Pops Mensah-Bonsu (born 7 September 1983) is a British basketball executive, currently serving as general manager of the Capital City Go-Go of the NBA G League. A former player, he played college basketball for George Washington University and professionally for five NBA teams as well as clubs in Spain, France, Turkey, Russia, Italy, Israel, and Greece.
Mensah-Bonsu with Galatasaray
|Capital City Go-Go|
|League||NBA G League|
|Born||7 September 1983|
Tottenham, London, England
|Listed height||6 ft 9 in (2.06 m)|
|Listed weight||235 lb (107 kg)|
|High school||St. Thomas More Catholic School|
St. Augustine Prep
(Richland, New Jersey)
|College||George Washington (2002–2006)|
|NBA draft||2006 / Undrafted|
|Position||Power forward / Center|
|2006–2007||→Fort Worth Flyers|
|2009||San Antonio Spurs|
|2010–2011||New Orleans Hornets|
|2013||Emporio Armani Milano|
|2013–2014||Galatasaray Liv Hospital|
|Career highlights and awards|
|Stats at Basketball-Reference.com|
Born and raised in London, Mensah-Bonsu attended St. Thomas More Roman Catholic School. As a teenager, he represented the London Borough of Haringey at the London Youth Games, appearing in four of Great Britain's five games.
After playing junior basketball for the Hackney White Heat of the English Basketball League, Tapenade moved to the United States where he spent his sophomore year of high school playing at the Hun School of Princeton in Princeton, New Jersey. He then transferred to St. Augustine Preparatory School in Richland, New Jersey where as a senior in 2001–02, he averaged 15 points, 12 rebounds, and four blocks per game.
Mensah-Bonsu majored in psychology at George Washington University, where he played power forward and center for the Colonials men's basketball team. In his four-year career, he played 112 games (71 starts) while averaging 11.7 points, 6.0 rebounds, and 1.3 blocks in 23.8 minutes per game. As a sophomore in 2003–04, he was named the Atlantic 10 Most Improved Player of the Year; as a junior in 2004–05, he was named to the All-Atlantic 10 second team; and as a senior in 2005–06, he was named to the All-Atlantic 10 first team and Atlantic 10 All-Defensive team.
In the 2004–05 season, Mensah-Bonsu helped lead the Colonials to the 2005 NCAA Tournament, where they lost in the first round. The next season was more successful, with the team ending the regular season 26–1 and being ranked in the national top 10 for the first time in 50 years. However, he suffered a knee injury near the end of the regular season and he did not return until the 2006 NCAA Tournament, where the injury lessened his production. After defeating UNC Wilmington in the first round, George Washington went on to lose to Duke in the second round.
Dallas Mavericks (2006–2007)Edit
After going undrafted in the 2006 NBA draft, he joined the Dallas Mavericks for the 2006 NBA Summer League. On 3 August 2006, he signed with the Mavericks. During his rookie season, he had multiple assignments with the Fort Worth Flyers of the NBA Development League. In the 2006–07 season, he managed just 12 games for the Mavericks, averaging 2.4 points and 1.8 rebounds in 5.9 minutes per game.
In July 2007, Mensah-Bonsu re-joined the Mavericks for the 2007 NBA Summer League, but was later waived by the team on 31 August 2007.
In July 2008, Mensah-Bonsu initially joined the Dallas Mavericks for the 2008 NBA Summer League, but later joined the Minnesota Timberwolves where he played four games and averaged 14.3 points per game. On 15 August 2008, he signed a one-year deal with Joventut Badalona. On 3 November 2008, he returned to the United States after injuring his shoulder playing for Joventut. A month later, he parted ways with Joventut to focus on recovery.
2009 – Austin Toros, Toronto Raptors and Houston RocketsEdit
On 28 January 2009, Mensah-Bonsu was acquired by the Austin Toros of the NBA Development League. On 25 February 2009, he signed a 10-day contract with the San Antonio Spurs. However, on 4 March 2009, he was released by the Spurs after appearing in just three games. Two days later, he signed with the Toronto Raptors for the rest of the 2008–09 season.
