Pops Mensah-Bonsu: Wikis

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Pops Mensah-Bonsu
Pops.jpg
Mensah-Bonsu with DKV Joventut
PBC CSKA Moscow
Forward-Center
Born 7 September 1983 (1983-09-07) (age 26)
Tottenham, London, England
Nationality British
Listed height 6 ft 9 in (2.06 m)
Listed weight 235 lb (107 kg)
League Euroleague
High school St. Augustine
College George Washington
Draft Undrafted, 2006
Pro career 2006–present
Former teams Fort Worth Flyers (2006–07)
Dallas Mavericks (2007)
Benetton Treviso (2007–08)
CB Granada (2008)
DKV Joventut (2008)
Austin Toros (2009)
San Antonio Spurs (2009)
Toronto Raptors (2009, 2009–10)
Houston Rockets (2009)
Awards 2003 BB&T Classic All-Tournament Team
2005 A-10 All Conference Second Team
2005 A-10 All-Championship Team
2006 A-10 All Conference First Team
D-League All Star Game MVP 2007

Nana Papa Yaw Dwene "Pops" Mensah-Bonsu (born 7 September 1983), is a British professional basketball player of Ghanaian descent, currently signed to CSKA Moscow.

Contents

Basketball career

Amateur career

After starting out as a junior at the English Basketball League club Hackney White Heat, Mensah-Bonsu moved to the USA. He spent his sophomore year of high school playing at the Hun School of Princeton in Princeton, New Jersey, then transferred to St. Augustine College Preparatory School in Richland, New Jersey. He majored in psychology at the George Washington University, where he played power forward and center. He was second team all-conference in 2004–05 and averaged around 15 points per game for his career. He was best known for explosive dunks and became a favorite of ESPN SportsCenter host Scott Van Pelt, who would often mention Mensah-Bonsu at the end of telecasts.

At George Washington, Mensah-Bonsu helped lead the Colonials to the 2005 NCAA Tournament, where they lost in the first round. The next season was more successful, with the team ending the regular season 26–1 and being ranked in the national top 10 for the first time in 50 years. However, he suffered a knee injury near the end of the regular season and he did not return until the 2006 NCAA Tournament, where the injury lessened his production. The injury probably led to Mensah-Bonsu not being drafted by an NBA team. GW lost to Duke in the second round of the NCAA tournament after defeating University of North Carolina Wilmington.

Pro career

Mensah-Bonsu initially signed a two-year contract with the Dallas Mavericks,[1] and played for the Fort Worth Flyers, the NBA D-League affiliate of the Mavericks. He made the D-League All Star Team and was MVP of the game, with 30 points and 7 rebounds.

Mensah-Bonsu was recalled to the Mavericks on 8 February 2007. He scored his first NBA points against the Atlanta Hawks.

For the 2007–08 season, he played with the Italian Serie A team Benetton Treviso, averaging 8.3 points and 9.2 rebounds, shooting 59% from the floor and 77% from the free-throw line.[2] During the following summer, there was much uncertainty whether he would return to the NBA or sign a contract in Spain, but he finally inked a one-year deal with the Spanish ACB team DKV Joventut.[3] He was released in December due to a shoulder injury, after averaging 18.5 points per game in 2 league matches.

In February 2009, Mensah-Bonsu began playing with the Austin Toros, the San Antonio Spurs NBA D-League affiliate.[4] In his eight games with the Toros, Mensah-Bonsu averaged 26.6 points, 13.0 rebounds, and 2.5 blocks per game. On 25 February, he signed a 10 day contract with the San Antonio Spurs.[5] On 4 March 2009 the Spurs released Mensah-Bonsu.[6]

In March 2009, the Toronto Raptors picked up Mensah-Bonsu, giving him a guaranteed contract until the end of the season. Pops made his debut with the Raptors the same day, against the Miami Heat, posting 4 points and 10 rebounds. He became a fan favorite with the Raptors.[7]

On 21 August 2009, Mensah-Bonsu verbally agreed to a deal to join the Houston Rockets for the 2009-10 season to provide frontcourt depth after the injury to Yao Ming. The signing was made official on 3 September 2009. On 13 November Mensah-Bonsu was released from his Houston Rockets contract, and on 17 November he re-signed with the Toronto Raptors after being picked up on waivers.[8] On January 5, 2010, he was released by the Raptors to make room for their returning injured reserves,[9] and signed with PBC CSKA Moscow.

