Gal Mekel

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Gal Mekel
Gal mekel.JPG
Mekel with the Dallas Mavericks, 2013
No. 9 – Zenit Saint Petersburg
Position Point guard
League VTB United League
Personal information
Born (1988-03-04) March 4, 1988 (age 30)
Ramat HaSharon, Israel
Nationality Israeli / Polish
Listed height 6 ft 3 in (1.91 m)
Listed weight 191 lb (87 kg)
Career information
College Wichita State (2006–2008)
NBA draft 2008 / Undrafted
Playing career 2008–present
Career history
2008–2010 Maccabi Tel Aviv
2008–2010Hapoel Gilboa Galil
2010–2011 Hapoel Gilboa Galil
2011–2012 Benetton Treviso
2012–2013 Maccabi Haifa
2013–2014 Dallas Mavericks
2014Texas Legends
2014 New Orleans Pelicans
2015 Nizhny Novgorod
2015 Crvena zvezda
2016–2017 Maccabi Tel Aviv
2017–2018 Herbalife Gran Canaria
2018–present Zenit Saint Petersburg
Career highlights and awards
Stats at
Stats at

Gal Mekel (Hebrew: גל מקל‎, pronounced [ˈɡal meˈkel]; born March 4, 1988)[1] is an Israeli professional basketball player for Zenit Saint Petersburg of the VTB United League.

He played college basketball for two years at Wichita State. He then played in the Israeli Super League for Maccabi Tel Aviv, Hapoel Gilboa Galil, and Maccabi Haifa, and in the Italian Serie A League for Benetton Treviso. He was a two-time Israeli Super League MVP, in 2011 and 2013.

In 2013, he signed a three-year minimum fully guaranteed contract with the Dallas Mavericks, becoming the second Israeli to join the NBA.

He also holds Polish passport.[2]

Early life[edit]

Mekel is Jewish, and was born in Ramat HaSharon to Alon and Ariela Mekel, Israeli Jews.[3][4] He has four brothers and two sisters.[4] He attended Alliance High School in Tel Aviv.[5]

He started his way in the Hapoel Tel Aviv youth team. Shortly after, he moved to the A.S. Ramat HaSharon youth team where he demonstrated a good playmaking ability. His ability caught the eyes of basketball giant Maccabi Tel Aviv, where he moved at the age of 17, and subsequently won the 2005–06 Israeli Youth League.

College career[edit]

Mekel played college basketball for two years at Wichita State.[4] In his rookie season (2006–07), by mid-season he was promoted to starter. He finished his first season with averages of 13 minutes and four points per game.

In the 2007–08 season, Mekel improved his stats to 9.3 ppg and 3.7 apg while playing more than 30 minutes per game. Despite his improvement he decided to leave the team after that season.

Professional career[edit]

Maccabi Tel Aviv (2008)[edit]

On March 28, 2008, Mekel signed his first professional contract with Maccabi Tel Aviv, for the remainder of the 2007–08 season.[6]

Hapoel Gilboa Galil (2008–2009)[edit]

For the 2008–09 season, Maccabi Tel Aviv loaned Mekel to Hapoel Gilboa Galil, an Israeli club that is known for promoting young talents, in order to receive some playing experience, and return better the next year. In Galil, he averaged 6.9 points and 2.7 assists per game. He excelled in the league's playoff quarter-finals against Hapoel Holon, helping his team reach the Israeli Super League Final Four, where they lost to Maccabi Tel Aviv. Mekel ended up winning the Israeli Super League Rising Star award.[7]

Return to Maccabi (2009)[edit]

After a good season with Galil, Mekel returned to Maccabi Tel Aviv. They designated him at the point guard substitute spot, behind the team's newcomer Doron Perkins, who had won the Israeli Super League MVP award in the previous season.[8] Mekel recorded 13 points and 5 assists in his debut game with Maccabi Tel Aviv, against Ironi Nahariya, in the second round of the 2009–10 Israeli Super League.[9] In December 2009, he asked to be loaned out again, after the minority of minutes he was receiving.