On 29 June 2009, the Raptors extended a qualifying offer to Mensah-Bonsu in order to make him a restricted free agent. However, the Raptors later withdrew their qualifying offer on 7 July 2009. In August 2009, Mensah-Bonsu signed with the Houston Rockets. On 13 November 2009, he was waived by the Rockets after managing just four games. Four days later, he was claimed off waivers by the Toronto Raptors. On 5 January 2010, he was waived by the Raptors.
On 9 August 2010, Mensah-Bonsu signed a one-year deal (with the option of a second) with Caja Laboral of the Liga ACB. He later left during pre-season due to medical reasons. On 24 September 2010, he signed with the New Orleans Hornets. On 4 January 2011, he was waived by the Hornets.
On 5 December 2011, Mensah-Bonsu signed with Beşiktaş of Turkey for the 2011–12 season. He went on to win the Turkish League championship, Turkish Cup, and the EuroChallenge. He was named the TBL Player of the Year.
On 2 August 2012, Mensah-Bonsu signed a two-year deal with Maccabi Tel Aviv of the Israeli Basketball Premier League. However, he was later waived by Maccabi on 19 September 2012 before appearing in a game for them after physicals showed he had not recovered from injuries picked up during the London Olympics.
On 4 March 2013, Mensah-Bonsu signed with Cajasol Sevilla of Spain for the rest of the 2012–13 season. On 16 April 2013, he parted ways with Sevilla after managing just six games. Two days later, he signed with Emporio Armani Milano of Italy for the rest of the season.
On 27 September 2013, Mensah-Bonsu signed with the Washington Wizards. However, he was later waived by the Wizards on 24 October 2013 after appearing in four preseason games. Four days later, he signed with Galatasaray Liv Hospital of Turkey for the 2013–14 season. On 31 October, he made his debut in a Euroleague game against Unicaja Málaga, in which he recorded 10 points and 11 rebounds. His time with the team was marred by an in-game fight with Olympiacos centre Mirza Begić on 28 November 2013. He was banned for three games and ordered fined €10,001.
AEK Athens (2014–15)Edit
On 20 November 2014, Mensah-Bonsu signed with Hapoel Jerusalem of Israel for the 2014–15 season. On 23 December 2014, he parted ways with Hapoel after appearing in two league games and four Eurocup games. On 27 December 2014, he signed with AEK Athens for the rest of the 2014–15 Greek Basket League season.
The Basketball TournamentEdit
On 14 October 2015, after receiving a two-year ban for doping, Pops announced retirement from professional basketball. He then began working as an Advanced Pro Scout for the San Antonio Spurs. On 7 August 2018, the Capital City Go-Go, the new NBA G League affiliate of the Washington Wizards, announced that Mensah-Bonsu had been made the team's first general manager. Jarnell Christian would be the team's head coach.
|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|
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.
Mensah-Bonsu was part of the Great Britain national basketball team that qualified for the 2009 EuroBasket. During qualification, he averaged 12.2 points, 10 rebounds, and 1.8 blocks per game. He went on to join the British squad for their first appearance in the EuroBasket Tournament. The team lost all three of their first-round games but were competitive throughout including a very close game with world champions Spain.
Mensah-Bonsu was again part of the British team in 2010 as they qualified for the 2011 EuroBasket with a 6–2 record. During qualification, he led all Division A players with 13.5 rebounds per game, and also finished sixth in points (19.3) and blocks (1.3).
Mensah-Bonsu was chosen as part of the 12-man British team for the 2012 Summer Olympics in London. He played in four games, recording 46 points and 29 rebounds. He missed Britain's final group game – a 90-58 win over China – due to injury. Great Britain finished with a 1-4 record, failing to qualify for the knockout stage.
In the Twi language, Mensah-Bonsu's name means King (Nana) Father (Papa) Thursday-Born (Yaw) Third Son (Mensah) Whale (Bonsu). In several interviews, Mensah-Bonsu has suggested that his family earned its surname when an ancestor slew a whale.
