Former New Mexico star Alex Kirk’s go-ahead basket in the final minute led Turkey’s Anadolu Efes past Greece’s Olympiacos 73-71 in the EuroLeague quarterfinals.
The 7-0, 245-pound center, who finished the game with 6 points, 4 rebounds and a block, saved his best for last, hitting the game-winner to allow Anadolu Efes to tie the series at 1-1.
Tyler Honeycutt (UCLA) led Turkey with 15 points and 9 rebounds in the victory.
For Olympiacos, Georgios Printezis and Vassilis Spanoulis scored 20 points each in the loss.
But the star of the game was Kirk.
Anadolu Efes also plays in the Turkish BSL league, where Kirk is averaging 8.9 points, 2.9 rebounds, and 1 block.
The big man comes from the China CBA, where he averaged 17.2 points, 9.5 rebounds, and 2 blocks for Guangzhou this season.
Despite the strong production in China, Kirk was released after Guangzhou got off to a miserable 0-7 start and decided to shake up the team by jettisoning their two import players, Kirk and Ryan Boatright (UConn).
Boatright was averaging 24 points a game before he was let go by the club.
Before coming to China, Kirk played in Italy’s Serie A league, averaging 16.3 points, 7.6 rebounds, and 1.3 blocks for Flexx Pistoia and was named to the Italian All-Star team.
A college star at New Mexico, Kirk led the team in rebounding as a junior, averaging 13.3 points and 8.7 rebounds to guide the Lobos to a 27-7 record and the 2014 NCAA Tournament.
He was also a two-time All-Mountain West and MW All-Defensive Team selection.
Unpicked in the 2014 Draft, Kirk played part of the 2014-15 season with the Cavs.
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