Archive for the ‘ Atlanta Hawks Blog ’ Category

Hawks coach Mike Budenholzer fined by NBA

Atlanta Hawks head coach Mike Budenholzer has been fined $25,000 for making incidental contact with a game official during live action, it was announced today by Kiki VanDeWeghe, Executive Vice President, Basketball Operations.

The incident, for which Budenholzer was assessed a technical foul and ejected, occurred with 6:27 remaining in the second quarter of Atlanta’s 109-97 loss to the Cleveland Cavaliers on Saturday, Nov. 21 at Quicken Loans Arena.

Hawks face Cavs on Saturday

Two of the best teams in the Eastern conference face off on Saturday. Here’s the Atlanta Journal Constitution reporting:

The Cavaliers (9-3) lead the Eastern Conference, with the Hawks (9-5) in third place early in the new season. The Cavaliers are not going anywhere, it would appear. LeBron James carried them last season, and he could very well do it again.

The Hawks will face the Cavaliers without one, and possibly two, starters. Small forward Kent Bazemore (right ankle sprain) has been ruled out. Point guard Jeff Teague (left ankle sprain) is questionable.

The Cavaliers are injured themselves. Point guard Kyrie Irving (fractured left kneecap), guard Iman Shumpert (injured forearm), center Timofey Mozgov (right shoulder sprain) and guard Mo Williams (right lower leg soreness) all will not play. With Mozgov out, Tristan Thompson may start at center. He gave the Hawks fits in the postseason.

“Taking care of the defensive boards is something that is going to be important,” Hawks coach Mike Budenholzer said.

From President of Basketball Operations/Head Coach Mike Budenholzer:

Wife of Hawks coach Mike Budenholzer recovering from medical emergency

“On Friday morning, I returned to Atlanta from Boston to be with my family due to an emergency medical situation involving my wife. We are encouraged by her progress to this point and remain cautiously optimistic.

I would like to take this opportunity to thank the doctors and support staff at Emory for the outstanding care they have provided my wife. I would also like to thank my coaching staff, our players and the entire Hawks organization for their support and encouragement during this time. We are humbled by the outpouring of support from so many friends and members of the NBA family. It is greatly appreciated.

Finally, I’d like to thank the media and our fans for respecting our family’s continued request for privacy during this period.

I will return to the team as soon as possible and will be happy to answer any basketball-related questions at that time.”

Hawks exercise pair of options

The Atlanta Hawks exercised the fourth-year (2016-17) options on the contracts of Tim Hardaway Jr. and Dennis Schroder, it was announced today by President of Basketball Operations/Head Coach Mike Budenholzer.

Hawks waive Earl Barron and DeQuan Jones

Hawks waive Earl Barron and DeQuan Jones

The Atlanta Hawks Basketball Club has requested waivers on Earl Barron and DeQuan Jones, it was announced today by President of Basketball Operations/Head Coach Mike Budenholzer.

Both players appeared in four preseason contests.

NBA preseason ended Friday. The regular season starts Tuesday.

Hawks waive Terran Petteway

The Atlanta Hawks have requested waivers on Terran Petteway, it was announced today by President of Basketball Operations/Head Coach Mike Budenholzer.

Petteway appeared in three preseason contests for the Hawks.

Thabo Sefolosha, now healed after the NYPD LITERALLY BROKE HIS LEG (and DAMAGED A LIGAMENT — while it remains unclear what Thabo actually did wrong), is finally back in action as NBA preseason continues. Here’s the Atlanta Journal-Constitution reporting:

Thabo Sefolosha finally back on NBA court

Thabo Sefolosha was back – even if it was just for eight minutes.

Sefolosha played his first game since April 7 following a broken right leg and ligament damage suffered in an arrest outside a New York nightclub later that night. He missed the Hawks first two exhibition games during the trial where he was fully acquitted last week.

