Besiktas Swoop For Morrison

10 January 2012

EUROCHALLENGE

21. Marcelus Kemp (Besiktas Milangaz)
Will Morrison succesfully replace Marcelus Kemp, a versatile guard with rich European experience?

Turkish and EuroChallenge high-fliers Besiktas have added some scoring punch with the signing of Adam Morrison.

The Istanbul outfit is hoping the small forward, who played in the NBA from 2006 through 2010, can bolster the team's offense following the loss of Marcellus Kemp to injury.

"After Kemp's injury, we needed a player in that position," Besiktas coach Ergin Ataman said.

Morrison began this season with Red Star Belgrade but parted amicably with the club in November. He averaged 15.3 points per contest in the Adriatic League.

The 27-year-old was among the best players in American college basketball while at Gonzaga University in the state of Washington, where he was a teammate of France center Ronny Turiaf.

Morrison was outstanding with the Zags and shared the honor as the NCAA Player of the Year with Duke University's JJ Redick (Orlando Magic) after his junior season (2005-06).

He passed up his senior year and turned professional, and the Charlotte Bobcats drafted him third overall, but the 2.03m Morrison never hit the heights in the NBA although he was a reserve in the Los Angeles Lakers teams that captured titles in 2009-10.

Morrison made headlines for his performances on the court, and with his battle against diabetes, which he was diagnosed with at the age of 13.

"He has a diabetes issue from his childhood but it did not affect his career," Ataman said.

"He was with Red Star during the lockout and couldn't strike a deal with an NBA team afterwards.

"He's a good scorer.

"He's a type of a player fans will like.

"At Red Star he had a group of fans just following him. I believe he'll succeed in Besiktas."

Morrison will not play on Tuesday night against BK Pardubice but is expected to arrive in Istanbul on Wednesday.

Besiktas have been causing a stir all season in Europe.

During the NBA lockout, superstar Deron Williams and Cleveland Cavaliers center Semih Erden, a Turkey national team center, played for the club.

Since their return to the NBA, Besiktas have signed Great Britain international Pops Mensah-Bonsu, Puerto Rican playmaker Carlos Arroyo and now Morrison.

 


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