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Gal Mekel (Hebrew: גל מקל‎, pronounced [ˈɡal meˈkel]; born March 4, 1988)[1] is an Israeli professional basketball player who last played for Zenit Saint Petersburg of the VTB United League.

Gal Mekel
Gal mekel.JPG
Mekel with the Dallas Mavericks in November 2013
Free agent
PositionPoint guard
Personal information
Born (1988-03-04) March 4, 1988 (age 31)
Ramat HaSharon, Israel
NationalityIsraeli / Polish
Listed height6 ft 3 in (1.91 m)
Listed weight191 lb (87 kg)
Career information
CollegeWichita State (2006–2008)
NBA draft2008 / Undrafted
Playing career2008–present
Career history
2008–2010Maccabi Tel Aviv
2008–2010Hapoel Gilboa Galil
2010–2011Hapoel Gilboa Galil
2011–2012Benetton Treviso
2012–2013Maccabi Haifa
2013–2014Dallas Mavericks
2014Texas Legends
2014New Orleans Pelicans
2015Nizhny Novgorod
2015Crvena zvezda
2016–2017Maccabi Tel Aviv
2017–2018Herbalife Gran Canaria
2018–2019Zenit Saint Petersburg
Career highlights and awards
Stats at NBA.com
Stats at Basketball-Reference.com

He played college basketball for two years at Wichita State. He then played in the Israeli Super League for Maccabi Tel Aviv, Hapoel Gilboa Galil, and Maccabi Haifa, and in the Italian Serie A League for Benetton Treviso. He was a two-time Israeli Super League MVP, in 2011 and 2013.

In 2013, he signed a three-year minimum fully guaranteed contract with the Dallas Mavericks, becoming the second Israeli to join the NBA; he also holds a Polish passport.[2]

Contents

Early lifeEdit

Mekel is Jewish, and was born in Ramat HaSharon to Alon and Ariela Mekel, Israeli Jews.[3][4] He has four brothers and two sisters.[4] He attended Alliance High School in Tel Aviv.[5]

He started his way in the Hapoel Tel Aviv youth team. Shortly after, he moved to the A.S. Ramat HaSharon youth team where he demonstrated a good playmaking ability. His ability caught the eyes of basketball giant Maccabi Tel Aviv, where he moved at the age of 17, and subsequently won the 2005–06 Israeli Youth League.

College careerEdit

Mekel played college basketball for two years at Wichita State.[4] In his rookie season (2006–07), by mid-season he was promoted to starter. He finished his first season with averages of 13 minutes and four points per game.

In the 2007–08 season, Mekel improved his stats to 9.3 ppg and 3.7 apg while playing more than 30 minutes per game. Despite his improvement he decided to leave the team after that season.

Professional careerEdit

Maccabi Tel Aviv (2008)Edit

On March 28, 2008, Mekel signed his first professional contract with Maccabi Tel Aviv, for the remainder of the 2007–08 season.[6]

Hapoel Gilboa Galil (2008–2009)Edit

For the 2008–09 season, Maccabi Tel Aviv loaned Mekel to Hapoel Gilboa Galil, an Israeli club that is known for promoting young talents, in order to receive some playing experience, and return better the next year. In Galil, he averaged 6.9 points and 2.7 assists per game. He excelled in the league's playoff quarter-finals against Hapoel Holon, helping his team reach the Israeli Super League Final Four, where they lost to Maccabi Tel Aviv. Mekel ended up winning the Israeli Super League Rising Star award.[7]

Return to Maccabi (2009)Edit

After a good season with Galil, Mekel returned to Maccabi Tel Aviv. They designated him at the point guard substitute spot, behind the team's newcomer Doron Perkins, who had won the Israeli Super League MVP award in the previous season.[8] Mekel recorded 13 points and 5 assists in his debut game with Maccabi Tel Aviv, against Ironi Nahariya, in the second round of the 2009–10 Israeli Super League.[9] In December 2009, he asked to be loaned out again, after the minority of minutes he was receiving.

Return to Gilboa Galil (2009–2011)Edit

Mekel was loaned back to Gilboa/Galil, just 6 months after he finished his first loan to the same team.[10] In Galil, Mekel shared the point guard position with Jeremy Pargo. Together, they led Galil to their second Israeli Super League title, after surprising Maccabi in the league's final. Mekel was a key member in the team averaging, 7.5 points and 4.3 assists per game, in 25.5 minutes per game.