“It felt good,” Sefolosha said following the Hawks’ 100-86 exhibition win over the Spurs at Philips Arena. “I didn’t play heavy minutes but at the same time it was good just to have a feel for it and be out there. …

“It’s great to be back. That’s what I love doing. This group is special and it’s like being around family.”

Hawks waive Arsalan Kazemi and Edgar Sosa

The Atlanta Hawks have requested waivers on Arsalan Kazemi and Edgar Sosa, it was announced today by President of Basketball Operations/Head Coach Mike Budenholzer.

Each player appeared in one preseason contest.

Lots of players around the league were signed to non-guaranteed contracts that merely brought them onto the team’s training camp/preseason roster. The vast majority of them will be waived in the next few weeks as teams trim their rosters for the regular season.

Hawks sign Arsalan Kazemi

Hawks sign Arsalan Kazemi

The Atlanta Hawks have signed forward Arsalan Kazemi (are-suh-lahn kah-ZEE-me) to a contract, it was announced today by President of Basketball Operations/Head Coach Mike Budenholzer. It’s presumably a non-guaranteed deal just for training camp.

Kazemi became the first Iranian national to be drafted by an NBA franchise when he was selected in the second round (54th overall) of the 2013 NBA Draft by Washington (his draft rights were subsequently traded to Philadelphia).

A 6-7 forward, Kazemi played his first three seasons of college basketball at Rice (2009-12) before transferring to Oregon for his senior year (2012-13) and helping the Ducks to the Sweet Sixteen in the NCAA Tournament. He played in 130 career games as a collegian recording 11.7 points, 10.1 rebounds, 1.7 steals and 1.5 in assists in 29.0 minutes (.559 FG%, .678 FT%), including averaging a double-double during his sophomore (15.2 points/11.0 rebounds) and junior seasons (12.1 points/10.3 rebounds).

In 2013 he returned to his home country to play for Petrochimi Bandar Imam in the Iran Super League before signing with the Chongqing Soaring Dragons of the Chinese Basketball Association last season.

Kazemi was called up to the Iranian National Senior Team in 2010 after previously playing for the country’s under-19 and under-18 teams.

He will wear No. 5.

Jason Richardson retires from NBA

Jason Richardson, aka J-Rich, was a dunk phenom and a mighty fine basketball player. Between 2001 and 2015 he averaged 17.1 points, 5.0 rebounds and 2.7 assists per game. A fantastic NBA career is in the books. Here’s the Philadelphia Inquirer blog reporting:

The thought was that Jason Richardson would extend his career as a member of the Atlanta Hawks.

But the shooting guard, who was with 76ers the past three seasons, announced his retirement Wednesday on his personal Instagram page.

“Today is a bitter sweet moment for me,” he wrote. “ I’m officially announcing my retirement from pro basketball. I like to thank the organizations and fans in Charlotte, Phoenix, Orlando, Philly and especially The Bay Area for their loyal support the past 14 years. Walking away was the hardest decision I had to make but choosing my health and spending time with my family is more important to me! God bless!”

This announcement comes after Richardson had signed a non-guaranteed, one-year deal with the Hawks for the league minimum back in August.

The Atlanta Hawks Basketball Club has announced several additions and promotions within the basketball operations department, it was announced today by President of Basketball Operations/Head Coach Mike Budenholzer.

The Hawks have named Michael Blackstone as Assistant General Manager, John Treloar as Director of Player Personnel, Malik Rose as Manager of Basketball Operations, Dotun Akinwale as Manager of Scouting, Matt Elijah as Manager of Basketball Administration, Daniel Starkman as Coordinator of Basketball Operations and David Painter as Director of Basketball Facilities. Jeff Peterson has been promoted to Director of Scouting and Naya-Joi Martin to Manager of Player Programs, while Rick Sund (Senior Advisor, Basketball Operations) and Mike McNeive (Director of Basketball Operations) continue in their roles.

