Georgios Printezis....The player with an Olympiacos heart
Spending most of his professional career with Olympiacos, Printezis has become a symbol of the Piraeus team. A few days ago, Printezis renewed is contract with the Erythrolefki until 2020 and AGONAsport takes a look at his great career.
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Georgios Printezis signed his first contract with Olympiacos at the age of 15, making a move to the Erythrolefki from Asteras Agiou Dimitriou. Back then, Olympiacos spent 30 million drachmas for the youngster who had already started to draw the attention of many teams. On Wednesday, he cried tears of joy renewing his contract with his beloved Olympiacos until 2020, a deal that will likely see him end his career with the club.
Giorgos made his first appearance with the Erythrolefki at the age of 16 years, 2 months, and 4 days. Although only counting a few months with the team, he debuted against Iraklis in the third place game for the 2001 Greek Cup where the Erythrolefki were victorious 90-71. Although the young Printezis did not manage to score he made an appearance at the age of 16 and had a bright career ahead.
Loan to Olympia Larisas
In order to gain playing experience, Printezis joined Olympia Larisas for the 2006-2007 season on a loan deal. There, he averaged 11.5 points and 3.9 rebounds per game and was named the league’s best young player. He also won the slam dunk contest in the Greek All-Star game that season. His performances convinced the Erythrolefki that he deserved a place in their roster.
2007 NBA draft
Printezis decided to enter his name in the 2007 NBA draft and was selected by the San Antonio Spurs in the second round as the 58th overall pick. Despite being drafted, he never made an appearance in the NBA.
Move to Malaga
In 2009, he signed a 3-year contract with Unicaja Málaga in the Spanish ACB League. Although he was regarded as a key player in the European basketball scene, his contract renewal offer was disappointing and Printezis decided to leave Malaga in 2011. While at Malaga, he played once against Olympiacos at the S.E.F. and described the game as one of the worst experiences in his life.
Return to Olympiacos (For Good)
In 2011, Printezis was not happy with life at Unicaja and his return to Olympiacos seemed a “lifesaver” option for his career. And it was. After Malaga attempted to profit from the situation, Printezis returned to Olympiacos by giving up his contract with the Spanish side which was worth €1.2 million!
Printezis’ third spell with the Erythrolefki has been active since April 28, 2011 and since then, has offered many moments of joy to the fans. Georgios Printezis has become a fan favorite, not only for his devotion to the team, but also for his immense contributions on the court.
AGONAsport now takes a look at Printezis’ most memorable moments with the Erythrolefki.
The “Thrower” or “Petachtari”
It was the 2012 Euroleague Final in Konstantinoupoli. Halfway through the game, CSKA Moscow were ahead by 19 points. However, with a tremendous performance in the final quarter, the Erythrolefki came back from -19 to win their second European championship in club history. Printezis completed the historic comeback with his signature scoring move “the petachtari” proving to be the dramatic game winner with less than a second remaining, giving the Erythrolefki the 62-61 win.
Printezis leads Olympiacos to back-to-back titles
Olympiacos were facing elimination once again falling behind by 15 points against Anadolu Efes in game 5 of the 2013 Euroleague playoffs. Printezis stepped up and with his 6 key points in the final minutes, Olympiacos marched on to their second straight Final-4 where they managed to win back-to-back Euroleague titles.
“Saint” George Printezis
With Olympiacos returning from Barcelona with a big road win in game two of the 2015 Euroleague playoffs, the Erytrholefki managed to defeat the Spanish side in game 3, to take a 2-1 series lead. Game four was do or die for Barcelona at the S.E.F. with the visitors looking to take the series back home for game 5. With the game tied at 68-68, Printezis took the pass from Sloukas and scored a 3-pointer at the buzzer to send the Erythrolefki to their third Final-4 in four years. A dramatic ending on his name day which earned him the nickname “Agios Georgios Printezis.”
Going through the toughest time in his life
After losing his father just a few days before, Printezis put together some great performances in the 2016 Basket League finals over Panathinaikos, leading Olympiacos to their second straight Greek league title. At the Fiesta at the S.E.F., Printezis lifted the league trophy in the air while looking up to the heavens to celebrate the title with his father. The picture says it all...
Olympiacos were on a four game winning streak over their eternal rivals Panathinaikos, when Olympiacos traveled to the OAKA for this year’s Euroleague regular season match. With Olympiacos down by one, Spanoulis drove to the basket and dished a great pass to Printezis who put up the game winning shot from close range to extend Olympiacos’ winning streak over the Prasini to five games.
The Thrower 2.0
After the famous 2012 game winner over CSKA Moscow in the Euroleague final, Printezis’ “thrower” gave Olympiacos another big win in the 2017 Euroleague regular season. In a very important game in Belgrade against Crvena Zvezda, Printezis’ “petachtari” (a mock shot from the 2012 final) put Olympiacos ahead 66-64 with three seconds remaining, proving to be the winning basket in the end. The result essentially clinched Olympiacos home court advantage in the playoffs.
All Euroleague First team
Printezis’ statistics were on the rise over the years and his big recognition came in 2017. Fans and journalists picked him as one of the best players in the Euroleague, giving him a place in the All Euroleague First Team. Printezis finished the season with 12.8 PPG, 5.1 RPG, 1 APG, 0.7 steals per game, and 0.2 blocks per game in 25:23 MPG playing time. A well deserved distinction for the Greek player.