Pops Mensah-Bonsu

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Pops Mensah-Bonsu
Mensah-Bonsu with Galatasaray.
Free agent
Power forward / Center
Personal information
Born (1983-09-07) 7 September 1983 (age 31)
Tottenham, London, England
Nationality British
Listed height 6 ft 9 in (2.06 m)
Listed weight 235 lb (107 kg)
Career information
High school St. Thomas More Roman Catholic School
(London, England)
St. Augustine College Prep
(Richland, New Jersey)
College George Washington (2002–2006)
NBA draft 2006 / Undrafted
Pro career 2006–present
Career history
2006–2007 Dallas Mavericks
2006–2007 Fort Worth Flyers
2007–2008 Benetton Treviso
2008 Granada
2008 Joventut Badalona
2009 Austin Toros
2009 San Antonio Spurs
2009 Houston Rockets
2009–2010 Toronto Raptors
2010 CSKA Moscow
2010–2011 New Orleans Hornets
2011 ASVEL
2011–2012 Beşiktaş Milangaz
2013 CB Sevilla
2013 Emporio Armani Milano
2013–2014 Galatasaray Liv Hospital
Career highlights and awards
Stats at Basketball-Reference.com

Nana Papa Yaw Dwene "Pops" Mensah-Bonsu (born 7 September 1983) is a British professional basketball player of Ghanaian descent who last played for Galatasaray in the Turkish Basketball League.

Early life[edit]

Pops Mensah-Bonsu was educated at St. Thomas More Roman Catholic School. As a teenager, he represented the London Borough of Haringey at the London Youth Games, appearing in four of Great Britain's five games.[1]

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 graduated from St. Augustine Prep in 2002.

College career[edit]

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 12 points and 6 rebounds per game for his career, while also recording 141 blocked shots. 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.

Professional career[edit]

Early career[edit]

Mensah-Bonsu initially signed a two-year contract with the Dallas Mavericks,[2] 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.

Move to Europe[edit]

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.[3] He finished the season with CB Granada.[4]

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.[5] He was released in December due to a shoulder injury, after averaging 18.5 points per game in 2 league matches.

NBA career[edit]

In February 2009, Mensah-Bonsu began playing with the Austin Toros, the San Antonio Spurs NBA D-League affiliate.[6] 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.[7] On 4 March 2009 the Spurs released Mensah-Bonsu.[8]

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.[9]

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.[10] On 5 January 2010, he was released by the Raptors to make room for their returning injured reserves,[11] and signed with CSKA Moscow.

He returned to the NBA, where he played for the New Orleans Hornets, but was released in January 2011.

Second Spell in Europe[edit]

Pops played the remainder of the 2010-11 season for French team ASVEL.[12]

In December 2011 Mensah-Bosnu signed with Turkish side Beşiktaş Milangaz.[13] He played one season with the club, during which he won the Turkish Basketball League Championship, the Turkish Cup, the EuroChallenge Championship and the Turkish Basketball League Player of the Year award.

In August 2012 Pops signed with Maccabi Tel Aviv in Israel.[14] However, he was released from the team on September 19, 2012, before the season started, after physicals showed he had not recovered from injuries picked up during the Olympics.[15][16][17] Following shoulder surgery he signed with Spanish side CB Sevilla in March 2013[18] but left after just six games. Pops entered negotiations with Italian side Pallacanestro Varese [19] but instead joined Olimpia Milano for the remainder of the 2012-13 season.[20] He played his first game for Milano on 21 April 2013, an 85-67 win over Pallacanestro Biella.[21] He participated in the championship playoffs but Milano lost in the quarter finals 4-3 to Montepaschi Siena.

On 27 September 2013 Mensah-Bonsu briefly returned to the NBA, signing with the Washington Wizards for their 2013 training camp,[22] he participated in a number of their pre-season games, but was ultimately waived by the team on October 24.[23] Four days later he signed with Turkish side Galatasaray Liv Hospital,[24] and made his debut on October 31 in a Euroleague game against Unicaja Malaga, in which he scored 10 points.[25] His season with Galatasray was marred after an in-game fight with Olympiacos centre Mirza Begic on 28 November 2014.[26] He was banned for three games and ordered to pay a fine as a result. He sat out much of the later stage of the season with a knee injury.[27]

British national team[edit]

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.

