Former Colonials forward Pops Mensah-Bonsu was a major offensive catalyst for Turkey’s Besiktas professional basketball team’s Turkish Cup victory Saturday, defeating Banvit 79-74.
Mensah-Bonsu, who signed with Besiktas in December, posted a crucial double-double in the semifinals of the tournament, netting 18 points and pulling down 19 boards against Galatasaray to reach the final. The forward continued his impressive play in the final, posting another double-double with 11 points and 12 rebounds.
The Turkish Cup victory caps Mensah-Bonsu’s comeback from a shoulder injury that sidelined him for six months last year, relegating the Great Britain native to the sidelines while his national team competed at last year’s EuroBasket in Lithuania.
“I just want to thank GOD for everything he has done for me, this last year has been difficult but my faith was strong and always believed!!!,” Mensah-Bonsu tweeted Saturday.
BallinEurope.com calls the 28-year old forward “a key man in the British set-up with the Olympics just several months away.” Mensah-Bonsu, who returned to Foggy Bottom for this year’s Colonials Invasion, was a fan-favorite at GW. Known for his skill at blocking shots and slamming back dunks, he averaged 12.6 points and 6.7 rebounds in his final season for the Colonials. GW went 26-2 overall that season and did not lose an Atlantic 10 game before falling in the second round of the 2006 NCAA Tournament to top seeded Duke.
Mensah-Bonsu hasn’t lost his style, seen below slamming home a commanding dunk this season:
This article was updated on February 20, 2012 to reflect the following:
The Hatchet incorrectly reported that Besiktas defeated Turk Telekom at the Turkish Cup final. The team defeated Banvit.