Whether Santa Claus was involved or not, EuroChallenge sides Telekom Baskets Bonn
and BCM Gravelines Dunkerque
both received gifts, in the form of new additions to their roster, shortly after Christmas.
|Well-travelled Kennedy Winston is the new addition to the BCM roster|
On Boxing Day, Bonn announced they had penned a contract until the end of the current season with forward Marqus Blakely
The 24-year-old American will replace in the line-up Patrick Ewing Junior, son of the legendary New York Knicks center, with whom the German club had parted ways last Friday.
"Marqus is the missing piece in our system," Bonn head coach Michael Koch commented on the new recruit.
"He is a player who stands out for his intensity, athleticism and defence.
"The fact he won the 'defensive player of the year' award of his [American NCAA] Conference three times in a row speaks for itself.
Blakely won the accolade while playing at University of Vermont
, where he led his team in steals and blocks and averaged 17.4 points and 9.1 rebounds per game.
"Marqus is a player who does not contribute only in scoring, but in all aspects of the game," Koch added.
Blakely, who has NBA experience with brief spells at the Los Angeles Clippers
and the Houston Rockets
since leaving college, could not arrive in time to feature in his new team's Thursday game in the BEKO Bundesliga
Bonn succumbed to a shock 96-94 defeat to against Walter Tigers Tübingen
at home, despite a big second quarter that show them coming from behind to take a six-point advantage at half-time. Chris Ensminger
led all Bonn scorers with 16 points and Kyle Weems
had 14, with both players adding five boards each in losing efforts.
Bonn have now suffered four consecutive losses since climbing to a 5-5 record three weeks ago and have to hope they will stop the slide when they travel to Phoenix Hagen
(7-8) on Sunday. BCM Gravelines Dunkerque
meanwhile have agreed terms with well-known to European fans Kennedy Winston
The 28-year-old swinger arrived in France on Thursday to undergo a medical examination and put ink to paper, so he will not be elgibile to play in BCM's Pro A game against Nanterre
Winston began his career in Europe in 2005 with Spanish side Gran Canaria
before moving to Greece to join first Panionios
and then Euroleague powerhouse Panathinaikos
He followed up with a season at TED Ankara
in Turkey and returned to Spain midway through the 2009/10 season for another Euroleague giant, Real Madrid
The 1.98 shooting guard/forward then completed his tour of the Mediterranean by adding Italy, where he suited up first for Virtus Roma
and the following season for Virtus Bologna
Winston finally moved north last year, and joined the 2011 EuroChallenge Final Four hosts Oostende
He averaged 12.5 points, 3.8 rebounds and 2.5 assists to help Oostende conquer the Ethias league
title and had 10.2 points, 2.7 rebounds and 1.8 assists in the EuroCup.