Great Britain"s Pops Mensah-Bonsu has officially signed a one-year deal for Badalona. The announcement follows an impressive debut for Britain at a four-team tournament in Cagliari.
The former Dallas Maverick spent last season at Italian outfit Benetton Treviso and despite attracting attention from a number of NBA clubs the 24-year-old opted for Spain"s ACB league, with fellow Brit and ex-Badalona player Andy Betts on hand for advice.
"I thought I"d go play summer league as I didn"t have anything to lose, so I went to explore the NBA option and put the Spanish team on the back burner,"Â€Â said Mensah-Bonsu.
"There was interest from Minnesota Timberwolves, Portland Trail Blazers, LA Lakers, Dallas Mavericks and Memphis Grizzlies, but the type of player I am I"m not a major part of the puzzle, I"m just a piece, so it was difficult for me to get a deal.
"Badalona were very good about me considering the NBA option, or going another route. They stuck around and pursued me and at the end of the day I"m a loyal person.
"I spoke with Andy (Betts) about the deal and he was really helpful telling me about the city and helped sway my decision. In fact when I go to Badalona I will be in Andy"s old apartment.
"The game is changing and Europe is looking strong. With them (Europe) being able to pay players a lot of money NBA players are going to look elsewhere, as LeBron James has also recently said.
"There"s a lot of pride in basketball and some clubs will go to all costs to sign someone."Â€Â
Mensah-Bonsu made his GB debut on Wednesday night, along with five other players, when they beat Belgium 80-64, however, the men"s ten-game unbeaten run, stemming back to last summer, came to an end last night when they lost 77-70 to Estonia.
"It feels good to be playing; I"ve waited a long time to make my debut. I"ve been watching the Olympics on television, as I"m still jetlagged, and each time I see them I think about how old I will be in four years time and where I will be in my career,"Â€Â he continued.
"Hopefully I will be in my prime in that time and as a team we will make some noise. If we can get the rest of the country behind us this summer and then hopefully next year for the Europeans I think it will make a big difference."Â€Â
While Mensah-Bonsu may have enjoyed posting double figures in both games, teammate Luol Deng had to look on from the sidelines as he was unable to play in any of the Italian test games, owing to an exclusion being placed on his insurance policy.
Performance Director of British Basketball, Chris Spice, said: ""It is very unfortunate that we do not have Luol cleared to play here in Italy. We are working overtime to secure the appropriate insurance for him and we are receiving full support from all those involved in the process. British Basketball is confident that Luol will play a major role in our Eurobasket A division campaign this season."