Another seven foot center who I have yet to mention is Georgios Papagiannis who could go down as the best Greek basketball player ever to play in the NBA when it is all said and done with. Papagiannis, born in Maroussi, Athens, Greece is a 7’1 250 lb. man-child and he is only 16 years old. In May of 2013, he announced that he would be attending Westtown School in Chester, Pennsylvania.
At such a young age, Papagiannis has the ability to play at such a high level around the basket. He has all of the needed skills that a center in the NBA should have, whether it may be his post jump hook that he seems to have perfected, his shot blocking ability, or his shooting range. He has such a soft touch around the hoop, which every center should have at the next level, and he blocks shots with ease. Even during plays on the defensive end where he doesn’t block a shot, his presence is enough to cause opposing players to think twice about shooting the ball on the drive. Papagiannis’s size causes players on the other team to force passes, sometimes leading to turnovers, and missed shots that lead to an easy rebound for him. This kid can do it all, from put back slams, being able to shoot the three ball at 7 feet tall, and his passing skill.
Papagiannis and his plethora of skills and raw talent will only improve with age, and as he may need a little bit of work as any 16 year old does, I believe that in a year he could make an impact in the NBA. It is safe to say that Georgios Papagiannis is the real deal, and for those that think otherwise, ESPN.com has him ranked as the 26th best prospect in the nation, and nbadraftroom.com has Papagiannis being drafted at 7th overall on their big board. The 7 foot Greek native has already received offers from Division 1 schools such as Maryland, Penn State, Pittsburgh, Temple, and Rutgers and before the end of next season, I would expect to see him receive offers from other big names as well.
Just behind Davis as a high ranking newcomer is another impressive big man. Greek-born Georgios Papagiannis came over to the States to attend the Westtown (Pa.) School and has made a large impact. At nearly 7-foot-2 with a big frame, he isn't a speed demon but plays with an edge and takes up lots of space. He enters the rankings at No. 44 but could make another big move as we learn more about him. It is important to note, though, that rumors keep swirling that he could return to Greece after his junior season to play pro ball.