Watch now: Sam Dekker shares emotional message after winning FIBA Europe Cup | Basketball


With a rollercoaster year on the basketball court coming to a close, it didn’t take long after the final buzzer sounded Wednesday for former University of Wisconsin men’s basketball star Sam Dekker to appreciate how important it was to finish on a high note. 

After helping lead Bahcesehir College to the 2021-22 FIBA Europe Cup in Istanbul, Turkey, Dekker shared an emotional message on social media, admitting that he was in a “really dark place professionally” after being waived by the NBA’s Toronto Raptors in November. 

“I’ve had a lot of doubts over the last six, seven years; like a lot,” Dekker said in the video, “and also a lot of huge, amazing things to be grateful for, but being able to end this year, that didn’t start off great, on a high note is something to be really thankful for.”

Dekker contributed 12 points, five rebounds and an assist in 22 minutes as Bahcesehir College defeated Unahotels Reggio Emilia 90-74 in the second leg to claim the trophy with an aggregate score of 162-143. 

Dekker played one game in the NBA this season, logging just one minute for the Raptors after returning to the league following two seasons overseas. 

The Sheboygan native was drafted 18th overall in the 2015 NBA draft after three successful seasons at UW. He earned 2013 Big Ten All-Freshman team honors before being named to the All Big-Ten second team in both 2014 and 2015.

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