“Much like building our team on the floor, we seek to add and retain high-character individuals who work well as a group at every level of our basketball operations department,” Budenholzer said. “We believe in a collaborative approach in everything we do, and are excited to have these talented and hard-working individuals with us.”

Blackstone comes to the Hawks from the Shapiro Negotiations Institute in Baltimore, MD, where he was Executive Vice President/Sports Practice Director. He was formerly the Executive Director of Basketball Operations for the Cleveland Cavaliers from 2010-13. Blackstone previously founded Humagination, a sales training and executive development firm.

A veteran of more than 30 years in pro and college basketball, Treloar spent the last five seasons with the Phoenix Suns, most recently as Director of Player Personnel. He was previously Head Coach of the Erie BayHawks of the NBA Development League, in the Continental Basketball Association, and an Assistant Coach at Louisiana State University and Indiana University.

Rose, a 13-year NBA veteran, appeared in 813 regular season games with the Charlotte Hornets, San Antonio Spurs, New York Knicks and Oklahoma City Thunder. He also appeared in 82 playoff games, winning two NBA championships with the Spurs in 1999 and 2003. The native of Philadelphia, PA starred collegiately at Drexel University. Since retiring as a player, Rose has worked in broadcasting with the Knicks, 76ers, Austin Toros of the NBA D-League, NBA TV and NBA Radio.

Akinwale spent the last two seasons with the Orlando Magic – he was an intern in basketball operations in 2013-14 and last season was promoted to Basketball Operations Coordinator. He is a 2013 graduate of Thiel College.

Elijah most recently worked as an Associate at Alvarez & Marsal in San Francisco, CA. He is a graduate of University of California-Santa Barbara, the University of Notre Dame (M.B.A.) and University of California Hastings College of the Law (Juris Doctor).

Starkman worked as a student manager with the University of Florida for the last four years, and earned a degree in Business Administration.

Painter has been the Practice Facility Manager at Cleveland Clinic Courts for the Cleveland Cavaliers since it opened in 2007. He previously worked as Associate Director of Recreation, as well as in admissions, at his alma mater, Baldwin-Wallace College. He also has a Master’s in Sports Management from Kent State.

Peterson was previously a Scout and Coordinator of Basketball Operations for the Hawks prior to his promotion. Peterson, who joined the Hawks as a seasonal assistant in 2012, finished his collegiate playing career at Florida State.

Martin spent last season as the Hawks’ Team Player Development Manager/Basketball Operations Coordinator. The native of Bronx, NY attended Williams College (B.A. in Psychology) and Emory’s Goizueta Business School (M.B.A.-Marketing). She previously worked as an intern in Public Relations for the New York Knicks and at the NBA Summer League in Las Vegas.

With over 40 years of NBA experience, Sund is entering his fourth season as Senior Advisor and his eighth with the Hawks. He was the team’s Executive Vice President/General Manager from 2008-12, where under his leadership, the Hawks went 184-128, reaching the playoffs in all four seasons. Previously he worked in basketball leadership positions with the Dallas Mavericks, Detroit Pistons and Seattle Sonics after starting his career with the Milwaukee Bucks.

McNeive is entering his 13th season with the Hawks and 10th in his current position. He was Atlanta’s Director of Pro Personnel from 2004-06 after originally joining the Hawks as an Assistant Coach in 2003-04. He previously worked with the Milwaukee Bucks, Seattle Sonics and Orlando Magic.

Hawks to retire Dikembe Mutombo jersey number

Atlanta Hawks CEO Steve Koonin and President of Basketball Operations and Head Coach Mike Budenholzer announced earlier today that the organization will retire Dikembe Mutombo’s No. 55 uniform in a special ceremony on November 24th when the Hawks host the Boston Celtics at Philips Arena. The announcement was made during a ceremony recognizing today as Dikembe Mutombo Day in Fulton County.

“There are very few players who have had the impact on- and off-the-court that Dikembe has had, and he’s very deserving of this honor,” Koonin said. “As a player, man and humanitarian, he represents everything we want to be associated with. November 24th is going to be a memorable night in our franchise’s history, in Atlanta, in Fulton County, and for Dikembe and his family.”

