Cedevita Olimpija Ljubljana signed big man Mikael Hopkins to a two-year deal, the club announced Friday. Hopkins (2.06 meters, 26 years old) arrives from Bulgarian team Balkans, where he averaged 14.7 points, 8.3 rebounds and 2.4 assists in the FIBA Europe Cup last season. He was named best forward in the competition. Hopkins also posted 17.2 points, 9.0 rebounds and 2.1 assists in the Bulgarian League, where he helped Balkan win the championship. After playing college basketball at Georgetown University, Hopkins began his professional career at Istanbul DSI. He also played two seasons for Samsun and another for Yalova in the Turkish second division.
"I would like to thank the Cedevita Olimpija Ljubljana for the opportunity," Hopkins said. "I look forward to the challenges and the fact that strong competitors oppose us this season and that we will compete in two strong European competitions. My friend Mirko Mulalic told me many beautiful things about Ljubljana and the fans and I look forward to coming to the court and playing."
"Mikael Hopkins is a player who will cover the positions of center and power forward," Coach Slaven Rimac said. "We see him as a player who can give us an additional dimension at the center by opening the space under the basket with his shooting and at the '4' position, he takes advantage of his back-to-the-basket game. I think that it will be a good alternative in our positions and that because of his presence our game will be diverse. He has had three or four excellent seasons in slightly less powerful leagues and comes from a very good American university, so I think he will fit in well and make a step forward in his career."