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OLYMPIACOS nabs prospect Papanikolaou
by: Vassilis Skountis, Athens
September 14, 2009
Olympiacos Piraeus has announced today the signing of small forward Kostas Papanikolaou, considered one of the top prospects in the world, to a five-year deal. Papanikolaou (203, 19) arrives from Aris, where played only 56 minutes and scored 9 points in 14 Greek League games last season. Despite his limited participation he was named the top rookie of the 2008-09 season. Papanikolaou grew up with Proteas Grevenon and moved to Aris in 2006. This summer, he gained notariety by leading two different Greek national teams to the podium in international competition. He first won the silver medal at the FIBA Under-19 World Championships in Auckland, New Zealand, where he averaged 14.9 points and 6.6 rebounds. He then won the gold medal at the Under-20 European Championship, held in Rhodes Greece, where he was named MVP, averaging 11.8 points, 6.4 boards, 1.8 assists and 2.0 steals per game. In 2008, Papanikolaou also won the gold medal at the Under-18 European Championships, also held in Greece, and in 2007 got the silver medal at the Under-18 European Championships in Madrid. Earlier this summer, Papanikolaou participated in the preparation of the Greek senior national team, but was cut few days before the start of the European Championship in Poland.
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