Mutombo, who will be enshrined into the Naismith Basketball Hall of Fame on Sept. 11, spent five seasons (343 games) with the Hawks (1996-2001), finishing with averages of 11.9 points, 12.6 rebounds, 3.2 blocks and 1.2 assists in 36.2 minutes (.529 FG%).

He ranks third in franchise history in career field goal percentage (.529), blocks (1,094) and rebounds per game (12.6), seventh in defensive rebounds (3,093) and ninth in offensive rebounds (1,228) and minutes per game. He holds the second (277, 1997-98), fourth (269, 1999-00) and fifth positions (264, 1996-97) on the franchise list for most blocks in a single season, and has the sixth-best field goal percentage season (.562, 1999-00) in club history.

Overall, he played 18 years in the league (1,196 games), ranking second in NBA history in blocked shots (3,289) and 19th in rebounds (12,359), averaging 9.8 points, 10.3 rebounds, 2.8 blocks and 1.0 assists in 30.8 minutes (.518 FG%). He was a four-time Defensive Player of the Year (tied for the most in league history), eight-time All-Star and is the only two-time winner of the J. Walter Kennedy Citizenship Award.

Mutombo will join Hawks legends Dominique Wilkins (#21), Lou Hudson (#23), Bob Pettit (#9) and Ted Turner as those honored in Philips Arena’s rafters.

The Atlanta Hawks have made hires to their Athletic Performance Team, it was announced today by President of Basketball Operations/Head Coach Mike Budenholzer. Keke (kay-kay) Lyles has been named Executive Director of Player Performance, Art Horne Head Athletic Trainer, Mike Roncarati Director of Rehabilitation and Chris Chase Athletic Performance Coach. They join Assistant Athletic Trainer Scottie Parker on the staff.

“The health and well-being of our players are a critical component of our ability to succeed,” Budenholzer said. “Our Athletic Performance Team has a wealth of experience working with high-level athletes in injury prevention, treatment and development that will serve us well and keep us strong over the course of a long season.”

Lyles will be responsible for overseeing and directing the Athletic Performance Team, and developing personal health and performance plans for each of the players. He spent the past two years with the Golden State Warriors, serving as Director of Athletic Performance/Assistant Coach. Lyles joined the Warriors from the Minnesota Timberwolves, where he was the club’s Strength and Conditioning Coach. He also spent a season with the Indiana Pacers as an Assistant Strength Coach and completed an internship with the Boston Celtics. A native of Redlands, CA, Lyles received his Bachelor’s Degree in Rehabilitation Science and his Doctorate of Physical Therapy from Northeastern University.

Horne comes to the Hawks from Northeastern University, where he was Director of Sports Performance, with oversight of the development and care of all varsity student-athletes, while serving as the Athletic Trainer and Strength and Conditioning Coach for the men’s basketball team. He received his Bachelor’s Degree in Athletic Training and Physical Education with a teacher education certification from Canisius, and also holds a Master’s Degree in Education from Boston University.

Roncarati served as the Golden State Warriors’ Strength and Conditioning Coach the last two seasons, working previously as a physical therapist and strength and conditioning coach in his home state of Rhode Island. He graduated from Northeastern University with a Doctor of Physical Therapy, working with the athletic training and strength and conditioning staffs of the school’s basketball and baseball teams. A native of Cumberland, RI, Roncarati is a credentialed Certified Strength and Conditioning Specialist through the National Strength and Conditioning Association.

Chase was most recently with the University of Southern California, where he was an Assistant Strength and Conditioning Coach. He has previously served as an Assistant Strength Coach at the University of Rhode Island, Springfield College in Massachusetts and American International College in Massachusetts. He has a Bachelor’s Degree in Exercise Science from The University of Connecticut and a Master’s Degree in Strength and Conditioning from Springfield College.