Mensah-Bonsu is the son of Henry and Agnes Mensah-Bonsu, and has four siblings: Audrey, Kojo, Wiafe and Benson.
On 26 June 2015, Mensah-Bonsu was suspended for two years of any sports activity involvement after testing positive for amphetamines, which he claimed was from an approved, prescribed medicine.
- Cooper, Ian (18 December 2012). "Tottenham Olympic basketball star hopes to inspire a generation". TottenhamJournal.co.uk. Retrieved 31 August 2013.
- "21 Pops Mensah-Bonsu". GWSports.com. Retrieved 31 August 2013.
- "Mavs hop on Pops, sign forward Mensah-Bonsu". ESPN.com. 4 August 2006. Retrieved 4 August 2006.
- "Mavericks waive F Mensah-Bonsu". Yahoo.com. 31 August 2007. Retrieved 31 August 2007.
- Dugdale, Rob (3 September 2007). "Mensah-Bonsu joins Italian team". BBC.co.uk. Retrieved 3 September 2007.
- "Pops, the Hero of Granada". BlogSpot.com.au. 12 May 2008. Retrieved 12 May 2008.
- "2008 Timberwolves Summer League Team". NBA.com. Archived from the original on 14 October 2014. Retrieved 31 August 2013.
- "MENSAH-BONSU OFFICIALLY SIGNS FOR BADALONA". GBBasketball.com. 15 August 2008. Retrieved 15 August 2008.
- "DKV Joventut adds size with Pops Mensah-Bonsu". Euroleague.net. 16 July 2008. Retrieved 16 July 2008.
- "Joventut's Mensah-Bonsu out with shoulder injury". Euroleague.net. 3 November 2008. Retrieved 3 November 2008.
- "Joventut releases Mensah-Bonsu". Euroleague.net. 5 December 2008. Retrieved 5 December 2008.
- "Toros Add Pops Mensah-Bonsu". NBA.com. 28 January 2009. Archived from the original on 30 January 2009. Retrieved 28 January 2009.
- "Austin's Pops Mensah-Bonsu Called Up To San Antonio Spurs". NBA.com. 25 February 2009. Archived from the original on 26 February 2009. Retrieved 25 February 2009.
- "Spurs release Pops Mensah-Bonsu". InsideHoops.com. 4 March 2009. Retrieved 4 March 2009.
- "Austin's Pops Mensah-Bonsu Called Up To Toronto Raptors". NBA.com. 6 March 2009. Archived from the original on 9 March 2009. Retrieved 6 March 2009.
- "GAME ON AT THE O2 – RAPTORS EXTEND QUALIFYING OFFER TO MENSAH-BONSU". GBBasketball.com. 30 June 2009. Retrieved 30 June 2009.
- "Report: Rockets reach verbal deal with Mensah-Bonsu". NBA.com. 24 August 2009. Archived from the original on 13 October 2014. Retrieved 24 August 2009.
- "Rockets assign Dorsey to D-League, waive Mensah-Bonsu". NBA.com. 13 November 2009. Retrieved 13 November 2009.
- "Raptors Acquire Mensah-Bonsu". NBA.com. 17 November 2009. Retrieved 17 November 2009.
- Stein, Marc (5 January 2010). "Raptors to waive Mensah-Bonsu". ESPN.com. Retrieved 5 January 2010.
- "CSKA MOSCOW tabs Pops Mensah-Bonsu". Eurocupbasketball.com. 12 January 2010. Archived from the original on 6 October 2014. Retrieved 12 January 2010.
- "CAJA LABORAL lands Mensah-Bonsu". Euroleague.net. 9 August 2010. Retrieved 9 August 2010.
- Smith, Jimmy (24 September 2010). "Jannero Pargo happy to rejoin Chris Paul with New Orleans Hornets". NOLA.com. Retrieved 24 September 2010.
- "HORNETS WAIVE MENSAH-BONSU". NBA.com. 4 January 2011. Retrieved 4 January 2011.
- "ASVEL signs rebounding ace Pops Mensah-Bonsu". Sportando.com. 17 February 2011. Retrieved 17 February 2011.
