Nick Galis (23/07/1957 - )

Nick Galis Nick Galis is the most important basketball player in the history of the sport in Greece.

He was born in 1957 in New Jersey, USA, to immigrant parents from Rhodes. During his school years, his father turned him to boxing, but his mother, not bearing to see him bloodied after his training, eventually turned him to basketball. In high school, he showed particular talent for the sport and in 1975, he was accepted at Seton Hall University. Galis quickly became a star in his team and at his last year in the collegiate league, he was declared first scorer, leaving Larry Bird in second place. Although he was drafted by Boston Celtics, a bad injury kept him out of the magic world of NBA. Thus, he decided to go to Greece.

The team of Thessaloniki, Ares, opened its doors for him in 1979; he played for the team for a total of 13 years, which consisted the glorious epoch of the team. Thanks to Galis, Ares was first in eight leagues and won six cups. In 1987, he led the National Greek Team to triumph, winning the Eurobasket in Athens. Two years later, once again led by Galis, the National Team took second position at the Belgrade Eurobasket.

In 1992, the team was in rough shape, as its finances had plummeted; the president of the team then decided to let Galis go, because he could not cover the cost of his extravagant wage. Galis went to Athens and became a member of Panathinaikos, his second and last stop in his basketball career. During his stay there, the team won one cup and also participated at the Final Four. In 1995, he had a dispute with the coach of the team, so he left the team and the Greek basket in general.

After the end of his career in basketball, he became a entrepreneur and founded a summer camp for children in Chalkidiki. He has married twice (his first wife was killed at a car crash in 1988). During the Olympic Games 2004 in Athens, Nick Galis was the first torch bearer of the Olympic Flame that brought the flame inside the Olympic Stadium of Athens. Galis was the topmost shooting – guard in Europe and a great scorer. He was also a very good playmaker and passer. He specialized in spectacularly and effectively penetrating the opponent defenses, despite the fact that he was short in basketball perspectives. Thanks to Galis, the Greek basketball changed completely and was brought to the spotlight worldwide.

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