Mensah-Bonsu was again part of the GB team in 2010 as they qualified for the Eurobasket 2011 with a 6–2 record. During qualification he led all Division A players with 13.5 rebounds per game, and also finished sixth in points (19.3), and blocks (1.3).[28] Mensah-Bonsu would miss out the finals of Eurobasket 2011 due to injury but rejoined the team for the 2012 Summer Olympics.[29]

2012 Olympics[edit]

Mensah-Bonsu was chosen as part of the 12-man British team for the 2012 Summer Olympics in London. He played in four games, scored 46 points and made 29 rebounds. He missed Britain's final group game - a 90-58 win over China - due to injury. Great Britain finished with a 1-4 record, failing to qualify for the knockout stage. [30][31]

Personal life[edit]

In the language Twi, Mensah-Bonsu's name means King (Nana) Father (Papa) Thursday-Born (Yaw) Third Son (Mensah) Whale (Bonsu). In several interviews Mensah-Bonsu has suggested that his family earned its surname when an ancestor slew a whale.[32]

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.[33]

Career statistics[edit]

  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  PIR  Performance Index Rating
 Bold  Career high

NBA career statistics[edit]

Regular season[edit]

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 .3 .3 1.3
2009–10 Toronto 16 0 6.7 .414 .000 .556 1.9 .1 .2 .5 2.1
2010–11 New Orleans 7 0 5.0 .333 .000 .000 1.6 .3 .0 .0 0.3
Career 61 0 8.3 .410 .000 .589 3.0 .2 .2 .2 3.0

Euroleague career statistics[edit]

2008–09 Joventut 2 1 27.6 .379 .000 .938 11.5 2.0 2.0 2.5 10.3 26.0
2009–10 CSKA 9 0 8.0 .500 .000 .500 1.3 .1 .7 .7 4.1 4.3
2013–14 Galatasaray 18 8 21.4 .571 .000 .585 6.5 .5 .4 .4 8.4 11.5
Career 29 9 17.6 .521 .000 .631 5.2 .5 .6 .6 7.8 10.3

See also[edit]


  1. ^ Cooper, Ian. "Tottenham Olympic basketball star hopes to inspire a generation". Tottenham and Wood Green Journal. Retrieved 31 August 2013. 
  2. ^ "Mavs hop on Pops, sign forward Mensah-Bonsu". Retrieved 4 August 2006. 
  3. ^ Benetton makes 'Pops' Mensah-Bonsu official (Italian)
  4. ^ CB Granada defeats Tau Cerámica and remains in ACB (Spanish)
  5. ^ Mensah-Bonsu bets on DKV Joventut (Spanish)
  6. ^ "D-League bio". Nba.com. 7 September 1983. 
  7. ^ "Spurs Sign Pops Mensah-Bonsu". NBA.com. 25 February 2009. Retrieved 5 March 2009. 
  8. ^ "Spurs Release Pops Mensah-Bonsu". NBA.com. 3 March 2009. Retrieved 5 March 2009. 
  9. ^ "Raptors' fan favourite Mensah-Bonsu back with Toronto" Financial Post
  10. ^ "Mensah-Bonsu rejoins Raptors, Turkoglu out". USA Today. 17 November 2009. Retrieved 17 November 2009.
  11. ^ "Raptors Release Forward Mensah-Bonsu". NBA.com. 5 January 2010. 
  12. ^ Pops Mensah-Bonsu à l'ASVEL (French)
  13. ^ GMT (5 December 2011). "GB's Pops Mensah-Bonsu signs for Besiktas of Istanbul". BBC News. 
  14. ^ "Maccabi Electra tabs veteran big man Mensah-Bonsu". Euroleague.net. 2 August 2012. 
  15. ^ "Maccabi Tel Aviv waives Pops Mensah-Bonsu". Sportando. Retrieved 19 September 2012. 
  16. ^ "Pops Mensah-Bonsu Released by Maccabi". maccabi.co.il. samintranslations.com. Retrieved 19 September 2012. 
  17. ^ "Eurobasket.com". 
  18. ^ "Pops Mensah-Bonsu joins CB Sevilla". 
  19. ^ "Pops Mensah-Bonsu signs with Varese court-side.com". 
  20. ^ "hoopsifx.com: Pops Mensah-Bonsu Joins Milano". 
  21. ^ "EUROBASKET Milano vs Biella". 
  22. ^ Wizards sign Josh Childress, Pops Mensah-Bonsu, Xavier Silas, D’Or Fischer to training camp
  23. ^ Wizards waive Josh Childress, Pops Mensah-Bonsu, Xavier Silas
  24. ^ "GALATASARAY brings in Mensah-Bonsu". Euroleague.net. Retrieved 28 October 2013. 
  25. ^ "Regular Season Round 3: Unicaja - Galatasaray". 
  26. ^ "Record and...beatings in the Stadium of Peace and Friendship". 
  27. ^ Galatasaray's Pops Mensah-Bonsu to miss at least 10 days
  28. ^ "Eurobasket 2011 qualifying statistics". Fibaeurope.com. 17 September 1985. 
  29. ^ Pops Mensah-Bonsu. "Great Britain Basketball - The Players : The Players - Men". Gbbasketball.com. 
  30. ^ "London2012.com - Pops Mensah-Bonsu". 
  31. ^ "London2012.com - Men's Basketball Game 28". 
  32. ^ George Washington back on the national scene, USAToday.com
  33. ^ "HoopHeadsNorth". HoopHeadsNorth. 19 March 2009. 

External links[edit]