FIBA pays tribute to Galis’ World Cup dominance
Basketball fans were reminded of Nick Galis’ dominance in the sport when FIBA review the highest points per game averages in World Cup history…
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A recent social media campaign promoting next summer’s FIBA World Cup in China paid tribute to the top-ten scoring average leaders in the history of the competition, including the all-time leader himself, Nick Galis.
Galis, who first featured for Greece in 1983, only had the chance of participating at one FIBA World Cup when he featured for Greece during the summer of 1986 at the then-named FIBA World Championship in Spain.
A disappointing tenth place finish didn’t go the way Greece planned in the Ethniki’s first all-time appearance in the tournament. Galis, however, still made history as he notched the best points-per-game average in the history of the competition with 33.7 points per game following a ten-game run at the tournament.
Galis’ incredible performance that summer remains a FIBA record, with just one other player – South Korea’s Shin Dong-pa – notching an average of at least 30 points per game.
Galis’ highest points performance from that summer came against Panama in the group stage when he scored 53 points in a 110-81 Greece win, while many Greek basketball fans will remember Galis’ 32-point haul against the mighty Soviet Union – the Soviets ultimately finishing runners-up to the United States.
Although the feat is rather impressive, Galis’ performances with the Ethniki in years to come proved that the feat was no surprise as “The Gangster” of Greek basketball finished the scoring leader in every international tournament he participated.
Top 10 All-Time Highest Scoring Average in FIBA Basketball World Cups
1. Nick Galis (Greece), 33.7 (points per game)
2. Shin Dong-pa (Republic of Korea), 32.6
3. Weiping Zhang (China), 25.3
4. Ed Palubinskas (Australia), 24.6
5. Antonello Riva (Italy), 24.1
6. Oscar Schmidt (Brazil), 24.1
7. Dirk Nowitzki (Germany), 23.6
8. Wilfredo Ruiz (Uruguay), 23.4
9. Yao Ming (China), 22.9
10. Kevin Durant (United States), 22.8