|2. Puerto Rico||1/1||3|
|2. Dominican Republic||1/1||3|
|3. New Zealand||1/1||3|
|#||Name||P||Height||DOB||Place Of Birth||Club|
|15/03/1984||Thessaloniki, Greece||Bizkaia Bilbao Basket (ESP)|
|17/11/1983||Karditsa, Greece||Olimpia Milano (ITA)|
|16/08/1983||Thessaloniki, Greece||Montepaschi Siena (ITA)|
|07/08/1982||Larissa, Greece||Olympiacos B.C., A1 (GRE)|
|07/02/1989||Florida, USA||Panathinaikos Athens (GRE)|
|01/04/1981||Athens, Greece||Panathinaikos Athens (GRE)|
|22/02/1985||Athens, Greece||Olympiacos B.C., A1 (GRE)|
|31/07/1990||Trikala, Greece||Olympiacos Piraeus, A1 (GRE)|
|27/05/1987||Harper Woods, (USA), USA||Gran Canaria 2014 (ESP)|
|04/07/1985||Maroussi, Greece||Bizkaia Bilbao Basket (ESP)|
|16/04/1990||Athens, Greece||Olympiacos Piraeus, A1 (GRE)|
|15/03/1983||Koridalos, Greece||Panathinaikos, A1 (GRE)|
|Min||Minutes played||Tot||Total rebounds||BS||Block Shots|
|%||Shooting percentage||PF||Personal fouls||G||Played Games|
Greece transition takes first hurdle
Team history :
The goal last summer for the Greece national team was to reach the 2012 Olympic qualifier tournament. And by finishing sixth at EuroBasket 2011, a Greek team in major transition has mastered that first hurdle.
Greece coach Ilias Zouros admitted before Lithuania that his current team was one more for the future than the present. And that is not really a surprise looking at the names missing from the 2011 squad.
The list of Greek absentees reads like a list of European superstars over nearly the past decade with missing superstars such as Dimitrios Diamantidis, Theodoros Papaloukas, Vassilis Spanoulis, Sofoklis Schortsanitis, Kostas Tsartsaris and Loukas Mavrokefalidis.
The trio of Ioannis Bourousis, Nikos Zisis and Antonio Fotsis were the only holdovers from the 2005 EuroBasket winning side.
Teaming with them in Lithuania was the first wave of a new tide of young Greek stars who romped through the European and world youth ranks and are starting to make a rippling in big European clubs. Some of them have even collected top-notch level experience at the club level.
Center Kostas Koufos has already played in the NBA with the Utah Jazz, Minnesota Timberwolves and Denver Nuggets while his fellow 1989 class mate Nick Calathes helped Panathinaikos to the 2011 Euroleague championship in his second season with the Greek giants.
Both were also on Greece’s bronze-medal winning team from EuroBasket 2009.
Making their way into the Greek 2011 squad were Kostas Papanikolaou and Kostas Sloukas – both of whom were part of the multi-gold medal winning 1990 Greek generation.
Papanikolaou is in his third season with Euroleague club Olympiacos – for whom he has already started a number of games despite his tender age. And Sloukas is back with Olympiacos after spending a successful last season on loan at Aris Thessaloniki.
One of the real revelations for Zouros this summer was the American native Michail Bramos, who got his first Greek call-up and served as a good scorer and rebounder at times while also playing tough defense.
Koufos mentioned before the tournament how much of an honor it is to play with the likes of Bourousis, Zisis and Fotsis. The new generation after all has some giant shoes to fill once the elder statesmen all move on from the national team.
Bourousis, Zisis and Fotsis teamed with Diamantidis and Papaloukas and the others to bring Greece to the top of Europe and nearly the world. They captured the title EuroBasket 2005 – Greece’s first continental title since 1987.
Then one summer later in Japan, Papaloukas and his mates ran around the United States at the 2006 FIBA World Championship to shock mighty Team USA 101-95 in the Semi-Finals before getting beaten by Spain to claim the silver medal.
The Greeks lost to Spain at EuroBasket 2007 in the semis and then watched Lithuania snatch bronze. But Greece rebounded in 2009 with the bronze medal.
Add one year of experience to the new generation as well as the return of stars such as Spanoulis, Schortsanitis and Mavrokefalidis and Greece’s chances in the London qualifier look much better.
That wealth of veteran leadership would have been huge for Zouros’s men in Lithuania, where Greece were unable to beat any of the other teams among the top six finishers – losing to F.Y.R. of Macedonia, Russia, France and Lithuania over the course of the tournament.
Victories over Bosnia and Herzegovina, Finland, Montenegro, Croatia, Georgia and Serbia were enough to get Greece to the last hurdle before London 2012. But in order to walk into London’s Olympic Stadium on July 27, 2012 during the Parade of Athletes at the Opening Ceremony, Zouros’s men will have to come up with a way of overcoming that next obstacle.
The foundation for that though has definitely been laid as the Greece transition is well under way.
|2008||FIBA Olympic Qualifying Tournament for Men||3rd|
|2006||FIBA World Championship||2nd|
|2006||Stankovic Continental Champions Cup||1st|
|1989||European Championship for Men||2nd|
|1987||European Championship for Men||1st|
|1949||European Championship for Men||3rd|