Return to Gilboa Galil (2009–2011)[edit]

Mekel was loaned back to Gilboa/Galil, just 6 months after he finished his first loan to the same team.[10] In Galil, Mekel shared the point guard position with Jeremy Pargo. Together, they led Galil to their second Israeli Super League title, after surprising Maccabi in the league's final. Mekel was a key member in the team averaging, 7.5 points and 4.3 assists per game, in 25.5 minutes per game.

In 2010, Mekel got offers from the Israeli clubs Bnei HaSharon and Maccabi Haifa, but he decided to stay in Galil, signing a one-year contract with them.[11] He played with the team in the EuroLeague 2010–11 qualifying rounds, but didn't help the team to pass the qualification's first round, where they were eliminated by KK Hemofarm, from Serbia. At the Israeli national domestic level, Mekel led Galil to a 2nd-place finish at the end of the regular season. They were able to repeat their previous season's trip to the league's final, once again against Maccabi, but this time they lost. Mekel also had a great individual season, which concluded in him winning the Israeli Super League MVP award.[12] He also played in the 2011 BSL All-Star Game.

Benetton Treviso (2011–2012)[edit]

On July 5, 2011, Mekel signed a two-year contract with the Italian team Benetton Treviso.[13] With Benetton, he reached the 2011–12 EuroCup Last 16, and finished in 11th place in the Italian 2011–12 LBA league. He averaged 6.3 points and 3.7 assists per game in the Italian League, and 4 points and 2 assists per game in the EuroCup. At the end of the season, the club ceased the activity of the first team, focusing on youth sector.

Maccabi Haifa (2012–2013)[edit]

Mekel with Maccabi Haifa, 2013

At the start of the 2012–13 season, Mekel wanted to stay with a club that was playing in European-wide competitions, but he also had tryouts with the Utah Jazz of the NBA,[14] however after not receiving a sufficient contract offer from the Jazz, he agreed to terms with the Israeli club Maccabi Haifa.[15] Mekel led the team to a 2nd-place finish at the end of the Israeli Super League regular season, and to the Israeli State Cup final, where they lost to Maccabi Tel Aviv. Haifa got another chance at a title that season, when they reached the Israeli Super league's final, which was held at their home court of Romema Arena. The Greens went on to win the match and the championship, after a great performance from Mekel: 21 points and 7 assists,[16] after which he received the Israeli League MVP award, which he had won a night before.[17]

Dallas Mavericks (2013–2014)[edit]

On July 11, 2013, the Dallas Mavericks signed Mekel to a three-year minimum fully guaranteed contract, and he became the second Israeli to join the NBA.[18][19] Mekel played with the Mavericks in the 2013 NBA Summer League, and finished with averages of 9.7 points and 5 assists per game.[20]

In his debut regular season game for the Mavs on October 30, 2013, Mekel recorded 2 points, 2 rebounds, and 3 assists in a 118–109 win over the Atlanta Hawks.[21] Two Israeli players played on opposing NBA teams for the first time on November 1 when Mekel and the Mavericks played Omri Casspi and the Rockets. The two had been teammates on the Israeli Under-16, Under-18, and Under-20 teams, and on the Maccabi Tel Aviv junior team.[22][23] In that game, the Houston Rockets beat the Dallas Mavericks 113-105 in Houston. Casspi scored 12 points in 21 minutes, and Mekel scored 11 points and dished off 6 assists in 23 minutes in his best NBA game to date. On November 30, he started in his first NBA game against the Minnesota Timberwolves and scored 6 points and dished off 7 assists in 26 minutes. The Mavs lost that game though, 106-112. After the game on January 13, 2014, Mekel was placed on the injured list due to a torn meniscus in his right knee, which required surgery and at least 4–6 weeks of recovery.[24]

On March 4, 2014, Mekel was assigned to the Texas Legends of the NBA D-League.[25] On March 9, he was recalled by the Mavericks.[26] On March 15, he was reassigned to the Legends.[27] He was recalled three days later.