Parker is in his second season in Atlanta. He came to the Hawks from Fusionetics Sports Science, and was previously with the Seattle Seahawks, where he was part of the training staff for the 2014 Super Bowl champions. He also has experience with the Portland Trail Blazers and Ontario Warriors arena league football team. A Certified Athletic Trainer by the National Athletic Trainers Association, and a Performance Enhancement Specialist as well as Corrective Exercise Specialist by the National Academy of Sports Medicine, Parker graduated from University of Northwestern (St. Paul, MN) with a Bachelor’s Degree in Kinesiology and a minor in Coaching. He earned his Master’s Degree from California Baptist University in Riverside, CA in Athletic Training.

Hawks sign Jason Richardson

Hawks sign Jason Richardson

You forgot about Jason Richardson. But he still exists and still plays basketball. And now he adds depth to the bench of a very good Eastern conference squad.

The Atlanta Hawks have signed Richardson, it was announced today by President of Basketball Operations/Head Coach Mike Budenholzer.

A 13-year NBA veteran, Richardson has played in 857 career regular season games (842 starts) with Golden State, Phoenix, Orlando, Charlotte and Philadelphia, averaging 17.1 points, 5.0 rebounds, 2.7 assists and 1.2 steals in 34.1 minutes. In 37 postseason games, he has put in 17.1 points, 5.4 rebounds, 1.4 assists and 1.1 steals in 34.1 minutes.

In 19 games last season with the 76ers, Richardson averaged 9.1 points, 3.5 rebounds and 2.0 assists in 21.9 minutes.

Here’s the Atlanta Journal Constitution reporting the latest on a Hawks forward i. A very scary and serious situation:

Mike Scott faces up to 25 years in prison on two felony drug charges stemming from his arrest last month.

An initial court date in the case could take several months to be placed on the calendar as the drugs have been sent to an independent lab for processing, according to the Banks County assistant district attorney. That would mean an initial court appearance would come during the upcoming NBA season.

Scott was arrested, along with his younger brother, on July 30 after a traffic stop along Interstate 85 in Homer. In the vehicle, police found 35.2 grams of marijuana and 10.9 grams of Schedule I drug MDMA, known as Molly. The charge on the MDMA carries a sentence of up to 15 years. The charge on the marijuana carries a sentence of up to 10 years, according to Georgia statutes.

The Atlanta Hawks Basketball Club announced today two executive appointments. Atlanta sports marketing veteran Andrew Saltzman has joined the organization as Executive Vice President and Chief Revenue Officer, and Andrew Steinberg moves to the newly created role of Executive Vice President and Chief Business Officer.

“These two executive announcements are major steps in realizing our ownership’s vision of being Atlanta’s top sports franchise, both in the business and civic communities,” Chief Executive Officer Steve Koonin said.

“We are thrilled to add the talents and experience of Andrew Saltzman to our executive team. Andrew is a passionate executive who has proven himself a visionary creative mind in the sports and media marketplaces, both locally and nationally.”

“I’ve been in the Atlanta sports market for almost 20 years and have never seen a sports team with as much momentum as the Atlanta Hawks,” said Saltzman. “The opportunity to be a part of this organization and work with a leader like Steve Koonin is simply a dream come true for me.”
Saltzman most recently served as the Chief Revenue Officer for PlayOn! Sports and the NFHS Network, the nation’s largest high school sports media company. From 1997 to 2012, Saltzman served as President of Big League Broadcasting, co-founding and developing WQXI-AM into one of the country’s leading sports talk outlets, Sports Radio 790 The Zone. Through his leadership and client-centric marketing vision, 790 The Zone established itself as Atlanta’s premier sports broadcast station. Saltzman’s resume also includes successfully negotiating multi-year sports broadcast agreements with the Hawks, the Atlanta Falcons, Georgia Tech Athletics and the Chick-fil-A Bowl.