In 2010, Mekel got offers from the Israeli clubs Bnei HaSharon and Maccabi Haifa, but he decided to stay in Galil, signing a one-year contract with them.[11] He played with the team in the EuroLeague 2010–11 qualifying rounds, but didn't help the team to pass the qualification's first round, where they were eliminated by KK Hemofarm, from Serbia. At the Israeli national domestic level, Mekel led Galil to a 2nd-place finish at the end of the regular season. They were able to repeat their previous season's trip to the league's final, once again against Maccabi, but this time they lost. Mekel also had a great individual season, which concluded in him winning the Israeli Super League MVP award.[12] He also played in the 2011 BSL All-Star Game.

Benetton Treviso (2011–2012)Edit

On July 5, 2011, Mekel signed a two-year contract with the Italian team Benetton Treviso.[13] With Benetton, he reached the 2011–12 EuroCup Last 16, and finished in 11th place in the Italian 2011–12 LBA league. He averaged 6.3 points and 3.7 assists per game in the Italian League, and 4 points and 2 assists per game in the EuroCup. At the end of the season, the club ceased the activity of the first team, focusing on youth sector.

Maccabi Haifa (2012–2013)Edit

 
Mekel with Maccabi Haifa in June 2013

At the start of the 2012–13 season, Mekel wanted to stay with a club that was playing in European-wide competitions, but he also had tryouts with the Utah Jazz of the NBA,[14] however after not receiving a sufficient contract offer from the Jazz, he agreed to terms with the Israeli club Maccabi Haifa.[15] Mekel led the team to a 2nd-place finish at the end of the Israeli Super League regular season, and to the Israeli State Cup final, where they lost to Maccabi Tel Aviv. Haifa got another chance at a title that season, when they reached the Israeli Super league's final, which was held at their home court of Romema Arena. The Greens went on to win the match and the championship, after a great performance from Mekel: 21 points and 7 assists,[16] after which he received the Israeli League MVP award, which he had won a night before.[17]

Dallas Mavericks (2013–2014)Edit

On July 11, 2013, the Dallas Mavericks signed Mekel to a three-year minimum fully guaranteed contract, and he became the second Israeli to join the NBA.[18][19] Mekel played with the Mavericks in the 2013 NBA Summer League, and finished with averages of 9.7 points and 5 assists per game.[20]

In his debut regular season game for the Mavs on October 30, 2013, Mekel recorded 2 points, 2 rebounds, and 3 assists in a 118–109 win over the Atlanta Hawks.[21] Two Israeli players played on opposing NBA teams for the first time on November 1 when Mekel and the Mavericks played Omri Casspi and the Rockets. The two had been teammates on the Israeli Under-16, Under-18, and Under-20 teams, and on the Maccabi Tel Aviv junior team.[22][23] In that game, the Houston Rockets beat the Dallas Mavericks 113-105 in Houston. Casspi scored 12 points in 21 minutes, and Mekel scored 11 points and dished off 6 assists in 23 minutes in his best NBA game to date. On November 30, he started in his first NBA game against the Minnesota Timberwolves and scored 6 points and dished off 7 assists in 26 minutes. The Mavs lost that game though, 106-112. After the game on January 13, 2014, Mekel was placed on the injured list due to a torn meniscus in his right knee, which required surgery and at least 4–6 weeks of recovery.[24]

On March 4, 2014, Mekel was assigned to the Texas Legends of the NBA D-League.[25] On March 9, he was recalled by the Mavericks.[26] On March 15, he was reassigned to the Legends.[27] He was recalled three days later.

On October 29, 2014, Mekel was waived by the Mavericks.[28]

New Orleans Pelicans (2014)Edit

On December 5, 2014, Mekel signed a two-year, non-guaranteed contract with the New Orleans Pelicans.[29][30] However, he was later waived by the Pelicans on December 19 after appearing in just four games.[31]

Nizhny Novgorod (2015)Edit

On February 24, 2015, Mekel moved to Russia, and signed with Nizhny Novgorod, until the end of the 2015–16 season.[32] Nizhny Novgorod's 2014–15 VTB United League season was ended, after being eliminated by CSKA Moscow 3–0 in their VTB United League semifinal playoff series. In July 2015, he parted ways with Nizhny.[33]

Crvena zvezda (2015)Edit

On August 27, 2015, Mekel signed a one-year contract with Serbian ABA League team Crvena zvezda.[34] However, on December 3, 2015, Mekel parted ways with Crvena zvezda after appearing in 13 games.

