A look at Greece’s 16-man pre-selection roster
Earlier this week, Kostas Missas announced Greece’s 16-man pre-selection roster for the upcoming EuroBasket. Missas called-up a few new names to the roster while many others will make a return after missing out on last summer’s Pre-Olympic tournament. AGONAsport.com looks at who are the 16-players that Missas called-up.
Although the Ethniki’s priority is the upcoming EuroBasket, Missas’ selections appear to set a foundation for a bright future for the Greek national basketball team. Missas has decided to give an opportunity to the “American youngsters” Kostas Mitoglou, Zach Auguste, Tyler Dorsey, and Georgios Papagiannis to prove themselves worthy of a place in the final 12-man roster. Meanwhile, Greece’s three big stars that missed out on last summer’s Pre-Olympic tournament, Georgios Printezis, Kostas Sloukas, and Kostas Papanikolaou will be available for the EuroBasket. Unfortunately, NBAer Kostas Koufos will miss out due to a hand injury.
AGONAsport.com takes a look at who is Greece’s 16-man pre-selection roster.
Dimitris Agravanis (Olympiacos)
Dimitris Agravanis has now played four seasons at Olympiacos, gaining valuable experience at the top level in the Euroleague. The 23-year old power forward averaged 5.3 PPG and 4.5 RPG in the A1 Basket League this season, while averaging 3.8 PPG and 2.5 RPG in the Euroleague.
Giannis Antetokounmpo (Milwaukee Bucks)
Despite his young age of only 23, Giannis is the undisputed leader of the NBA’s Milwaukee Bucks and is expected to take this role for the Ethniki as well. The past season in the NBA was his best by far, averaging 22.8 PPG, 8.7 RPG, and 5.4 APG in 80 regular season matches. In the playoffs, he was even better averaging 24.8 PPG, 9.5 RPG, and 4 APG. The “Greek Freak” was also named an NBA All-star and was awarded this year’s Most Improved Player award.
Thanasis Antetokounmpo (Panathinaikos)
After 4 years in the NBA D-League, the 25-year old returned to Europe for Andorra last season. With Andorra, Thanasis participated in Europe’s top domestic basketball league (Spanish ACB), averaging 7.8 PPG and 3.8 RPG. His good display’s in Spain have earned him a move to Panathinaikos for the upcoming season where he looks to grow as a player with his experiences in the Euroleague.
Nick Calathes (Panathinaikos)
Calathes is one of the Ethniki’s oldest members. Since he returned from his 2-year NBA spell with the Memphis Grizzlies, he has become Panathinaikos’ leader taking over for the legend Dimitris Diamantidis. This season, he led the Greens to their first domestic double in their post-Diamantidis era. The 28-yearold guard was named this season’s A1 Basket League MVP averaging 9.5 PPG, 3.7 RPG, and 5.3 APG. In the Euroleague, Calathes averaged of 9.8 PPG, 4 RPG, and 5.5 APG.
Vangelis Mantzaris (Olympiacos)
Mantzaris is another player that adds experience to the Ethniki, counting many appearances with the Galanolefki. The 27-year-old shooting guard is one of Olympiacos’ key players having won 2 Euroleague titles and multiple Basket League titles with the Erythrolefki. This season, Mantzaris averaged 5.7 PPG, 2.7 RPG and 2.8 APG in the A1 Basket League, while averaging 5.8 PPG, 2.8 RPG, and 2.4 APG in the Euroleague.
Kostantinos Mitoglou (Wake Forest)
Kostas Mitoglou has put together some impressive displays during his last 3 seasons in the NCAA with Wake Forest. After playing with all of Greece’s youth national teams, the 21-year-old earned his first invitation to the men’s squad. He is the youngest of the 16-players on the roster. This past season, Mitoglou averaged 8.9 PPG, 6.1 RPG, and 1 APG in the NCAA.
Georgios Bogris (Olympiacos)
Bogris has seen his game improve year by year during his spell at Tenerife. His last season was a big success winning the inaugural Basketball Champions League where he averaged 8.6 PPG, 3.7 RPG, and 1.3 APG. He was also named to the Champions League’s All-First team as the tournament’s best center. In the Spanish ACB league, Bogris averaged 7.6 PPG, 3.9 RPG, and 1 APG drawing the attention of Olympiacos with whom he signed with a few weeks ago.