On October 29, 2014, Mekel was waived by the Mavericks.[28]

New Orleans Pelicans (2014)[edit]

On December 5, 2014, Mekel signed a two-year, non-guaranteed contract with the New Orleans Pelicans.[29][30] However, he was later waived by the Pelicans on December 19 after appearing in just four games.[31]

Nizhny Novgorod (2015)[edit]

On February 24, 2015, Mekel moved to Russia, and signed with Nizhny Novgorod, until the end of the 2015–16 season.[32] Nizhny Novgorod's 2014–15 VTB United League season was ended, after being eliminated by CSKA Moscow 3–0 in their VTB United League semifinal playoff series. In July 2015, he parted ways with Nizhny.[33]

Crvena zvezda (2015)[edit]

On August 27, 2015, Mekel signed a one-year contract with Serbian ABA League team Crvena zvezda.[34] However, on December 3, 2015, Mekel parted ways with Crvena zvezda after appearing in 13 games.

Thrid stint with Maccabi (2016–2017)[edit]

On January 10, 2016, Mekel returned to Maccabi Tel Aviv for a third stint, signing a 3.5-year contract.[35] Mekel helped Maccabi to win two Israeli State Cup titles in 2016 and 2017, earning the Finals MVP award for two years in a row.[36]

On July 4, 2017, Mekel parted ways with Maccabi.[37]

Gran Canaria (2017–2018)[edit]

On July 14, 2017, Mekel signed a one-year deal with the Spanish team Herbalife Gran Canaria.[38] In 17 EuroCup games, he averaged 9.6 points and 5 assists per game. Mekel helped Gran Canaria to reach the 2018 EuroCup Quarterfinals, as well as reaching the 2018 ACB Semifinals, which helped them to earn a qualification to the EuroLeague as the highest-placed team in the Liga ACB without a long-term EuroLeague licence.

Zenit Saint Petersburg (2018–present)[edit]

On October 8, 2018, Mekel signed with the Russian team Zenit Saint Petersburg for the 2018–19 season.[39]

National team career[edit]

Mekel is a member of the Israel national basketball team. He participated in the 2009, 2011, 2015 and 2017 EuroBasket tournaments.

Career statistics[edit]

  GP Games played   GS  Games started  MPG  Minutes per game
 FG%  Field-goal percentage  3P%  3-point field-goal percentage  FT%  Free-throw percentage
 RPG  Rebounds per game  APG  Assists per game  SPG  Steals per game
 BPG  Blocks per game  PPG  Points per game  PIR  Performance Index Rating
 Bold  Career high

Note: The EuroLeague is not the only competition in which the player participated for the team during the season. He also played in domestic competition, and regional competition if applicable.


Regular season[edit]

2013–14 Dallas 31 1 9.4 .349 .250 .667 .9 2.0 .1 .0 2.4
2014–15 New Orleans 4 0 10.8 .150 .0 .0 .3 3.3 .5 .0 1.5
Career 35 1 9.6 .311 .217 .667 .8 2.2 .2 .0 2.3


2009–10 Maccabi 1 0 1 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 -1
2014–15 Nizhny Novgorod 6 0 20.7 .482 .286 .824 2.3 4.7 .7 .0 11.7 11.7
2015–16 Crvena zvezda 4 4 20.2 .230 .333 1.00 1.5 2.8 .3 .3 3.8 0.8
2016–17 Maccabi 24 10 15.9 .398 .400 .606 2.2 3.3 .3 0 4.5 5.6
Career 35 14 16.7 .400 .371 .692 2.1 3.4 .3 .1 5.5 2.0


2006–07 Wichita State 31 3 13.0 .443 .354 .647 1.0 1.6 .4 .0 4.0
2007–08 Wichita State 31 26 30.7 .354 .287 .877 3.1 3.7 .3 .0 9.2
Career 62 29 21.9 .379 .306 .809 2.1 2.6 .4 .0 6.6

Source: RealGM

See also[edit]


