Former FIU standout signs with German pro team

By Brett Shweky/Sports Director


Former FIU men’s basketball forward Michael Kessens signed a two-year contract to play professional basketball for Eisbaren-Bremerhaven in Germany’s easyCredit Basketball Bundesliga.

Kessens, who was a graduate transfer with only one-year of eligibility, became a cornerstone for the Panthers last season as he started 29 games for FIU last season while also averaging 12.9 points per game. Kessens finished out the season leading the team in field goal shooting with a 56.5 percent mark. The Nylon, Switzerland native also lead the team with a Conference USA second-best 9.0 rebounds per game.

The 6-foot-9 forward even had a record-breaking performance last season against the Elon Phoenix. Kessens dominated the game with 17 points and a FIU single-game record setting 23 rebounds. The 23 boards he collected in the game ranked amongst fifth throughout the entire nation last year.

He began his collegiate career with Longwood University in Virginia where he averaged 13.7 points and 8.8 rebounds per game. Current FIU assistant coach Mike Gillian was the head coach for Longwood University while Kessens played his freshman season with the Lancers. Kessens inevitably would go onto win the Big South Freshman of the year and decide to transfer from Longwood to the University of Alabama.

Kessens during his sophomore season played 32 games with the Crimson Tide while starting in 10 of those games. During his tenure with Alabama, Kessens was able to lead the team with 5.2 rebounds per game and finished second on the team in field goal percentage with 50.0 percent.

In his final year with the Crimson Tide, Kessens played in all 33 contests and started 21 of those games. He ranked third on the team in field goal percentage with 55.8 percent and also grabbed a team-best seven rebounds.

Kessens told the Associated Press this past week that he is grateful to have a chance at playing professional basketball and explained that he is eager to get to work and take on the new obstacle that lies ahead.

“I am extremely excited and thankful to continue playing basketball on a professional level after college,” said Kessens. “I can’t wait to go back to Europe and take on this new challenge.”

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