Popa played for Dinamo Bucureşti in his native Romania before going overseas to play college basketball in the United States for the University of Miami. The tallest person ever to play for the Hurricanes, he was twice a third team All-Big East selection.
In large part on the strength of a highly effective hook shot, he was selected by the L.A. Clippers with the 53rd pick in the 1995 NBA Draft. In the same year he was selected by the Miami Tropics of the USBL as a first round territorial selection (4th pick overall). He never ended up playing a game in either league, although he did play for the Florida Beachdogs of the American CBA, where he developed somewhat of a cult fan following.
Although not Jewish, he obtained Israeli citizenship as his wife is Jewish.
Popa retired from professional basketball in 2001. He served 4 seasons as assistant coach of the University of Indianapolis Greyhound Women's basketball team, before becoming head coach in April 2011.
Currently, his son, Bogdan, followed his legacy and also play professional basketball as a center for CSA Steaua București of the Romanian league.
Awards and achievements
- Romanian Junior National Team – 87–90
- Romanian National Team – 87–92
- European Championships – 87
- European Championships for Juniors – 90(2)
- Big East Conf. 3rd Team – 93, 95
- French ProA Champion – 96
- Israeli League Champion – 98, 99, 00
- Israeli Cup Winner – 99, 00
- Euroleague Finalist – 00
- Israeli State Cup Finalist – 01
- Israeli League Finalist – 01
- "CONSTANTIN POPA (C, 7-3, 235) University of Miami '95". University of Pau and Pays de l'Adour. Retrieved 12 January 2014.
- "2009-10 Women's Basketball Coaching Staff". Retrieved May 22, 2014.
- Romanian Basketball Hall of Fame @ eurobasket.com
- Photos of Constantin Popa on basketball trading card from 1995
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