By Eurohoops team / firstname.lastname@example.org
Hapoel Jerusalem had a busy Sunday (9/7) by announcing the additions of swingman Yovel Zoosman and forward Chris Johnson, along with the renewal of guard Speedy Smith’s contract.
Zoosman signed a three-year deal with Hapoel to return to his native Israel where he played for Maccabi Tel Aviv. The 25-year-old wing spent the last two seasons in Germany with ALBA Berlin, averaging 6.8 points, 2.9 rebounds and 1.8 assists in the 2022-23 EuroLeague.
He will debut in the Basketball Champions League next season.
“I am very happy to join Hapoel,” Zoosman said, per Hapoel. “A special and fascinating process is happening here that I quickly connected with and wanted to be a part of. The idea of working with coach Dzikic, playing alongside excellent players who are committed to the team framework and being part of a professional system like the one here.”
It’s a comeback for Johnson who was previously a member of the team in 2018-2019. The decorated Basketball Champions League defender (two-time All-Defensive Team selection in 2022 and 2023, apart from All-First Team member in 2022) then moved Hapoel Holon where he spent the next four years.
Last season, the 33-year-old Johnson had 14.6 points, 5.1 rebounds and 1.5 assists in the BCL.
In the meantime, Speedy Smith signed a new contract with Hapoel for 2023-24 that includes an option for 2024-25.
“Staying in Hapoel was my top priority this summer,” said Smith per Hapoel, “I wanted to return to play for the coach, alongside my brothers in red, and for the best fans in Israel. And most importantly – to finish what we started.”
Smith, 30, was a key part of the Hapoel squad that made the 023 Basketball Champions League Final Four championship game (a loss to Telekom Baskets Bonn). He averaged 9.9 points, 5.8 assists and 2.8 rebounds.
Photo: EuroLeague Basketball