On-court experience is often the most valuable components of a player’s development and Kings big man Georgios Papagiannis is looking to add to his resume with the upcoming Eurobasket 2017 tournament.
Papagiannis, a native of Greece, will be playing for his home country in the biennial competition that showcases the best talent around Europe. This will mark the 20-year-old’s debut on the Greek senior national team after previously competing in FIBA play with the junior national team since 2012.
“Eurobasket is always good for a player,” Papagiannis told the media. “I believe we can go for the gold medal and it would be a great motivation for next year.”
Greece most recently reached the summit of Eurobasket in 2005 when they defeated Serbia and Montenegro for the gold medal. However, the Greek team has not medaled since the 2009 tournament, where they took home the bronze.
With new Kings addition Bogdan Bogdanovic joining the squad in Sacramento, Papa G also made sure to incorporate some friendly trash talk into his conversation with the Serbian guard.
“I talked to him when we’re at Summer League and I told him, ‘We’re going to beat you guys,’” said Papagiannis. “Even though we’re going to be teammates next year, I still want to win against him because I want to do it for [my] country.”
The Eurobasket 2017 tournament is slated to begin on August 31st and will run through the championship game on September 17th.
With a first taste of high-level competition on the international level, Papa G will be poised to see continued improvement heading into the 2017-18 campaign in Sacramento.