Maccabi Tel Aviv made another significant upgrade to its roster on Monday with the signing of American big man Tarik Black.

The Israeli champion announced that former NBAer Black will join the yellow-and-blue on a one-year contract and will be a big addition to the front line of Alex Tyus, Johnny O’Brien, Jake Cohen, Angelo Caloiaro and Nimrod Levy. Black, who had been on the verge of finalizing the deal for the past month before taking a step back last week, ultimately decided to take the contract from Maccabi after failing to receive a suitable offer from an NBA club.

Black, 26, has played in 220 NBA games – all for the Houston Rockets and Los Angeles Lakers –and has averaged 4.9 points and 4.7 rebounds per game. Heappeared in 51 games with the Rockets last season, averaging 3.5 points and 3.2 rebounds in 10.5 minutes per game.

“He’s a great player and man,” said Maccabi Tel Aviv coach Neven Spahija. “He has a lot of energy and a great defensive ability. He also has an exceptional presence in the locker room.”

“I’m excited to be part of a club with a history like this,” Black told Maccabi’s website, “It’s a privilege for me to get the honor and I’m passionate about the future.”

This will be Black’s first time playing in Europe and as Spahija said, Maccabi’s goal for this upcoming year is to make it to the Euroleague playoffs.

“What do we want to do better? There are many things. To play better defense, to make it to the Euroleague playoffs, to win the Cup again, we have added new players to the core and now we will see what happens.”

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