By Johnny Askounis/ email@example.com
Croatian forward Mario Hezonja rejected being linked to Real Madrid.
“Personally, I haven’t talked with anyone,” he said, per the official portal of UNICS, “I knew about such rumors following our elimination from EuroLeague. It seemed like multiple teams, including Final Four participants, showed interest to sign me for the remainder of the season or for the next season.”
Hezonja, 27, has agreed to a two-year deal with Los Blancos, according to Eurohoops sources, as reported on Tuesday. He produced 14.2 points, 6.1 rebounds, 1.8 assists, 1.2 steals, and 0.3 blocks per Turkish Airlines EuroLeague game until Euroleague Basketball decided to withdraw the participation of all Russian teams in late March due to Russia’s invasion of Ukraine and the ongoing war.
“I am happy I stayed, because I really wanted to win the VTB United League and finish the season in Kazan,” added Hezonja, “My representatives never told me about other offers because they understood my preference in staying with my teammates and coaching staff of our club.”
Since focusing on the VTB United League, the team based in Kazan finished the Regular Season in the third seed and swept Avtodor Saratov but lost the best-of-five series against Zenit Saint Petersburg in four games. Wrapping up the season with a best-of-seven series against Lokomotiv Kuban for third place, it is up 2-1.
“UNICS gave me a lot. This season, I was the leader. Therefore, as a leader, I couldn’t simply leave the club,” Hezonja explained, “We will see what happens in the summer. I haven’t negotiated with anyone and am fully focused on the series versus Lokomotiv Kuban.”
Photo Credit: EuroleagueBasketball.net