GB's Pops Mensah-Bonsu signs for Besiktas of Istanbul

Pops Mensah-Bonsu and Tony Parker
Mensah-Bonsu (left) was injured playing for Villeurbanne, a club part-owned by NBA star Tony Parker (r)

Great Britain forward Pops Mensah-Bonsu has signed for Turkish side Besiktas of Istanbul for the 2011-12 season.

"I look forward to getting back on the court and playing some of my best basketball," he told BBC Sport.

Mensah-Bonsu, 28, recently completed his rehabilitation on the shoulder injury that caused him to miss GB's Eurobasket campaign in Poland.

The Tottenham-born forward was injured in May while playing for Asvel Lyon in the French play-offs.

Besiktas had also shown interest in signing another GB star, Chicago's Luol Deng, while the NBA was locked out.

Mensah-Bonsu, who has enjoyed a chequered career in the NBA, playing six spells in the competition with five different teams, had spoken during the summer of concentrating on playing in Europe.

Italian club Milan was another team showing interest in signing the 6ft 9in power forward, who has also played with Italian side Treviso and Spanish club Badalona.

"I made this decision based on the fact that I want to go into next summer's Olympics with the utmost confidence and with a good season of basketball under my belt," he said.

Mensah-Bonsu has been one of the standout players of the new Great Britain team, making strong contributions to the last two Eurobasket qualifying campaigns.

Besiktas, who currently stand third in the Turkish first division, recently had to part with their Team USA point guard Deron Williams, who returned to play in the NBA at the end of the lockout.

The decision of the players' union and the NBA owners to settle their dispute also ended Besiktas' interest in Deng.