In his new role of Executive Vice President and Chief Business Officer, Steinberg will now take a leadership role in the execution of strategic projects as determined by Koonin and the Hawks Board of Directors, including: the development of a new practice facility site, reimagining Philips Arena, and pursuing an NBA Development League team as a Hawks affiliate. Additionally, he will provide oversight of Philips Arena.

“We are fortunate to have a leader in Andrew Steinberg, who will take on new responsibilities as our enterprise enters its next chapter. As the Atlanta Hawks Basketball Club continues to invest in both our organization and our community, Andrew will be at the forefront of these new major initiatives under new ownership,” said Koonin.

Under Steinberg, all Hawks revenue metrics have surged. During the 2014-15 season, Atlanta experienced the largest increase in attendance in the NBA and established team records for single game and group sales, leading the league in both categories. The Hawks currently lead the NBA in new full season tickets sold for 2015-16 and the season ticket membership base has increased by over 50% in his three seasons. Steinberg also created the Analytics and CRM department, providing strategic direction and key business intelligence insights and was instrumental in negotiations for the local media deals with Fox Sports South, CBS Radio 92.9 The Game and iHeartMedia’s El Patron 105.3FM. During his time in the role, Steinberg also developed marquee corporate partnerships with Boingo, Comcast, FanDuel and Ticketmaster, among others.

“I am excited for the challenges of my new role and working closely with our owners, who are committed to making the Hawks a vibrant community asset,” said Steinberg. “I look forward to helping execute their positive vision and to working with Executive Vice President and Philips Arena General Manager Trey Feazell, who has done an outstanding job leading the arena to become one of the busiest in the nation.”

Steinberg joined the Atlanta Hawks and Philips Arena from Sporting Kansas City where he was Executive Vice President – Business Operations, directing revenue generation, strategic relationships, and corporate partnerships for the MLS team and the venue, Sporting Park. Prior to Sporting Kansas City, Steinberg served in various roles with the University of Kansas Athletics Department most notably as the Associate Athletics Director for Marketing and Revenue Development where he was responsible for enhancing KU’s brand image and strengthening its revenue streams. Steinberg joined the University of Kansas after serving as an associate with the law firm of Riling, Burkhead & Nitcher in Lawrence, Kansas and working with NIKE in Beaverton, Oregon.

“These two executive announcements are a major step in realizing our ownership’s vision in having our enterprise serve as a dynamic leader in the Atlanta business community,” said Koonin.

Hawks forward Mike Scott arrested

Here’s the Atlanta Journal Constitution reporting on some legal trouble for Hawks reserve Mike Scott, who last season 7.8 points and 2.9 rebounds in 16.5 minutes per game:

Hawks forward Mike Scott arrested

Hawks forward Mike Scott faces felony drug charges after he was arrested in Banks County on Thursday morning.

Scott, who just completed his third season with the Hawks, was arrested along with his brother, Antonn Imhotep Scott, for possession of marijuana and MDMA, known as Molly.

According to a report from the Banks County Sheriff’s office, deputies attempted to stop a Chevrolet Tahoe on Interstate 85 driven by Antonn Scott for following too closely to other vehicles at 9 a.m.

The vehicle failed to yield to police and reached a speed of up to 98 mph.

Hawks coach Mike Budenholzer enjoyed great success on the court last season but had some trouble off it. Here’s the Atlanta Journal Constitution reporting the latest:

Hawks coach Mike Budenholzer pleads not guilty to DUI

Hawks coach Mike Budenholzer has entered a plea of not guilty in his driving under the influence case, according to his attorney.

Budenholzer entered the plea in Fulton County State Court last week in writing with the court and Judge Diane E. Bessens. The court has a scheduled plea and arraignment hearing tomorrow at 9 a.m. With the filing of the plea and two motions, neither Budenholzer nor his attorney Michael Hawkins will attend. The plea and motions were filed with the court on July 22.

