By Eurohoops team / firstname.lastname@example.org
Virtus Segafredo Bologna strengthened with the addition of big men Jordan Mickey and Ismael Bako, the club officially announced Wednesday.
Mickey arrives in Virtus from Zenit St. Petersburg, with which he won the 2021-22 VTB League championship and was named the Finals MVP. Mickey averaged 15 points per VTB contest last season, while he posted 12 points per EuroLeague game prior to the suspension of Russian clubs.
The former Boston Celtics and Miami Heat player landed in Europe for the 2018-19 season with Khimki and moved to Real Madrid for the following campaign. He returned to Khimki in 2020 and joined Zenit during the 2021 offseason.
Bako was born in Leuven, Belgium, on October 10, 1995. A 210cm center, he began his career at the Leuven Bears in Belgium in 2012 and remained in his hometown until 2017. In the 2017-18 season, he signed with Antwerp where he won the Belgian Cup and was named MVP of the competition. Also with Antwerp, he also plays in the 2019 Basketball Champions League Final Four and is included in the best start-line of competition.
Later, the move to ASVEL, in France, where he won French Championship and French Cup. In the season just ended he played with Manresa’s jersey, finishing with 10 points and 6 rebounds in Liga ACB and 8.7 points and 6 rebounds in the Basketball Champions League, a competition in which he reached the Final Four of the Tournament for the second time. Bako ended the season with the Spanish team with a 16-point, 11-rebound performance in Game 2 of the playoffs against Spanish champion Real Madrid.
A mainstay of the national team since 2016, in the last two wins against the Serbian national team he put up a 14+11 double-double in the game played in November and a 17-point, 6-rebound performance in the win last July 3.