  1. ^ Gal Mekel NBA & ABA Stats
  2. ^ "ShamSports | Mavericks to sign Gal Mekel to three year guaranteed deal". Retrieved 2018-10-09.
  3. ^ Ramati, Stan (September–October 2013). "Israeli Sports". Jewish Sports Review. 9 (99): 9.
  4. ^ a b c "#1 Gal Mekel". Retrieved November 9, 2013.
  5. ^ Oliver, Ron. "Gal Mekel National and High School Stats, Dallas Mavericks". Retrieved November 9, 2013.
  6. ^ "Maccabi inks guard prospect Mekel". March 28, 2008. Retrieved September 14, 2013.
  7. ^ "The 2008/09 BSL Season Awards". May 16, 2009. Retrieved September 14, 2013.
  8. ^ "Maccabi puts Perkins, Mekel at point". August 30, 2009. Retrieved September 14, 2013.
  9. ^ "BOX SCORE: Maccabi T-A Vs Nahariya – Winner League". Retrieved September 14, 2013.
  10. ^ "Maccabi releases guard Gal Mekel on loan". Euroleague. December 2, 2009. Retrieved September 14, 2013.
  11. ^ "Galil holds on to point guard Mekel". August 11, 2010. Retrieved September 14, 2013.
  12. ^ Summary of 2010–11 Israeli Basketball (in Hebrew)
  13. ^ "Benetton Treviso announces Gal Mekel". Retrieved September 14, 2013.
  14. ^ "Jazz impressed by Israel's Mekel". ESPN. Retrieved September 14, 2013.
  15. ^ Art-Up. "Gal Mekel joins Maccabi Haifa". Archived from the original on October 8, 2013. Retrieved September 14, 2013.
  16. ^ "Finals Game 1: Maccabi T-A – Maccabi Haifa 79–86". June 13, 2013. Retrieved September 14, 2013.
  17. ^ In 2011, in was not enough to him, Gal Mekel was named player of the year (in Hebrew)
  18. ^ "Mavs sign Israeli League MVP guard Mekel". July 11, 2013. Retrieved September 14, 2013.
  19. ^ "Dollars and Sense: Gal Mekel". September 6, 2013. Retrieved September 15, 2013.
  20. ^ "2013 Summer League Statistics". Retrieved September 14, 2013.
  21. ^ "Notebook: Mavericks 118, Hawks 109". Retrieved November 9, 2013.
  22. ^ Zeevi, Elad (November 2, 2013). "Casspi and Mekel both shine in first-ever Israeli NBA face-off". Haaretz. Archived from the original on November 5, 2013. Retrieved September 30, 2015.
  23. ^ "Ultimate Rockets » Historic meeting for Gal Mekel and Omri Casspi". November 1, 2013. Retrieved November 9, 2013.
  24. ^ Dallas Mavericks' Gal Mekel out after knee surgery
  26. ^ Mavs recall Gal Mekel from D-League
  27. ^ Mavs recall Shane Larkin, re-assign Gal Mekel to D-League
  28. ^ Mavericks sign J.J. Barea, waive Gal Mekel
  29. ^ Pelicans Sign Gal Mekel
  30. ^ Newly signed Pelicans' Gal Mekel aiming to impact games with his passing
  31. ^ Pelicans Waive Gal Mekel
  32. ^ "Nizhny Novgorod adds guard Mekel". February 24, 2015. Retrieved February 24, 2015.
  33. ^ Gal Mekel pays $50.000 and leaves Nizhny Novogorod
  34. ^ "Crvena Zvezda tabs Mekel for backcourt". 27 August 2015. Retrieved 27 August 2015.
  35. ^ "Mekel returns to Maccabi Tel Aviv, Farmar out". January 10, 2016. Retrieved January 10, 2016.
  36. ^ ""אמרתי לפניני שלא נצא מפה בלי הגביע"". (in Hebrew). February 17, 2017. Retrieved October 6, 2018.
  37. ^ E. Carchia (July 4, 2017). "Gal Mekel, Maccabi Tel Aviv part ways". Sportando. Retrieved July 1, 2017.
  38. ^ "Gal Mekel será uno de los bases del Herbalife Gran Canaria". Club Baloncesto Gran Canaria (in Spanish). 14 July 2017. Retrieved 14 July 2017.
  39. ^ "Zenit brings in experienced guard Mekel". October 8, 2018. Retrieved October 8, 2018.

External links[edit]