Budenholzer faces misdemeanor charges of driving under the influence alcohol less safe and defective or no taillights from an arrest Aug. 28, 2013 after being stopped by police at 10:30 p.m. at 10th Street and Crescent Avenue in Midtown.

Hawks sign Lamar Patterson and Terran Petteway

The Atlanta Hawks have signed guard/forwards Lamar Patterson and Terran Petteway (tur-RAN PET-uh-way), it was announced today by President of Basketball Operations/Head Coach Mike Budenholzer.

Both players competed for the Hawks in the recently-completed NBA Las Vegas Summer League.

Patterson started all seven games for the summer Hawks, averaging team-bests of 13.1 points, 3.4 assists and 1.6 steals while adding 5.1 rebounds in 25.8 minutes (.452 FG%, .375 3FG%).

Chosen by Milwaukee in the second round (48th overall) of the 2014 NBA Draft, he was acquired by the Hawks on draft night in exchange for a 2015 second round pick. Patterson played in 29 games last season for Tofas in Turkey, putting up 11.2 points, 3.4 rebounds and 2.2 assists in 28.6 minutes.

The 6-foot-5 Patterson played at Pittsburgh from 2009-14, seeing action in a school-record 148 games (starting his final 106 contests). He was named All-Atlantic Coast Conference Second Team as a senior after averaging 17.1 points, 4.9 rebounds, 4.3 assists and 1.4 steals in 32.6 minutes (.441 FG%, .388 3FG%, .754 FT%) in 36 contests.

In Las Vegas, Petteway appeared in seven games (six starts) and averaged 10.9 points, 4.3 rebounds, 2.6 assists, 1.0 steals and 1.0 block in 26.0 minutes.

An early-entry candidate for the 2015 NBA Draft, the 6-foot-6 junior led Nebraska in scoring last season, averaging 18.2 points (fourth in the Big Ten) along with 4.9 rebounds, 2.8 assists (14th) and 1.1 steals (5th). Petteway was selected Third-Team All-Big Ten by the coaches and media, also earning Associated Press Honorable Mention All-America accolades. He topped the Conference in scoring (18.2) as a sophomore, leading the Cornhuskers to their first NCAA Tournament appearance since 1998. Petteway began his college career at Texas Tech (2011-12) before transferring to Nebraska.

Hawks sign Edy Tavares

The Atlanta Hawks have signed center Walter “Edy” Tavares, it was announced yesterday by President of Basketball Operations/Head Coach Mike Budenholzer.

Tavares, a 7-foot-3, 260-pound center, was selected 43rd overall by the Hawks in the 2014 NBA Draft. The 23-year-old has played professionally in Spain for the past five seasons, most recently with Gran Canaria of the Spanish ACB league (2012-15). He averaged 8.3 points, 7.9 rebounds and 1.8 blocks in 22.1 minutes in 57 total games (.635 FG%, .653 FT%) during the 2014-15 ACB league season and Eurocup competition. Tavares led the ACB league in rebounds (274) and blocks (60) in the 2014-15 season. He was named to the 2014-15 All-Eurocup First Team, as well as being named weekly MVP twice. With Tavares starting at center, Gran Canaria went 22-1 in Eurocup play and reached the Eurocup final for the first time in club history.

“We followed Edy closely the past two seasons with Gran Canaria and are excited to officially have Edy as a member of our team. We would like to thank the coaches and executives of Gran Canaria as they played a significant role in Edy’s development and we look forward to continuing his improvement in our player development program,” Budenholzer said.

Prior to joining Gran Canaria full time, Tavares played for Gran Canaria’s youth team in the Spanish EBA league (2009-11) and Union Baloncesto La Palma of the LEB Silver league (2011-12).

Tavares was born in Maio, Sotovento, Cape Verde on March 22, 1992. He is the first Cape Verdean native to be drafted or sign a contract to play in the NBA.

He is currently participating as a member of the Hawks’ 2015 Las Vegas Summer League team and will wear uniform No. 22.

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