- "Besiktas adds rebounding ace Pops Mensah-Bonsu". Sportando.com. 5 December 2011. Retrieved 5 December 2011.
- "Maccabi Tel Aviv adds forward Pops Mensah-Bonsu". Sportando.com. 2 August 2012. Retrieved 2 August 2012.
- "Maccabi Electra tabs veteran big man Mensah-Bonsu". Euroleague.net. 2 August 2012. Retrieved 2 August 2012.
- "Maccabi Tel Aviv waives Pops Mensah-Bonsu". Sportando.com. 19 September 2012. Retrieved 19 September 2012.
- "Cajasol officially signs Pops Mensah-Bonsu". Sportando.com. 4 March 2013. Retrieved 4 March 2013.
- "Cajasol-Pops officially part ways". Sportando.com. 16 April 2013. Retrieved 16 April 2013.
- "Olimpia Milano officially signs Pops Mensah-Bonsu". Sportando.com. 18 April 2013. Retrieved 18 April 2013.
- "Wizards sign Josh Childress, Pops Mensah-Bonsu, Xavier Silas, D'Or Fischer to training camp". InsideHoops.com. 27 September 2013. Retrieved 27 September 2013.
- "Wizards waive Josh Childress, Pops Mensah-Bonsu, Xavier Silas". InsideHoops.com. 24 October 2013. Retrieved 24 October 2013.
- "GALATASARAY brings in Mensah-Bonsu". Euroleague.net. 28 October 2013. Retrieved 28 October 2013.
- "Regular Season Round 3: Unicaja – Galatasaray 84-57". Eurobasket.com. 31 October 2013. Retrieved 31 October 2013.
- "Ρεκόρ και… ξύλο στο ΣΕΦ". efsyn.gr (in Turkish). 28 November 2013. Retrieved 28 November 2013.
- "Pops-Begic-Printezis fined, suspended. Olympiacos behind closed doors". Sportando.com. 4 December 2013. Retrieved 4 December 2013.
- "Denver Nuggets Announce 2014-15 Training Camp Roster". NBA.com. 30 September 2014. Retrieved 30 September 2014.
- "Pops Mensah-Bonsu Leaves Nuggets Camp". HoopsRumors.com. 1 October 2014. Retrieved 1 October 2014.
- "Hapoel Jerusalem signs Pops Mensah-Bonsu". Sportando.com. 20 November 2014. Retrieved 20 November 2014.
- "Hapoel Jerusalem, Pops Mensah-Bonsu part ways". Sportando.com. 23 December 2014. Retrieved 23 December 2014.
- AEK Athens signs Pops Mensah-Bonsu
- "Pops Mensah-Bonsu retires from basketball". sportando.com. 14 October 2015. Retrieved 14 October 2015.
- Raim, Jacob (7 August 2018). "Capital City Go-Go Name Pops Mensah-Bonsu as GM and Jarell Christian as Head Coach". capitalcity.gleague.nba.com. Retrieved 11 August 2018.
- "Pops Mensah Bonsu's profile". FIBA.com. Retrieved 1 October 2014.
- Brady, Erik (22 February 2006). "George Washington back on national scene". USAToday.com. Retrieved 22 February 2006.
- "Δύο χρόνια στον Μενσά Μπονσού". sport24.gr (in Greek). 26 June 2015. Retrieved 26 June 2015.
- "POPS HANDED DOPING BAN". [mvp247.com]. 26 June 2015.
- Career statistics and player information from NBA.com, or Basketball-Reference.com
- Pops Mensah-Bonsu at draftexpress.com
- Pops Mensah-Bonsu at eurobasket.com
- Pops Mensah-Bonsu at euroleague.net
- Pops Mensah-Bonsu at gwsports.com
- Pops Mensah-Bonsu at nbadleague.com
- Pops Mensah-Bonsu at tblstat.net
- Pops Mensah-Bonsu on Facebook
- Pops Mensah-Bonsu on Instagram
- Pops Mensah-Bonsu on Twitter