London Lions have confirmed the signing of ex-NBA centre Kosta Koufos.

The Greece international had an 11-year NBA career with five different franchises and helped his ancestral land to EuroBasket bronze medal in 2009. His arrival was first reported by Marc Stein via his Substack.

When the Ohio-born big man makes his BBL debut he will become the player with the most NBA appearances to turn out in Britain’s top league having played 686 regular season games along with 37 appearances in the playoffs.

After an illustrious career at GlennOak High School, Koufos spent a single season at Ohio State University where he helped the Buccaneers win the prestigious National Invitation Tournament, finishing with 22 points, nine rebounds and three block in the title game.

Koufos was selected by the Utah Jazz with the 23rd overall pick in the 2008 NBA draft and his two seasons in Salt Lake City saw him play 84 games, averaging 3.3 points and 2.2 rebounds.

Earlier this week, London acquired American/British centre John Sharma, from Polish side Trefl Sopot, where he averaged 12.2 points and 6.0 rebounds last term.

Lions head coach Ryan Schmidt said: “We’re extremely excited about the addition of Kosta to our organisation. Signing someone of his calibre with the experience he brings is invaluable and adds depth to our front-court alongside Ovie (Soko) and Josh (Sharma).

“That combination of size, physicality and skill are what really stand out when you watch his film. I think he’ll provide us with a low post presence as well as an anchor defensively with his ability to guard the pick-and-roll as well as rebound. Aside from his on-court talent, his leadership qualities will impact our team from day one.”

After suiting up for the Minnesota Timberwolves, Koufos joined the Denver Nuggets and the 2012/13 season saw him start 81 regular games for the team, averaging 6.9 points and 5.2 rebounds, leading his side to the play-offs. Two seasons with Memphis Grizzlies followed, where he played 161 regular season games.

A four-season spell at Sacramento saw more than 250 appearances for the Kings before EuroLeague seasons with CSKA Moscow and  Olympiacos were followed by an NBA G-League campaign.

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