Ioannis Bourousis (Zhejiang Lions)
Giannis Bourousis is regarded as one of Europe’s best centers and is the oldest of the Ethniki’s players. Last summer, Bourousis returned to Greece for Panathinaikos (from Baskonia) where he averaged 10.7 PPG, 5.6 RPG, and 1.6 APG in the A1 Basket League and 7.8 PPG, 4.8 RPG, and 1 APG in the Euroleague.
Tyler Dorsey (Atlanta Hawks)
Dorsey joins the Ethniki as an NBAer as he recently signed a contract with the Atlanta Hawks. The 21-year-old guard had a great season with Oregon in the NCAA leading his team to the Final-4 averaging 14.7 PPG, 3.5 RPG, and 1.7 APG in 39 games.
Zach Auguste (Panathinaikos)
Zach Auguste is third rookie for the Ethniki along with Kostas Mitoglou and Georgios Papagiannis. Following his outstanding displays with Notre Dame in the NCAA, Zach signed with Turkish side Uşak Sportif. However, his talents did not go unnoticed and he recently signed Panathinaikos last week. In 23 games in the Turkish league with Usak Sportif, Zach averaged 11.7 PPG, 7.5 RPG while in 11 matches in the Basketball Champions League, he averaged 13.4 PPG and 8.8 RPG.
Georgios Papagiannis (Sacramento Kings)
Although Papagiannis is only 20-years-old, he has already gained valuable experience in his rookie season in the NBA with the Sacramento Kings. He began the season in the NBA D-League averaging 13.7 PPG and 8.1 RPG before ending the year in the NBA with the Kings. This is his first call-up to the Men’s national team.
Kostas Papanikolaou (Olympiacos)
Kostas Papanikolaou did not take part in the Pre-Olympic tournament last summer due to an injury, but is ready to make his return with the Galanolefki. The 27-year-old player has much experience in the Euroleague with both Olympiacos and Barcelona and in the NBA after short spells with the Houston Rockets and Denver Nuggets. In his 31 appearances in this year’s A1 Basket League, Papanikolaou averaged 9.7 PPG, 4.6 RPG, and 1.5 APG and 8.1 PPG, 4.8 RPG, and 1,5 APG in the Euroleague.
Ioannis Papapetrou (Olympiacos)
Papapetrou is another youngster on the roster, at the age of 23, and has seen consistent improvement in his game each season at Olympiacos. This season he averaged 6.9 PPG and 3.5 RPG in the A1 Basket League, whereas in the Euroleague he averaged 4.4 PPG and 2.6 RPG.
Nikos Pappas (Panathinaikos)
After a 5-year absence with the Ethniki, while Katsikaris was in charge, Pappas will be making a return to the national team under coach Kostas Missas. Pappas is a key player for Panathinaikos finishing the season with 7.4 PPG, 2.1 RPG and 1.5 APG in the A1 Basket League and 5.5 PPG, 1.6 RPG, and 1.3 APG in the Euroleague.
Georgios Printezis (Olympiacos)
An injury and the passing of his father left him out of last year’s roster for the Pre-Olympiac tournament, however Printezis is expected to be a vital asset for the Ethniki at the European championships. Although the season did not end well for Olympiacos, Printezis had one of the best seasons of his career 9.1 PPG, 4.2 RPG and 1.3 APG in the A1 Basket League and 12.8 PPG, 5.1 RPG, and 1 APG in the Euroleague. He was also named to the Euroleague’s All-First team for the 2016/17 season.
Kostas Sloukas (Fenerbahce)
Like Papanikolaou and Printezis, Kostas Sloukas’ absence was felt in last year’s Pre-Olympic tournament. Sloukas is coming off a great season with Fenerbahce winning both the Euroleague and the Turkish League titles. He played a key role in both championship runs averaging 10 PPG, 2.6 RPG and 4.5 APG in the Turkish League and 9.2 PPG, 2.1 RPG, and 4.5 APG in the Euroleague.