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Dallas Mavericks Ink Agreement with Israeli Basketball Star Gal Mekel

Maccabi Haifa and Israeli national team point guard Gal Mekel has reached an agreement with the Dallas Mavericks of the NBA. Mekel will be the second Israeli to play in the world’s premier basketball league, following in the large footsteps of Omri Casspi.

ESPN reports:

To clinch the deal with Mekel, amid serious interest from Milwaukee, Toronto, Atlanta, Indiana and Memphis, sources say Dallas has agreed to give a multiyear guaranteed contract to the 25-year-old, who fast-tracked himself as an NBA prospect after a breakout season in his native country in which he led unfancied Maccabi Haifa to the Israeli championship over perennial powerhouse Maccabi Electra Tel-Aviv…

Mekel has made major progress since his days at Wichita State from 2006-2008 and increasingly appeals to NBA teams thanks to his size, ability to lead a team and, most of all, his pick-and-roll proficiency. The Utah Jazz were the first team to register NBA interest in Mekel last fall, but visa issues prevented him from accepting Utah’s invitation to training camp and ultimately led him to sign with Maccabi Haifa…

Mekel was named MVP in Israel for the 2012-13 season after Haifa toppled Maccabi Tel Aviv for the Israeli Super League championship. It’s his second MVP trophy in four pro seasons in Israel.

Mekel already has extensive connections to basketball’s birthplace. He played two years of college ball at Kansas’ Wichita State, and his longtime girlfriend, model Danyelle Sims, is the daughter of the retired American-Israeli Maccabi Haifa legend Willie Sims.

[Photo: MaccabiHaifaTeam / YouTube]