On June 23, 2016, 18-year-old Georgios Papagiannis joined Giannis Antetokounmpo as the second active, and sixth ever, Greek national in the NBA. There have also been eight other Greeks to have been drafted by NBA teams, but never actually played a game.
Papagiannis was selected by the Phoenix Suns on behalf of the Sacramento Kings, as those teams had already negotiated a trade for that pick prior to the selection being made. Born in Marousi, Greece, Papagiannis is a 7 ft-2 center whose stock kept rising as the draft approached. He was originally projected as a mid to late 2nd rounder, but ended up being taken in the 1st round, 13th overall.
In 2012, Papagiannis made his professional basketball debut in Greece for Peristeri – and at the age of 14, he was the youngest player to ever do so for a Division A1 team in the Greek Basket League.
In 2013, he came to the United States and played high school basketball in Philadelphia for one season before returning to Greece to join Panathinaikos BC, where he played professionally for two more seasons. Papagiannis also represented his homeland in various European tournaments as a member of the Greek National Team, and will now make Greeks from all around the world proud as a member of the NBA.
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