Greek champions all across European basketball
It is not old news that Greek basketball players and coaches star on the European basketball stage. Over the years, both players and coaches have left their mark with their respective clubs, leading their teams to many achievements and titles with this season proving to be no different. AGONAsport.com takes a look at the “Greek champions” in European basketball as a few of these champions prepare to represent Greece at Eurobasket 2017.
For yet another season, Greek players and coaches proved themselves in the world of European basketball with at least one Greek amongst a championship team in seven different leagues across the continent. This includes Kostas Sloukas of Fenerbahce, the winners of the 2017 Euroleague, and Georgios Bogris who won the inaugural Basketball Champions League with Tenerife.
AGONAsport.com takes a look at the Greek champions in this year’s European basketball scene as the biggest European basketball competition, Eurobasket 2017, is set to tip off on Thursday.
Kostas Sloukas (Fenerbahce - Turkey)
Titles won: Euroleague, Turkish League, Turkish Super Cup
Kostas Sloukas was by far the most successful Greek player abroad this season. Sloukas won the Euroleague for the third time in his career defeating Olympiacos in the final, the team with whom he had won two previous Euroleague titles. The triumph does not end there as Sloukas won the Turkish League with Fenerbahce, sweeping Besiktas 4-0 in the Finals. Moreover, Fenerbahce had an ideal start to the season by winning the Turkish Super Cup.
Georgios Bogris (Tenerife - Spain)
Titles won: Basketball Champions League
Georgios Bogris’ Tenerife were crowned champions of the inaugural FIBA Basketball Champions League. Bogris was a key player in Tenerife’s championship run and was named to the tournament’s All-First Team as the competition’s best center. Bogris’ exceptional season earned him a move to Olympiacos and a call-up to the Greek national team for Eurobasket 2017.
Dimitris Itoudis, Andreas Pistiolis, Kostas Chatzichristos (CSKA Moscow - Russia)
Titles won: VTB League
Although CSKA failed to defend their Euroleague title, they continued their dominance on the domestic level. The Russian giants cruised to the VTB league title as Khimki were no match for Itoudis’ team in the Finals. Dimitris Itoudis, who is regarded as one of the best coaches in Europe, had assistant Andreas Pistiolis by his side along with athletic coach Kostas Chatzichristos.
Nikos Zisis, Ilias Kantzouris (Brose Bamberg - Germany)
Titles won: Basketball Bundesliga, German Basketball Cup
Nikos Zisis is accustomed to winning titles and this year he added two more to his collection, winning the domestic double in Germany. Apart from Zisis, assistant coach Ilias Kantzouris is another Greek representative at Brose Bamberg.
Mike Bramos (Reyer Venezia Mestre - Italy)
Titles won: Lega Basket Serie A
Venezia returned to the top of Italian Basketball for the first time in 74 years. Mike Bramos played a major role in the team’s run as he held a consistent place in the starting line-up and came through with big points in the Finals against Trento. This was Bramos’ third league title after winning two with Panathinaikos.
Ilias Zouros (Budućnost Podgorica - Montenegro)
Titles won: First Erste League, Montenegrin Basketball Cup
The Greek coach did rather well in Buducnost, as apart from winning the domestic double, he led his team to the playoffs in the Adriatic League.
Ilias Papatheodorou, Leonidas Kaselakis, Dimitris Katsivelis, Dimitris Menoudakos, Panagiotis Zervas (Astana - Kazakhstan)
Titles won: Kazakhstan Basketball Championship, Kazakhstan Basketball Cup
The past season was a huge success for the “Greek” Astana as the club not only reached the VTB playoffs, but also won the domestic double. The club’s management placed their trust into the hands of Ilias Papatheodorou and Kifisias’ former coach, led his team to two domestic titles. By his side were his assistant Dimitris Menoudakos and athletic coach Panagiotis Zervas while Leonidas Kaselakis and Dimitris Katsivvelis were two Greek players on Astana’s roster.
Vaggelis Ziagkos (Al Riyadi - Lebanon)
Titles won: Lebanese Basketball League
After several years in Greek basketball, Vaggelis Ziagkos moved to Lebanon for Al Riyadi. His first season with the club was a success as he led his side to the the Lebanese Basketball League title over Homenetmen winning the series 4-2, despite losing the first two games of the series.