A Conversation with Boston Celtics’ Enes Kanter

A Conversation with Boston Celtics’ Enes Kanter, February 28, 2020, Tufts University





Enes Kanter is a Swiss-born Turkish professional basketball player for the Boston Celtics of the National Basketball Association (NBA).  At the age of 17, Kanter moved to the United States to play basketball. He attended Findlay Prep in Henderson, Nevada and then Mountain State Academy in Beckley, West Virginia. He was not allowed to play high school basketball at both schools because of a Nike shoe contract while he was a professional basketball player. Kanter then attended Stoneridge Preparatory School in Simi Valley, California, where he was able to play basketball for a season. From 2010 to 2011, Kanter attended one year of college at the University of Kentucky, although he was declared permanently ineligible to play (or even practice) with the basketball team by the NCAA. Same year, he decided to join the NBA and was originally selected as the 3rd overall pick of the 2011 NBA draft by the Utah Jazz. In his NBA career, he played for Utah Jazz, Oklahoma City Thunder, New York Knicks, Portland Trailblazers and Boston Celtics. Other than his professional basketball career, Enes is a dedicated democracy and human rights activist focusing on freedom of speech, due process, religious rights violations both in his hometown Turkey and around the globe. He also started his own foundation, the Enes Kanter Foundation, in 2016. The Enes Kanter Foundation fosters awareness and helps children's development through education, poverty alleviation, social harmony across the globe.


Neil Swidey (A’91) is a bestselling author and award-winning Boston Globe Magazine staff writer. His most recent book, Trapped Under the Sea, was named one of the best books of the year by Amazon and Booklist. He’s also the author of The Assist, named one of the best books of the year by the Washington Post, and a coauthor of Last Lion: The Fall and Rise of Ted Kennedy. His writing has been featured in The Best American Science WritingThe Best American Crime Writing, and The Best American Political Writing. A graduate of Tufts, he teaches journalism at Brandeis University. As an outgrowth of his first book, he founded the Alray Scholars Program, a mentoring and scholarship nonprofit that gives low-income Boston students a second chance at college.