It’s true that hoops leagues around the World have made tremendous strides in raising the level of their games over the past decade to produce numerous NCAA and NBA star players on a yearly basis like most recently Alex Len at Maryland and now Phoenix, Jonas Valanciunas of the Raptors, Ricky Rubio in Minnesota, and Serge Ibaka with the OKC Thunder.
While Canada may currently have the International market on lock when it comes to pro players from other countries, with players like last year’s top overall NBA pick Anthony Bennett, Tristan Thompson, and future NBA superstar Andrew Wiggins all on the horizon, one monstrous 7 footer from Greece will soon be the talk as the next great International player, now that he has decided to come to the United States to finish his HS ball.
Still only 16 year old Georgios Papagiannis has already measured, by some sources, an incredible 7’1 tall, weighed in at 250lbs, with a condor like 7’6 wingspan, making him a unique physical specimen for any level of basketball.
At age 14, he became the youngest player ever to play in a Greek Basket League Game, and recently averaged an impressive 14.3 points, 10.8 rebounds for the Greek National Team in this Summer’s 2013 FIBA U-16 Championships, helping them earn the bronze medal. He led all players in blocks in the 2012 Championships. Georgios is currently the #1 ranked player in Europe for prospects born in 1997.
The potential future NBA Lottery pick has announced that he will be playing for the Westtown School, in West Chester, Pennsylvania, a Philadelphia suburb, for the upcoming 2013-2014 season.
I think it’s way too premature, but some have already compared him to former Portland Trailblazer standout Arvydas Sabonis, who not only had a great back-to-the basket game but was one of the best passing big men in league history.
Reportedly, a number of high Division I nearby schools like Villanova, Maryland, and Temple have already seen Papagiannis in some private workouts but after starring in this year’s 2013 Jordan Brand Classic International Game, his stock is surely on the rise.
Is he the next Sabonis or Darko Milicic? Here’s some footage of Papagiannis from this season’s Jordan International Game, when he was still only 15 as well as his 2013 mixtape from Eurohopes…….
2013 Jordan Brand International Game:
Georgios Papagiannis – #1 Eurohopes Ranking:
Allen Moll has been a lifelong NBA and NCAA College Basketball fan who watches and studies games religiously, and coaches youth basketball in his native Lehigh Valley region of Pennsylvania. Allen has also provided content to Bleacherreport.com, Upperdeckblog.com, Cleveland.com, CSN Philly.com, Buckets Magazine, in addition to being a tenured NBA and NCAA columnist for TheHoopDoctors.com.