British national team

Mensah-Bonsu was part of the Great Britain national basketball team that qualified for the Eurobasket 2009. During qualification he averaged 12.2 points, 10 rebounds and 1.8 blocks.

In 2009 Mensah-Bonsu joined the British squad for their first appearance in the Eurobasket Tournament. The team lost all three of their first round games but were competitive throughout including a very close game with current world champions Spain.

Personal life

In the Ghanaian language Twi, Mensah-Bonsu's name means King (Nana) Father (Papa) Thursday Born (Yaw) Three (Mensah) Whale (Bonsu). In several interviews Mensah-Bonsu has suggested that his family earned its surname when an ancestor slew a whale.[10]

Mensah-Bonsu has a number of nicknames, including "King Whale Killer" from his name's meaning and "Big Daddy," popularized by Toronto play-by-play announcer Matt Devlin and other commentators.[11]

Having been born and brought up in North London, England, Mensah-Bonsu is a big fan of Tottenham Hotspur.[12]

NBA career statistics

Legend
  GP Games played   GS  Games started  MPG  Minutes per game
 FG%  Field-goal percentage  3P%  3-point field-goal percentage  FT%  Free-throw percentage
 RPG  Rebounds per game  APG  Assists per game  SPG  Steals per game
 BPG  Blocks per game  PPG  Points per game  Bold  Career high

Regular season

Year Team GP GS MPG FG% 3P% FT% RPG APG SPG BPG PPG
2006–07 Dallas 12 0 5.9 .647 .000 .389 1.8 .0 .1 .0 2.4
2008–09 San Antonio 3 0 6.7 .714 .000 .714 3.3 .0 .3 .3 5.0
2008–09 Toronto 19 0 13.8 .354 .000 .683 5.4 .3 .4 .2 5.1
2009–10 Houston 4 0 3.3 .250 .000 .500 1.0 .3 .2 .2 1.3
2009–10 Toronto 16 0 6.7 .414 .000 .556 1.9 .1 .2 .5 2.1
Career 54 0 8.8 .412 .000 .589 3.1 .2 .3 .3 3.3

References

  1. ^ "Mavs hop on Pops, sign forward Mensah-Bonsu". http://sports.espn.go.com/nba/news/story?id=2538627. Retrieved 4 August 2006.  
  2. ^ Benetton makes 'Pops' Mensah-Bonsu official (Italian)
  3. ^ Mensah-Bonsu bets on DKV Joventut (Spanish)
  4. ^ D-League bio
  5. ^ "Spurs Sign Pops Mensah-Bonsu". NBA.com. 25 February 2009. http://www.nba.com/spurs/news/mensahbonsu_signed_090225.html. Retrieved 5 March 2009.  
  6. ^ "Spurs Release Pops Mensah-Bonsu". NBA.com. 3 March 2009. http://www.nba.com/spurs/mensah_bonsu_released_090304.html. Retrieved 5 March 2009.  
  7. ^ "Raptors' fan favourite Mensah-Bonsu back with Toronto" Financial Post
  8. ^ "Mensah-Bonsu rejoins Raptors, Turkoglu out". USA Today. November 17, 2009. Retrieved on November 17, 2009.
  9. ^ "Raptors Release Forward Mensah-Bonsu". NBA.com. 5 January 2010. http://www.nba.com/raptors/news/mensahbonsu_release_010510.html.  
  10. ^ George Washington back on the national scene, USAToday.com
  11. ^ HoopHeadsNorth
  12. ^ Tottenham Hotspur official site

External links

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