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Salah Mejri

Salah Mejri, new player for Real Madrid

Noticia | 08/07/2013 | PHOTOGRAPHER: Realmadrid.com

Salah Mejri (15/06/1986 - Jendouba, Tunisia) comes to Real Madrid after being one of the Liga Endasa's biggest sensations last year, being named the season’s Rising Star. Coming from Blusens Monbus, the Tunisian centre combines his enormous wingspan with considerable agility for his height. Adding to this is his great ability to intimidate, rebound, and his powerful game above the rim.

The new Real Madrid player comes to the team led by Pablo Laso to reinforce an already strong inside game. Recently having turned 27 years old, he is the first Arab player to wear the Real Madrid jersey. Mejri’s invasion of the Liga has been spectacular. He shined in his debut this season with Blusens Monbus, who he took to the playoffs for the first time in their history, being named the ACB Rising Star with an average of 9.3 points, 5.4 rebounds, 1.6 blocks, and an 11.1 PIR in 20 minutes of game-play. His conviction below the rim is proven by his statistics as the championship's top blocker and second in dunks per game. The Tunisian centre hit 62% of two-pointers, a high accuracy thanks to the fact that almost all passes to him near the basket end in a dunk.

His progress has no limits. He started to play basketball at the age of 18, setting aside what was his true passion: football. A follower of Real Madrid and a fan of Luis Figo, he made history in his first season in the ACB, demonstrating his enormous potential. After his performance against the Blancos de Rueda Valladolid, he was named the player of the game after scoring 20 points and 15 rebounds in 19 minutes. No one has ever before trapped so many rebounds in so little game-time. Only Arvydas Sabonis came close to these numbers. His work ethic allows him to get better every day. He is extremely agile for his 2.17 metres and moves fast across the floor, a key factor of Real Madrid’s current game. One of his favourite plays is the pick and roll, which his connection with Sergio Rodríguez spectacularly anticipates.

Acclaimed on an international level after being named MVP in 2011 when Tunisia took the championship at FIBA Africa, he endorsed his credentials a year later by being the top blocker at the London Olympic games (3.4 per game) on top of being the tournament’s second top rebounder (averaging 10). His short but intense professional career started in his home country, in the ranks of Étoile du Sahel in 2006. He stayed four seasons with the team in the city of Sousse, conquering two League cups and one Arab Nations Cub. His numbers sparked the interest of the Belgian League’s Port of Antwerp Giants in 2010. There he spent two seasons, also playing in the EuroChallenge with an average of 7.3 points and 7.2 rebounds, earning him a place at the Utah Jazz exhibition game. Then came Blusens, and now Real Madrid, and with it his greatest challenge as a basketball player.

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