Enes Kanter is no stranger to being the subject of threats, but the Boston Celtics center hasn't taken threats toward his NY basketball clinic lightly.
The Turkish government cast a broadside at NBA player Enes Kanter on Thursday, calling the Boston Celtics center a "liar" and a member of a "cult" and terrorist organization after he accused the Turkish Consulate in NY of frightening a mosque out of hosting a free youth basketball camp.
Mike Balboni, spokesman for the mosque, tells News 12 that nobody at the Islamic Center was threatened.
Kanter tweeted that he was supposed to give the clinic this coming weekend for more than 300 children "as part of charity and giving back to all communities". As part of his message, he noted that the Islamic Center of Long Island chose to cancel the event after the Turkish consulate in New York City threatened the mosque.
Kanter said the consulate sent "goons" and "thugs" to the Islamic Center of Long Island to halt the clinic in retaliation of his clashes with Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan.
An NBA player claims that threats from the Turkish consulate has forced one of his free camps on Long Island to be moved.
According to Kanter, more than 300 kids in NY were expected to attend the camp, which would have been the 34th he had hosted this offseason.
Alper Aktas, the Turkish consul general in NY, categorically denied Kanter's account.
Rep. Peter King says he was "very disappointed" that the Islamic Center backed down from the Turkish government. Kanter and his family have been outspoken supporters of Gülen and his movement, which espouses a more tolerant Islam and has been persecuted in Turkey under Erdogan, who blames Gülen followers for a 2016 coup attempt. Kanter also pointed out that a group of "goons" were sent to the facility. According to the New York Daily News, the camp will now be hosted at the Island Garden on Sunday afternoon in West Hempstead. "I hope in the future the communities in America realize they have freedom and do not have to bow down to dictatorship".
Kathleen Rice was anything but on the sidelines - she stepped in to help Kanter find a new location.
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