Friday, June 19, 2009
Great Sports Name Hall of Fame Nominee - Nana Papa Yaw Dwene Mensah-Bonsu
Thought I'd start the Ballot 4 Great Sports Name Hall of Fame Nominees with a little NBA flavor, since it is Game 4 of the NBA Finals tonight and all. And so I bring to you a dunking/blocking aficionado, Nana Papa Yaw Dwene Mensah-Bonsu. Or as you may know him, Pops.
Also known as King Whale Killer, Big Daddy, and King (Nana) Father (Papa) Thursday Born (Yaw) Three (Mensah) Whale (Bonsu) (his name translated from the Ghanaian language of Twi), Pops was born in Tottenham, London, England, where he starred on a local Basketball Club known as Hackney White Heat. After moving to the US as a high school sophomore and excelling as a high school student, Pops moved on the George Washington University. Not only was he a success in terms of wins, as he helped lead George Washington to the NCAA tourney in 2005 and 2006, but he also first got public notice here, most notably by ESPN announcer Scott Van Pelt, for his thunderous dunks and awesome name.
Pops was injured during the 2006 season, however, and thus went undrafted to the NBA. After signing with the Dallas Mavericks, Pops played with their D-League team, making the All Star Game (where he was named MVP). Despite some time with the big league club, Pops played with Italian Serie A team Benetton Treviso, which he followed up with some time in a Spanish League. Finally in early 2009 Pops was back in the NBA, first spending time on the Spurs D-League team before playing a few games and then getting waived. On March 6, however, he signed with the Toronto Raptors. And the rest is history, as he gave the Raptors 5.1 ppg and 5.4 rpg in solid bench minutes for the rest of the season. Not exactly a world changer, but his +6.64 efficiency rating was certainly welcomed on a non playoff team. Hopefully, and maybe, he and Chris Bosh can lead the Raptor's to the playoffs (or beyond) in years next.
Pops has a bit of a following on the web, and so I bring to you, at this point, Pops' sites:
Pops throwing down a massive windmill dunk
Pops stuffing Yi Jianlian in Summer League Play
Pops goin off for the Spurs (makes you wonder why they cut him)
The Pops Facebook Group
Hope you enjoy the links (I know I did), and wish Pops luck as he attempts to join the Great Sports Name Hall of Fame!