach Butler on Portakal:

“Elif is a strong, confident, dynamic point guard with tremendous international experience. Her personality and values match our culture perfectly. Elif is very explosive with the ball in her hands. She’s very aggressive and plays a surprisingly physical style for a European player. She’s aggressive driving to the rim, has great versatility, can shoot, can pass and can run a team. Elif is a very complete player and a good leader. As she learns and becomes more comfortable with her teammates and our system, she will become a great vocal presence for us on the court.”

Florida Gators Incoming Class, at a Glance

  • Sydney Morang (5-10, Wing, New Providence, N.J. / New Providence High School)
  • Funda Nakkasoglu (5-7, Guard, Hampton, Victoria, Australia / Utah State University / St. Leonard’s)
  • Elif Portakal (5-9, Point Guard, Istanbul, Turkey / Bayramasa Lisesi)
  • Sydney Searcy (5-7, Guard, Ponte Vedra Beach, Florida / Nease High School)
  • Delicia Washington (5-10, Guard, Glen St. Mary, Florida / Baker County High School)

Coach Amanda Butler on Twitter