By RENALDO DORSETT
Tribune Sports Reporter
ZANE Knowles will continue his career in Bulgaria’s National Basketball League.
The veteran centre has signed with the CSKA Sofia Reds for the upcoming season as they return to the top tiered league in the country. It is also Knowles’ third tenure with an NBL club.
The Reds earned a promotion to the NBL after winning the BBL, Group A title last season and will play in the Bulgarian basketball elite for the first time after a 13-year hiatus.
Knowles returned from injury last season to conclude the year with Levski Sofia and helped the team reach the NBL semifinal.
In five regular season games, he averaged 10.4 points and 7.6 rebounds per game.
He had some of his best performances of the season in the semifinals against Spartak Pleven.
In game one, Knowles came off the bench to finish with eight points and four rebounds in an 80-74 loss.
Moved into the starting lineup for game two, he finished with 17 points and five rebounds in a 76-72 loss.
In game three he nearly posted a double double with nine points and 11 rebounds in a 66-56 win.
In the finals he averaged 11 points and 6.7 rebounds per game in three appearances.
Prior to the 2021 season in Hungary with Zalakerámia ZTE KK, Knowles sought treatment for what he described as a minor hamstring injury when doctors discovered a rare Arteriovenous Fistula (AVF) that required surgery. In addition to his comeback on the court in Bulgaria, he also made a senior men’s national team appearance over the summer.
Knowles competed the first round of the FIBA World Cup ‘23 Qualifiers in July against the Dominican Republic at the Baha Mar Grand Ballroom.
In an 88-80 loss for The Bahamas, he finished with four points and four rebounds.
In a busy 2019-20 season, Knowles played in three leagues and two countries before the COVID-19 pandemic brought basketball to an end globally.
He concluded the campaign with Levaki of the NBL.
In just two games with the club, he averaged 13 points, seven rebounds, and 1.5 steals per game.
Prior to Bulgaria, he began the season with PAOK Thessaloniki in the Greek Champions League where through 12 games he averaged 6.3 points and 6.3 rebounds per game. In Greece, he also played 16 games in the Greek A1 League where he averaged 9.3 points and 7.8 rebounds per game.
In 2018-19 Knowles was in the French ProB League with Etoile Charleville- Mezieres. In 27 games with the club, he recorded 9.3 points and 6.7 rebounds per game.
Knowles spent his first professional season with Siarka Tarnobrzeg and King Wilki Morskie Szczecin of the Polish Basketball League or Tauron Basket Liga, the highest level of pro basketball in the country.
He has also played professionally in Japan (Tokyo Cinq Reves and Wakayama Trians) where he averaged 9.2 points, 8.3 rebounds, and 1.1 blocks in 24 total appearances before making the move to France.
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