CSKA returns Joel Freeland back to Europe

Center/forward Joel Freeland (28 y.o., 208 cm) signed 2-year contract with our club upon the expiration of his agreement with the Portland Trail Blazers.

Freeland started playing basketball in his native England but started his pro career in junior team of Gran Canaria, making his debut in Spanish EBA League at the age of 18. Next year the British player was selected by Portland in the first round (30th pick overall) of the NBA Draft and was promoted to the first Gran Canaria. In 2009 he moved to Unicaja Malaga and immediately showed himself in Euroleague. Freeland was on of Great Britain National Team leaders during home Olympics in 2012 averaging 14.6 points and 6.6 rebounds, he left playing overseas after that.

The first NBA season was not easy for Joel as he did not receive much playing time and played a couple of games for the Idaho Stampede in D-League. Little by little Freeland earned himself a spot in regular rotation and started some games. In three seasons the player took part in 151 games (9 starts) for Portland averaging 3.2 points (45.9% FG, 72.8% FT), 3.4 rebounds, 0.4 assists, 0.2 steals, 0.4 blocked shots in 12.1 minutes.

Dimitris Itoudis, CSKA head coach:
Joel is coming to Moscow after we talked several times by phone. I explained him that our idea is that he replaces Sasha Kaun on our roster. Freeland already has Euroleague experience of playing for Unicaja Malaga where he had good numbers, he spent three years in the NBA. He played mostly at power forward position but he feels comfortable playing center and this is where we plan to use him primarily. He has size, knowledge, athleticism to cover both spots. I am pretty sure that he is able to accomplish the goals we set for him. Joel is excited to join us, ready to work hard and fulfill his duties. I think he is a good addition to our team.

Joel Freeland, CSKA center/forward:
I am really excited and happy to come back to Europe and to sign for such unbelievable team like CSKA Moscow. It is a privilege to be a part of this great organization and I will definitely not take it lightly, I am going to work hard to help my team reach its goals. I know how hard CSKA worked to obtain me and that makes me even more emotional, it showed me that the club really wanted me to be there. I am sure that we have great season ahead of us.