Real Madrid has bolstered its roster by signing forward Mario Hezonja to a two-year deal, the club announced on Thursday. Hezonja (2.03 meters, 27 years old) arrives from UNICS Kazan, where he averaged 14.2 points, 6.1 rebounds and 1.2 steals in 25 Turkish Airlines EuroLeague games last season. He ranked eighth in the EuroLeague in both scoring and rebounding and was second in defensive boards (5.5 drpg.), only trailing Georgios Papagiannis of Panathinaikos OPAP Athens (6.0 drpg.).
Real lands forward Hezonja
He joined UNICS after finishing the 2020-21 campaign with Panathinaikos, where he averaged 14.4 points, 2.5 rebounds, 1.3 assists and 1.6 steals in eight EuroLeague games. The 2020-21 season was the Croatian forward's first back in Europe after spending the previous five seasons in the NBA with Orlando, New York and Portland.
Hezonja started his career with Dubrovnik in his native Croatia before playing for KK Zagreb and helping the club win the 2011 Euroleague Basketball Adidas Next Generation Tournament title. He then joined FC Barcelona in 2012 and played three seasons there, including 38 games in the EuroLeague. Hezonja helped Barca win the 2014 Spanish League title. With Croatia, he won the gold medal at the FIBA U16 European Championship 2011 and bronze at the FIBA U17 Basketball World Cup 2012.