Valencia Basket brings back Kelati
One of the Eurocup's few two-time champions is returning to the team he won it with first as Valencia Basket on Friday announced a contract agreement with sharpshooter Thomas Kelati until the end of the 2013-14 season, pending medical and physical tests.
Kelati (1.95 meters, 29 years old) arrives from BC Khimki Moscow Region, where he averaged 9.7 points on 49.3% three-point shooting and 2.6 rebounds in 15 Eurocup games last season, helping his team to beat Valencia in the title game. Kelati had played a crucial role in getting Khimki to the Eurocup Finals by averaging 18 points on 9-of-12 three-point shooting in a quarterfinals victory over Lokomotiv-Kuban of Russia. He also helped Khimki win the VTB League title in 2011 and reach the Russian League finals in each of the last two seasons. Before going to Russia, Kelati had won his first Eurocup with Valencia in 2010. As such, Kelati is one of the five players to win the competition twice, along with Matt Nielsen, Kelly McCarty, Mindaugas Lukauskis and Edu Hernandez-Sonseca. Kelati is also a Euroleague record-sharer, having made the most three-pointers in a single game, nine, while playing for Unicaja of Spain on March 4, 2009. Kelati previously played for Turow Zgorzelec of Poland, reaching the ULEB Cup quarterfinals in 2008 and back-to-back Polish League finals. Kelati previously played for Dexia Mons-Hainaut in Belgium after finishing his four-year college career at Washington State University. He is the only professional basketball player with Eritrean roots.