By Amy Samin
Maccabi Electra Tel Aviv has signed American forward/center Trevor Mbakwe (26, 6’8”) to a three year contract. Mbakwe, who also holds a Nigerian passport, played last season for Brose Baskets Bamberg and was a key figure in the club’s victory in the German championship.
Mbakwe is an outstanding athlete who is clearly comfortable in the paint, with excellent scoring percentages and with a soft touch from the foul line. He is a tremendous rebounder with an impressive wingspan who loves to block shots and plays tough on defense.
Mbakwe was born in Saint Paul, Minnesota and is a graduate of the University of Minnesota where, in his senior year (2013), he posted averages of 10 points and 8.6 rebounds per game.
In his first pro season (2013-14), Mbakwe made his way to Europe where he had an excellent year with Italian team Virtus Roma. In the Italian League, he averaged a double-double with 10.6 points and 10.1 rebounds and led the team to the semifinal playoffs. In the Eurocup he contributed 6.2 points and 7.8 rebounds per game.
Last season Mbakwe moved to Germany, finishing the season with the highest index ranking on his team, Brose Baskets Bamberg. He scored 20 points and took 13 rebounds in the fifth and deciding game of the German League championship series against Bayern Munich, which Bamberg won 3-2, finishing the season with averages of 10.3 points - 68% from the field, 82% from the foul line – 7.2 rebounds and 1.5 blocks per game in the German League. In the Eurocup, he averaged 8.7 points and 8.4 rebounds per game.
Welcome to Maccabi, Trevor!