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Memo Okur skipped school and played Atari for 19 straight days as a kid

Everyone's favorite former Pistons from Turkey liked to play A LOT of video games as a kid.

This is a good time to point out that Mehmet Okur's official web site,, is freaking awesome. His biography section pretty much covers everything from his great-grandparents down through his childhood, where you'll find little nuggets like this:

To say that Mehmet was an excellent student would be to stretch the truth. When he was in junior high school the big craze were Atari Game Halls that had popped up all over the bigger cities in Turkey. Every morning Nimet Okur would prepare and dress his son for school. And for 19 days Mehmet would spend the day at the Atari halls or playing soccer. He loved being a goalie in soccer. He also loved playing the Atari games. However kids needed to be in school more than they needed to be in Atari halls. Mehmet always the quick thinker was well aware of this. Therefore he did his best to cover his tracks. He would get home in time for the postman to get the notices of absentees sent from school and to dispose of them before Abdullah or Nimet Okur got a whiff of them. Everyday the school would send a boy to the Atari Hall to tell Mehmet to get to school immediately, and everyday Mehmet would tell the kid to go back to school before he got mad. Finally on the 19th day the notice got to Mehmet’s parents just in time, as if had had missed 20 straight days of school he would have been expelled.

And hey, if that's a little too folksy for your jaded eyes, you can also just linger on the obligatory pictures of his model wife. Girls always go for older men, and he's got that 26-going-on-40 look down pat.

Run, don't walk, to!