Third stint with Maccabi (2016–2017)Edit

On January 10, 2016, Mekel returned to Maccabi Tel Aviv for a third stint, signing a 3.5-year contract.[35] Mekel helped Maccabi win two Israeli State Cup titles in 2016 and 2017, earning the Finals MVP award for two years in a row.[36]

On July 4, 2017, Mekel parted ways with Maccabi.[37]

Gran Canaria (2017–2018)Edit

On July 14, 2017, Mekel signed a one-year deal with the Spanish team Herbalife Gran Canaria.[38] In 17 EuroCup games, he averaged 9.6 points and 5 assists per game. Mekel helped Gran Canaria to reach the 2018 EuroCup Quarterfinals, as well as reaching the 2018 ACB Semifinals, which helped them earn a qualification to the EuroLeague as the highest-placed team in the Liga ACB without a long-term EuroLeague licence.

Zenit Saint Petersburg (2018–2019)Edit

On October 8, 2018, Mekel signed with the Russian team Zenit Saint Petersburg for the 2018–19 season.[39] In 27 games played in the VTB League and the EuroCup, he averaged 7.4 points, 5.3 assists and 1.9 rebounds in 18.8 minutes per game. Mekel helped Zenit reach the 2019 VTB League Semifinals, where they eventually were eliminated by CSKA Moscow. On July 7, 2019, Mekel parted ways with Zenit.[40]

National team careerEdit

Mekel is a member of the Israel national basketball team. He participated in the 2009, 2011, 2015 and 2017 EuroBasket tournaments.

Career statisticsEdit

Legend
  GP Games played   GS  Games started  MPG  Minutes per game
 FG%  Field-goal percentage  3P%  3-point field-goal percentage  FT%  Free-throw percentage
 RPG  Rebounds per game  APG  Assists per game  SPG  Steals per game
 BPG  Blocks per game  PPG  Points per game  PIR  Performance Index Rating
 Bold  Career high

Note: The EuroLeague is not the only competition in which the player participated for the team during the season. He also played in domestic competition, and regional competition if applicable.

NBAEdit

Regular seasonEdit

Year Team GP GS MPG FG% 3P% FT% RPG APG SPG BPG PPG
2013–14 Dallas 31 1 9.4 .349 .250 .667 .9 2.0 .1 .0 2.4
2014–15 New Orleans 4 0 10.8 .150 .0 .0 .3 3.3 .5 .0 1.5
Career 35 1 9.6 .311 .217 .667 .8 2.2 .2 .0 2.3

EuroLeagueEdit

Year Team GP GS MPG FG% 3P% FT% RPG APG SPG BPG PPG PIR
2009–10 Maccabi 1 0 1 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 -1
2014–15 Nizhny Novgorod 6 0 20.7 .482 .286 .824 2.3 4.7 .7 .0 11.7 11.7
2015–16 Crvena zvezda 4 4 20.2 .230 .333 1.00 1.5 2.8 .3 .3 3.8 0.8
2016–17 Maccabi 24 10 15.9 .398 .400 .606 2.2 3.3 .3 0 4.5 5.6
Career 35 14 16.7 .400 .371 .692 2.1 3.4 .3 .1 5.5 2.0

CollegeEdit

Year Team GP GS MPG FG% 3P% FT% RPG APG SPG BPG PPG
2006–07 Wichita State 31 3 13.0 .443 .354 .647 1.0 1.6 .4 .0 4.0
2007–08 Wichita State 31 26 30.7 .354 .287 .877 3.1 3.7 .3 .0 9.2
Career 62 29 21.9 .379 .306 .809 2.1 2.6 .4 .0 6.6

