A perfect month for London Lions has been capped
off with big man Kosta Koufos being recognised as the Molten BBL Player of the
Month for December, as the former NBA star has firmly established himself in
his first campaign on these shores.
While Lions went 6-0 in December – Koufos played
in five of those wins – and surged back to the summit of the BBL Championship table,
also reaching the BBL Cup Final, the seven-foot centre averaged a double-double
of 15 points, 11 rebounds, two assists and one block in just 23 minutes per
outing for the month.
As the starting centre for the Lions as they have
gained a reputation for fast starts he has been pivotal in their league leading
defence, and overall is second in the BBL in rebounding, eighth in blocked
shots and fourth in field goal percentage at 52%.
The highlight in December was his season-high 24
points on 11-15 (73%) shooting in the BBL Cup semi-final on the road at Bristol
Flyers, as he added seven rebounds, three blocks and two assists in that game,
meaning he is ninth in scoring and fifth in blocked shots in the Cup
competition so far.
Koufos finished the month with consecutive
appearances in the weekly BBL All-Star 5, after closing 2022 with a
double-double of 16 points and 10 rebounds on 7-11 (63%) shooting as Lions beat
Plymouth City Patriots at the Copper Box Arena.
In the biggest league victory of December, he had
another double-double of 17 points and 14 boards in a road win at reigning
champions Leicester Riders, with eight of those rebounds coming at the
offensive end and leading to eight second chance points – one of the big
difference-makers in that contest.
Joining the Lions in the summer, the 33-year-old
NBA veteran of more than 700 games peaked at impressive averages of eight
points and seven rebounds for the Denver Nuggets in 2012-13, and featured six
times in the Play-offs after more recent spells with the Sacramento Kings and
Memphis Grizzlies. He has also played two campaigns in the EuroLeague – for
Olympiacos and CSKA Moscow – and represented the formidable Greek National
Team, including a EuroBasket bronze.
Koufos and his teammates now look forward to four
games in the BBL Championship in January before finishing the month in the BBL
Cup Final at Utilita Arena Birmingham, live on Sky Sports.