Wednesday, March 30, 2016

Thomas Kelati: Eritrean-Polish-American currently playing in Spain's top league for UCAM Murcia.

It has been a while since we have heard from Thomas Kelati who has been consistent in his ability to play some hard core basketball. Many of us recall when Thomas was signed briefly with the Los Angeles Lakers making him the first Eritrean to join an NBA team. While that adventure did not last long, he became a free agent and was waived. He played for Power Electronics Valencia where he signed a nice contract following the Lakers. In 2010 he won the ULEB (The Union of European League Basketball) Eurocup playing for Power Electronics Valencia. He played a big role throughout the season and showed why he deserved to play in one of the top leagues in the world.

                        Thomas playing for Khimki in Russia.
In July of 2010, he inked a two-year deal with BC Khimki of Russia signing a pretty decent contract. With BC Khimki he won the VTB United League in 2011 and Eurocup in 2012. Following that great season with the Russians, he left BC Khimki in 2012 after his contract ended.

In the summer of  2012 he signed a two-year contract with Valencia Basket where he moved to the beautiful city of Valencia once again. After an injury and sitting out for a short time he left Valencia in June 2013 one year after securing a contract. In late September of 2013, he signed a two-month contract with Laboral Kutxa also in the Spanish league where the team was located in Basque Country. He left the team and has since joined his current team also once home to another Eritrean sports star Henok Goitom who played for Ciudad Murcia. Henok has recently signed with Getafe as most of us are aware.

                Thomas Kelati with his new team UCAM MURCIA
Meanwhile, in February of 2014, Thomas signed with UCAM Murcia for what was left of the season and had a very good run so the team has since then extended his contract for two more years. Currently Murcia is struggling to make the playoffs. The team led by Greek coach Fotis Katsirakisa won a huge game last weekend on its home court. Thomas Kelati once again struck as he helped his team defeat Baloncesto Sevilla by the score of 80-76. The Eritrean-Polish-American who has done well throughout his career had a huge day bringing back memories of his college days at Washington State University by scoring three consecutive three pointers for a total of 9 points as he came off the bench. Thomas' role with his new team is the 6th man and his ability to defend and shoot long has helped his career by contributing a lot to all of his teams. 

Can Thomas who is seen in this very recent picture above sporting an Eritrean Scarf help his new team Murcia a place that Eritreans have made a great athletic career out of, into the playoffs? We shall find out and keep you posted on Eri-International sports.

For Eri-International sports

Mike Seium

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