CSKA signed Mensah-Bonsu

CSKA signed former Toronto Raptors forward-center Pops Mensah-Bonsu (26 years, 206 cm). The player with British passport will be officially added to our team's roster after medical examinations.

Mensah-Bonsu (his full name is Nana Papa Yaw Dwene Mensah-Bonsu) was born in London in Ghanian family. He started his career in English league as a junior, then left to US as a 15-year old, finished high school and played for George Washington University. The injury in his senior year did not allow him to be drafted by the NBA club but still he signed with Dallas in summer of 2006. Pops got the chance to play for Mavs in 2007 only, spending most of the season in D-league Fort Worth. Mensah-Bonsu played for Benetton Treviso during the 2007-08 season and started the next season in Joventut Badalona. He played for Catalan team in two Euroleague games only becoming the 2nd Round MVP (23 points, 14 rebounds vs Lottomatica), got the shoulder injury and was waived by Joventut. Pops returned to D-league upon his recovery, played for Austin and catched the eye of San Antonio Spurs who signed him on the short-term contract. Center started 2009-10 season in Houston, then moved to Toronto as a substitute for injured Reggie Evans. Raptors waived Pops on January, 5th upon Evans' recovery. Mensah-Bonsu NBA averages in 54 games are 3.3 points, 3.1 rebounds, 0.3 blocked shots in 8.8 minutes.

Mensah-Bonsu is a leader of Great Britain National Team. The player became the best scorer of the team during Eurobasket 2009 (13.3 points, 4.0 rebounds).

It is expected that Mensah-Bonsu will arrive to Moscow on Thursday to pass the medical examinations and will be added to CSKA roster upon receiving positive results. It should be mentioned that he will not play in the game vs Caja Laboral.

Natalia Furaeva, PBC CSKA Vice President:
"Mensah-Bonsu addition was one of our priorities on this stage of the season. Pops qualities are exactly those we were looking for: being the power forward he is able to play center thanks to his athleticism, leaping abilities and power. We used the chance to sign him just after he cleared waivers in NBA. It is important to mention that Mensah-Bonsu is not just the player from oversees, but he has a great expirience of playing in Europe, both for the clubs and for his National Team. That will help him to understand our game principles better. Besides, the people who know him, are praising his personal qualities. It is worth mentioning that he is a hard-working player who was a fan-favorite in all the clubs he played for. I hope he will become integrated to our team very soon and will help us. We are also considering that Matjaz Smodis will help us but we cannot give any predictions for now. Matjaz will have medical tests soon which will help us to estimate the terms of his comeback."

Evgeny Pashutin, CSKA Head Coach:
"Pops is a well-known player who played for Toronto Raptors and British National Team this season. We need to add some power under the basket right now, to improve our rebounding and low-post play bot on offense and defense. Dima Sokolov is not in his best shape after injury yet, and Sasha Kaun needs more help. It is important that Pops is an athletic player who are in good shape - in fact he is an active NBA player who just left the Raptors. We had a phone conversation, we discussed some basketball matters, but the main point was that he wants to play for CSKA, to help the team, to show himself and he believes that he has got a big chance. It is important also that he knows Langdon, Holden, Siskauskas and thus it will be easier for him to feel himself comfortable in our team. I'd like to mention that we do not expect him to surprise everyone but we are sure that he is able to help."