|No. 21 - ASVEL Basket|
|Date of birth||September 7, 1983|
|Place of birth||London, England|
|Listed height||6 ft 9|
|Listed weight||240 lbs|
|NBA Draft||2006; Undrafted|
|Career highlights and awards|
|Pops Mensah-Bonsu at NBA.com|
Nana Papa Yaw Dwene Mensah-Bonsu (born September 7, 1983), better known as Pops Mensah-Bonsu, is a British professional basketball player who is currently playing for the LNB's ASVEL Basket in France. He is a former star at the George Washington University in the Atlantic 10 Conference. He is a graduate of the St. Augustine College Preparatory School, in Richland, New Jersey. Upon graduating from college in 2006, Mensah-Bonsu entered the 2006 NBA Draft, but was not drafted. The last team he played for before becoming a free agent was the Toronto Raptors.
Pops Mensah-Bonsu was born Nana Papa Yaw Mensah-Bonsu on September 7, 1983, to Henry and Agnes Mensah-Bonsu. Pops grew up in London playing soccer and running track.
After starting out as a junior at the English Basketball League club Hackney White Heat, Mensah-Bonsu moved to the United States. He spent his sophomore year of high school playing at the Hun School of Princeton in Princeton, New Jersey, then transferred to St. Augustine College Preparatory School in Richland, New Jersey.
He majored in psychology at the George Washington University, where he played power forward and center. He was second team all-conference in 2004–05 and averaged around 15 points per game for his career. He was best known for explosive dunks and became a favorite of ESPN SportsCenter host Scott Van Pelt, who would often mention Mensah-Bonsu at the end of telecasts.
At George Washington, 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. The injury probably led to Mensah-Bonsu not being drafted by an NBA team. GW lost to Duke in the second round of the NCAA tournament after defeating University of North Carolina at Wilmington.
NBA and NBA D-League
Mensah-Bonsu initially signed a two-year contract with the Dallas Mavericks, and played for the Fort Worth Flyers, the NBA Development League affiliate of the Mavericks. He made the D-League All Star Team and was MVP of the game, with 30 points and 7 rebounds.
In February 2009, Mensah-Bonsu began playing with the Austin Toros, the San Antonio Spurs NBA D-League affiliate. In his eight games with the Toros, Mensah-Bonsu averaged 26.6 points, 13.0 rebounds, and 2.5 blocks per game. On February 25, he signed a 10 day contract with the San Antonio Spurs. On March 4, 2009 the Spurs released Mensah-Bonsu.
On March 6, 2009, the Toronto Raptors picked up Mensah-Bonsu, giving him a guaranteed contract until the end of the season. Pops made his debut with the Raptors on March 6, 2009, against the Miami Heat, posting 4 points and 10 rebounds. Ever since, the Raptors have enjoyed the energy that Pops brings to the team.
Italy and Spain
For the 2007–08 season, he played with the Italian Serie A team Benetton Treviso, averaging 8.3 points and 9.2 rebounds, shooting 59% from the floor and 77% from the free-throw line. During the following summer, there was much uncertainty whether he would return to the NBA or sign a contract in Spain, but he finally inked a one-year deal with the Spanish ACB team DKV Joventut. He was released in December due to a shoulder injury, after averaging 18.5 points per game in 2 league matches.
Great Britain National Basketball Team
In the Ghanaian language Twi, Mensah-Bonsu's name means King (Nana) Father (Papa) Thursday Born (Yaw) Three (Mensah) Whale (Bonsu). In several interviews Mensah-Bonsu has suggested that his family earned its surname when an ancestor slew a whale.
Mensah-Bonsu has a number of nicknames, including "King Whale Killer" from his name's meaning and "Big Daddy," popularized by Toronto play-by-play announcer Matt Devlin and other commentators.
Having been born and brought up in North London, England, Mensah-Bonsu is a big fan of Tottenham Hotspur, more commonly referred to as "Spurs" in the United Kingdom.
|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||Bold||Led League|