Source: RealGM

See alsoEdit

ReferencesEdit

  1. ^ Gal Mekel NBA & ABA Stats
  2. ^ "ShamSports | Mavericks to sign Gal Mekel to three year guaranteed deal". www.shamsports.com. Retrieved October 9, 2018.
  3. ^ Ramati, Stan (September – October 2013). "Israeli Sports". Jewish Sports Review. 9 (99): 9.
  4. ^ a b c "#1 Gal Mekel". GoShockers.com. Retrieved November 9, 2013.
  5. ^ Oliver, Ron. "Gal Mekel National and High School Stats, Dallas Mavericks". Basketball.realgm.com. Retrieved November 9, 2013.
  6. ^ "Maccabi inks guard prospect Mekel". Euroleague.net. March 28, 2008. Retrieved September 14, 2013.
  7. ^ "The 2008/09 BSL Season Awards". Basket.co.il. May 16, 2009. Retrieved September 14, 2013.
  8. ^ "Maccabi puts Perkins, Mekel at point". Euroleague.net. August 30, 2009. Retrieved September 14, 2013.
  9. ^ "BOX SCORE: Maccabi T-A Vs Nahariya – Winner League". Basket.co.il. Retrieved September 14, 2013.
  10. ^ "Maccabi releases guard Gal Mekel on loan". Euroleague. December 2, 2009. Retrieved September 14, 2013.
  11. ^ "Galil holds on to point guard Mekel". Euroleague.net. August 11, 2010. Retrieved September 14, 2013.
  12. ^ Summary of 2010–11 Israeli Basketball ‹See Tfd›(in Hebrew)
  13. ^ "Benetton Treviso announces Gal Mekel". Sportando.net. Retrieved September 14, 2013.
  14. ^ "Jazz impressed by Israel's Mekel". ESPN. Retrieved September 14, 2013.
  15. ^ Art-Up. "Gal Mekel joins Maccabi Haifa". Mhbasket.co.il. Archived from the original on October 8, 2013. Retrieved September 14, 2013.
  16. ^ "Finals Game 1: Maccabi T-A – Maccabi Haifa 79–86". Eurobasket.com. June 13, 2013. Retrieved September 14, 2013.
  17. ^ In 2011, in was not enough to him, Gal Mekel was named player of the year ‹See Tfd›(in Hebrew)
  18. ^ "Mavs sign Israeli League MVP guard Mekel". NBA.com. July 11, 2013. Retrieved September 14, 2013.
  19. ^ "Dollars and Sense: Gal Mekel". ESPN.com. September 6, 2013. Retrieved September 15, 2013.
  20. ^ "2013 Summer League Statistics". NBA.com. Retrieved September 14, 2013.
  21. ^ "Notebook: Mavericks 118, Hawks 109". Nba.com. Retrieved November 9, 2013.
  22. ^ Zeevi, Elad (November 2, 2013). "Casspi and Mekel both shine in first-ever Israeli NBA face-off". Haaretz. Archived from the original on November 5, 2013. Retrieved September 30, 2015.
  23. ^ "Ultimate Rockets » Historic meeting for Gal Mekel and Omri Casspi". chron.com. November 1, 2013. Retrieved November 9, 2013.
  24. ^ Dallas Mavericks' Gal Mekel out after knee surgery
  25. ^ MAVERICKS ASSIGN GAL MEKEL TO TEXAS LEGENDS
  26. ^ Mavs recall Gal Mekel from D-League
  27. ^ Mavs recall Shane Larkin, re-assign Gal Mekel to D-League
  28. ^ Mavericks sign J.J. Barea, waive Gal Mekel
  29. ^ Pelicans Sign Gal Mekel
  30. ^ Newly signed Pelicans' Gal Mekel aiming to impact games with his passing
  31. ^ Pelicans Waive Gal Mekel
  32. ^ "Nizhny Novgorod adds guard Mekel". Euroleague.net. February 24, 2015. Retrieved February 24, 2015.
  33. ^ Gal Mekel pays $50.000 and leaves Nizhny Novogorod
  34. ^ "Crvena Zvezda tabs Mekel for backcourt". Euroleague.net. August 27, 2015. Retrieved August 27, 2015.
  35. ^ "Mekel returns to Maccabi Tel Aviv, Farmar out". jpost.com. January 10, 2016. Retrieved January 10, 2016.
  36. ^ "אמרתי לפניני שלא נצא מפה בלי הגביע". basket.co.il (in Hebrew). February 17, 2017. Retrieved October 6, 2018.
  37. ^ E. Carchia (July 4, 2017). "Gal Mekel, Maccabi Tel Aviv part ways". Sportando. Retrieved July 1, 2017.
  38. ^ "Gal Mekel será uno de los bases del Herbalife Gran Canaria". Club Baloncesto Gran Canaria (in Spanish). July 14, 2017. Retrieved July 14, 2017.
  39. ^ "Zenit brings in experienced guard Mekel". EuroCupBasketball.com. October 8, 2018. Retrieved October 8, 2018.
  40. ^ "Gal Mekel leaves Zenit St. Petersburg". Sportando.basketball. July 7, 2019. Retrieved July 7, 2019.

External linksEdit