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Thread: A Question About Greek Youth Development

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    Default A Question About Greek Youth Development

    Hi fellas,

    I am looking for an answer for a question that engaging my attention. Greece is one of the top basketball countries in Europe. No doubt. I was making a research about youth development philosophies in various countries such as Lithuania, France, Spain etc. I found some answers which make sense but all I could find about Greek Basketball was this:

    "The Greek Basketball Youth Program is one of the least complicated systems and it relies on player fundamentals and player teamwork" (Nikos Stavropoulos, Fiba Assist Magazine, 2004)

    Sooooo, if there is nothing special about Greek basketball youth development; how come Greeks can keep producing decent players? They must be good at preventing young basketballers to disappear. But what is their secret?

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    Quote Originally Posted by ersoz View Post
    Hi fellas,

    I am looking for an answer for a question that engaging my attention. Greece is one of the top basketball countries in Europe. No doubt. I was making a research about youth development philosophies in various countries such as Lithuania, France, Spain etc. I found some answers which make sense but all I could find about Greek Basketball was this:

    "The Greek Basketball Youth Program is one of the least complicated systems and it relies on player fundamentals and player teamwork" (Nikos Stavropoulos, Fiba Assist Magazine, 2004)

    Sooooo, if there is nothing special about Greek basketball youth development; how come Greeks can keep producing decent players? They must be good at preventing young basketballers to disappear. But what is their secret?
    From an outsiders perspective it seems they have a nice pipeline of players born and raised and trained in the USA that have distant Greek heritage yet avoid having to naturalize them. It it is nice added weapon to compliment their homegrown talent.
    Beyond a great basketball culture and history this aggressive use of diaspora seems to be the "secret weapon" that elevates them to the top tiers of teams in Europe, as they are able to do this much more than most other European countries.

    Not to point fingers at Greece as many countries do this (but to varying degrees) Look at the Nigerian Olympic team for a much more extreme example. Most of their players are born, raised and trained in the USA (Puerto Rico too). To self reflect, Canada, due to its proximity to the USA, certainly has players trained in the USA (most at some point in their lives) and a couple even born in the USA (Kyle Wiltjer I believe).

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    Senior Member R1ou's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by mojo13 View Post
    From an outsiders perspective it seems they have a nice pipeline of players born and raised and trained in the USA that have distant Greek heritage yet avoid having to naturalize them. It it is nice added weapon to compliment their homegrown talent.
    Beyond a great basketball culture and history this aggressive use of diaspora seems to be the "secret weapon" that elevates them to the top tiers of teams in Europe, as they are able to do this much more than most other European countries.

    Not to point fingers at Greece as many countries do this (but to varying degrees) Look at the Nigerian Olympic team for a much more extreme example. Most of their players are born, raised and trained in the USA (Puerto Rico too). To self reflect, Canada, due to its proximity to the USA, certainly has players trained in the USA (most at some point in their lives) and a couple even born in the USA (Kyle Wiltjer I believe).

    The "naturalization" topic you're referring started around early 10's.And the only US born and raised players Greece utilized that come to my mind right now are Calathes,Koufos,Bramos and now Dorsey.I'm not sure why you make such case for about 4-5 players that the NT spotted and brought them to the team(sorry in advance if I'm forgetting someone).That makes me think you either don't follow Greek basketball or you just want to be ignorant.And I'm saying this because as far as I recall you have commented such thing again 1-2 months ago.I suggest you to check again how many domestic talents Greece has producted through the years that have helped Greece to reach a respectable place in European basketball at Nt and clubs' level like our friend above mentions and stop looking only the one side of the coin.It's totally wrong to say that Greece's successes were US based products.
    Last edited by R1ou; 09-27-2016 at 06:39 PM.

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    Quote Originally Posted by R1ou View Post
    The "naturalization" topic you're referring started around early 10's.And the only US born and raised players Greece utilized that come to my mind right now are Calathes,Koufos,Bramos and now Dorsey.I'm not sure why you make such case for about 4-5 players that the NT spotted and brought them to the team(sorry in advance if I'm forgetting someone).That makes me think you either don't follow Greek basketball or you just want to be ignorant.And I'm saying this because as far as I recall you have commented such thing again 1-2 months ago.I suggest you to check again how many domestic talents Greece has producted through the years that have helped Greece to reach a respectable place in European basketball at Nt and clubs' level like our friend above mentions and stop looking only the one side of the coin.It's totally wrong to say that Greece's successes were US based products.
    Actually there's nothing special on Greek-US players such as Calathes-Koufos, Bramos, etc. They are not close to level of native Greeks such as Spa, DD, Papaloukas. I don't mean these Greek-American players are bad but just saying that Greece owes all success to its own products that I mentioned.

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    Senior Member R1ou's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by turk-jugoslav View Post
    Actually there's nothing special on Greek-US players such as Calathes-Koufos, Bramos, etc. They are not close to level of native Greeks such as Spa, DD, Papaloukas. I don't mean these Greek-American players are bad but just saying that Greece owes all success to its own products that I mentioned.
    Yeah,that's what I want to say,I seriously can't understund why mojo13 replied like this in a question about youth domestic talent.Making such cases from nothing are beyond me.How can someone say that Greece owes their success to them and compete with other teams becuase of Calathes and Koufos,who debuted with Greece in a period of failures and unsuccesfull campaignes?

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    Quote Originally Posted by R1ou View Post
    The "naturalization" topic you're referring started around early 10's.And the only US born and raised players Greece utilized that come to my mind right now are Calathes,Koufos,Bramos and now Dorsey.I'm not sure why you make such case for about 4-5 players that the NT spotted and brought them to the team(sorry in advance if I'm forgetting someone).That makes me think you either don't follow Greek basketball or you just want to be ignorant.And I'm saying this because as far as I recall you have commented such thing again 1-2 months ago.I suggest you to check again how many domestic talents Greece has produced through the years that have helped Greece to reach a respectable place in European basketball at Nt and clubs' level like our friend above mentions and stop looking only the one side of the coin.It's totally wrong to say that Greece's successes were US based products.
    Certainly not saying all Greece success is due to diaspora. Of course the vast majority of great Greek players have been born and raised Greeks. But you have to admit it is nice little "secret sauce" that has improved the prospects of Greek teams. Especially allowing Greek teams to fill holes in rosters in roles that other countries have struggle to fill.

    Nick Galis would be an obvious one that I am surprised you didn't mention. One of the best Greek basketball players of all time. One of the best international players of all time! Born and raised in New Jersey and went to Seton Hall. Didn't he average about 30 points per game in a 150-200 national team career games for Greece? I am not sure if any other countries benefited anywhere near as much from a USA born, raised trained player. (It is an curious question if you have some other names). Funny thing, if not for an ill timed injury and the Celtics rescinding their contract offer he may have never played for Greece.

    You can throw Pat Calathes in the mix as well, but he is not that important. Zach Auguste too.

    I could be wrong, but it just seems to me that more USA born and raised players have played for Greece than most other European countries - especially without needing to "naturalize" them. Are their similar names in the history of Spain, Italy, Serbia, France? I am sure there are a few but Greece just seems to have had more of an advantage (the secret the original poster referenced).

    Again this is my lowly opinion and very willing to admit I am wrong (or "ignorant") and no offense it meant. Maybe I just have Galis burned into my brain as I grew up in the 80s/early 90s and today I see Calathes/Koufos/Dorsey and just think it has been more of a trend over the decades than it really has.

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