Pops Mensah-Bonsu retires from basketball

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Former Galatasaray, Besiktas and AEK Athens forward Pops Mensah-Bonsu has announced his retirement from basketball at the age of 32.

Mensah-Bonsu, who has also been capped 42 times by Great Britain is set to join the NBA Players Association as a regional representative, utilising the experience from when he was a player.

Via MVP 24/7:

There were five teams and six spells across the Atlantic following a superb collegiate stay at George Washington University, with his best NBA spell coming 2008-9 with Toronto where, over 19 games, he averaged 5.1 points and 5.4 rebounds.

He joined CSKA Moscow mid-way through the 2009-10 campaign and helped the Russian club to reach the Euroleague Final Four and later joined Turkey’s Besiktas in 2011, lifting the Turkish Cup and starring in their victorious conquest of the Eurochallenge trophy, as well becoming the MVP of the league’s All Star Game.

Mensah-Bonsu’s career, which began at Hackney White Heat as one of a cluster of future stars mentored by the late Joe White, ended enforcedly on a low following a two-year ban handed out for a doping infraction incurred last season at AEK Athens for use of a medication proscribed for Attention Deficit Disorder.

But at the relatively youthful age of 32,  and with some of his potential unfulfilled, he will still leave basketball with a reputation as one of the UK’s top performers of all time and a key figure in the inspirational group that took Great Britain from international irrelevance to a proud competitive force by the time the Olympics passed through his home city.