|19 February 2014|
|Mikko Koivisto is the latest signing for Gaziantep, with the Finnish international replacing Terrico White|
EuroChallenge Group K winners Royal Hali Gaziantep do not rest on the laurels of their 11-game winning streak across all competitions and announced on Wednesday the addition of Mikko Koivisto to their roster.
The Finnish international will join the Turkish club on a deal that runs until the end of the current season, replacing Terrico White in the Gaziantep backcourt.
Koivisto, nicknamed 'La Bomba of Loimaa', arrives from Finnish Korisliiga league leaders Nilan Bisons Loimaa, with whom he parted ways amicably on Tuesday.
The 27-year-old swingman averaged 9.1 points, 2.2 rebounds and 1.5 assists in the Korisliiga, while he contributed 10.8 points, 2.2 rebounds and 2.1 assists to Bisons' campaign in the Eurocup Regular Season.
"I thought about if for a while, but pretty soon it became clear that this was a great opportunity," Koivisto said.
"Loimaa has become an important place for me and the time I spent here will be unforgettable, I will always be a Bison.
"I've seen this club grow from the very beginning and playing in Europe.
"I want to thank the fans and the organisation for allowing me to take this important step and fulfil my professional desire to play abroad.
"You will always be in my heart."
Koivisto arrived at Bisons in 2011 and helped them conquer back-to-back Korisliiga titles.
"Of course we are a little sad that our team captain and leader in the last two Finnish championships moves to Turkey," commented Bisons general manager Ari Hannula.
"But it also proves that we are doing things right and it's a move for both the club and Finnish basketball to move forward."
Koivisto earned his nickname thanks to several fearless long-range shooting exhibitions over the years, not least on some great nights with the national team.
He first pulled on a Finland jersey when he was just 15 and has represented his country at every youth level on the European stage.
The sharpshooter became a senior international in 2008 and was of course a staple of the Finnish national team that impressed at EuroBasket 2011 and EuroBasket 2013.
Koivisto could make his debut with Gaziantep as early as Saturday, when his new club are playing host to league leaders Banvit in the Turkish BEKO TBL Ligi.
In same statement on Wednesday meanwhile, Gaziantep thanked White for his contribution to the club and wished him all the best in his future career.
White averaged 5.6 points and 2.8 rebounds per game in the EuroChallenge and is reportedly close to agreeing terms with Hapoel Eilat and continue his career in Israel.