Nikos Zisis joins the EuroLeague's 300 club

Nikos Zisis joins the EuroLeague's 300 club
 

Nikos Zisis made history on Thursday night as he became the first Greek player to reach a particular EuroLeague milestone…

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Brose Bamberg’s Nikos Zisis made history on Thursday night as the former Greek international became the first Greek to reach 300 appearances in the EuroLeague.

Honoured before his side’s clash with Barcelona at the Palau Blaugrana, Zisis became just the third player to reach the milestone since the competition was taken over by the EuroLeague Basketball company at the start of the 2000/2001 season.

Zisis now finds himself in good company behind Barcelona’s Juan Carlos Navarro (332 appearances) and Real Madrid’s Felipe Reyes (306).

Barcelona would go on to ruin Zisis’ special night as Bamberg stumbled to an 81-66 against the Spanish giants, though Zisis did feature for just over 13 minutes of game-time and added 5 points.

The evening was still a memorable one for Zisis, who posed for a photograph with Navarro ahead of the game.

Reaching the milestone speaks to Zisis dedication to the sport, which has seen the former Greek international feature in the EuroLeague with seven different clubs since he began his professional career in 2000.

Zisis made his debut in the competition proper nearly 17 years ago as he suited up for AEK as an 18-year-old in a clash with Italian giants Benneton.

Zisis would eventually sign for Benneton after spending five years at AEK, before eventually leaving the Italian outfit for life in the Russian capital with CSKA Moscow.

The move to Russia would pay dividends for Zisis in just his first season in Russia, as the Thessaloniki native would become a EuroLeague Champion with CSKA in 2008.

Despite initially signing a three-year contract with CSKA, Zisis would return to Italy after just two seasons in Russia. Returning to the top flight with Montepaschi Siena, Zisis would steer the Italian outfit to the Final Four in 2009 – though there would be no silverware this time.

After three seasons in Italy, Zisis returned to Russia with UNICS Kazan in 2014; however, a troubled spell would see Zisis leave the Russian side after just half a season. The remainder of the 2014/2015 season would see Zisis ply his trade in Turkey with Fenerbahce, but his stay in Turkey would be shortlived.

In 2015, Zisis signed with Brose Bamberg of the Basketball Bundesliga, for whom he has made 71 appearances in the EuroLeague.

With 300 appearances in the EuroLeague, Zisis now has 16 more appearances than the next Greek in the list, Ioannis Bourousis, who made 284 appearances in the competition proper before securing a transfer to China.

The next active Greek player in the list, who is still playing in the EuroLeague, is Olympiacos’ Vassilis Spanoulis who has made 262 appearances.

Top 10 players with the most EuroLeague appearances

1. Juan Carlos Navarro (Spain), 332*

2. Felipe Reyes (Spain), 306*

3. Nikos Zisis (Greece), 300*

4. Ioannis Bourousis (Greece), 284**

5. Paulius Jankunas (Lithuania), 281*

6. Dimitris Diamantidis (Greece), 278

7. Vassilis Spanoulis (Greece), 262*

8. Fran Vazquez (Spain), 254**

9. Theodoros Papaloukas (Greece), 252

10. Antonis Fotsis (Greece), 250**

* Denotes active player in this season’s EuroLeague

** Denotes still actively playing for a team outside of the EuroLeague

Top 10 Greek players with the most EuroLeague appearances

1. Nikos Zisis, 300*

2. Ioannis Bourousis, 284**

3. Dimitris Diamantidis, 278

4. Vassilis Spanoulis, 262*

5. Theodoros Papaloukas, 252

6. Antonis Fotsis, 250**

7. Georgios Printezis, 242*

8. Kostas Tsartsaris, 239

9. Stratos Perperoglou, 209**

10.  Sofoklis Schortsanitis, 197**

* Denotes active player in this season’s EuroLeague

** Denotes still actively playing for a team outside of the EuroLeague

 
by Peter Katsiris
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