|28 December 2012|
EUROCHALLENGEWhether 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.
On Boxing Day, Bonn announced they had penned a contract until the end of the current season with forward Marqus Blakely.
|Well-travelled Kennedy Winston is the new addition to the BCM roster|
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 on Friday.
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 in Belgium.
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.