| He's at the Final Four for a sixth consecutive season. He's the reigning MVP of the Euroleague. And he's nominated for the All-Euroleague team once again. Theodoros Papaloukas of CSKA Moscow is very much the man to watch going into the Final Four in Madrid. Not only was he was named Final Four MVP in 2006 when he led CSKA to its first Euroleague crown in 35 years, but he scored a career-high 23 points and dished 8 assists in last season's classic final, even though CSKA lost by a basket. He will also be the only participating player in the 2008 Final Four to be honored among the 50 greatest contributors to the first 50 Years of European Club Basketball. And as his team's Final Four Fan Mail guest, Papaloukas talked about everything from what he wishes to do wants his playing career ends to walking among the legends in Madrid. "If someone had said this ten years ago, everyone would have laughed," Papaloukas told Euroleague.net. "It's like a dream come true what I have been living the last three or four years, from Belgrade to Moscow to Prague to Japan. Now, in Madrid, I hope to enjoy it even more by winning the Euroleague this year with all the legends being honored. That would be the perfect combination"
Hello, Theo. What would you like to do after you retire as a player? Good luck! I wish you health and happiness!
Adina Ion - Romania
"I would like to start a school or academy for basketball in Athens. It will not be very easy, but we will see. I am already involved in making summer camps in cities all over Greece. We go five or six days to each of the cities and it is good work we are doing. After I stop playing, however, I would like to make this something permanent."
Theo, congratulations for another great season with CSKA. Good luck in Madrid. This year's Euroleague has been incredibly competitive. In your view which team or player were the most surprising?
"CSKA has been for the last six years, and of course much before, one of the traditional powers of European basketball, so you cannot say we are a surprise to other teams. I said back in October, before the season, that I was very impressed already about Montepaschi Siena, and they have proven to be a great team going to the Final Four. And I think that the key player for them, the one who really impressed me, was Terrell McIntyre."
Theo, I think you are one of the best European players ever. Wich are the keys to try to win the next Final Four? Good luck for the Final Four and the Olympic Games! Thank you so much for your attention,
Eva Sotelo - Spain
"The most important thing right now is to be concentrated and to try to understand what we have to do - and what we don't have to do - against Tau. Only after that can you relax, because you can't think about another opponent now anyway. Everyone wants to play in the final, and to do that, you have to win the first one. All our thoughts must be on the semifinal, then."
Can you tell us about your usual daily schedule, the training and the diet?
Dimitris - Greece
"It's not very easy to analyze one typical day, because a lot of it depends on what time of year and other things. What I can say is that I have a lot of people who help me take care of myself. They watch my weight, check my blood now and then to make sure I am getting the right nutrition and so on. The most important thing to realize is that we are human like everyone else, but that as athletes we have to be more careful sometimes of how we eat and train so that we always have energy and recover fast enough to play at our best every game."
Teo, I'm a fan of Olympiacos and I'm wishing you to win another Euroleugue title in Madrid. Here in Pireus everyone's hoping for you to return someday. What's are the chances of that happening?
Giorgos Dounis - Greece
"Well, what is most important now is that we have to play the Final Four. The only thing that I am thinking about is Madrid. It has been our main target from the beginning of the season, and honestly, I cannot think of anything else right now, not even the draw of the Olympic Games. Everything has its own time."
Mr. Papaloukas. What advice do you have for a tall teenager (me) who wants to become a point guard like you, even though the coaches like me to play forward?
Paolo Scorchelli - Argentina
"I think that I was very lucky in my career, because I found coaches who really believed in me. It's very important to find some people to support you in this idea, but first of all, you have to make sure if can be a point guard. Just wanting to be one is not enough. If professional people say you can be a point guard, find the right team that wants to use you that way. Then you have to work a lot, and not just to become a point guard, but to be good at every position you can play."
Hi Thodori! I would like to ask you what do you feel, knowing that in your homeland we feel proud when you wear the Greek uniform, but also hope that you do well with CSKA?
Evi - Greece
"I don't know if everyone in Greece is supporting me when play with CSKA, but I am proud that some people support us from Greece as well as from other places around Europe and all over, really. It is very fascinating for me to receive Fan Mails like some of these that come from people all over the world. Sometimes, you don't realize how many people follow your career, but when you do realize it, it gives you more of a sense of responsibility towards the many fans out there."
Sometimes, it seems that you get better at the end of each season, maybe. Do you think so, too. and why is that?
Clemen - Austria
"Yes, because I am always trying to be better at the end of the season. That's when the most important games are, the most crucial games. Of course, I try to help my team during the season to reach all our targets. Then when the most important games come, I want to be ready the most."
How do you like to be chosen with the 35 best players ever in Europe even though you are still playing?
Arnaud Simons - Belgium
"It's an unbelievable honor to realize that my name is next to the legendary players of Europe and I am going to be honored with them. If someone had said this ten years ago, everyone would have laughed. It's like a dream come true what I have been living the last three or four years, from Belgrade to Moscow to Prague to Japan. Now, in Madrid, I hope to enjoy it even more by winning the Euroleague this year with all the legends being honored. That would be the perfect combination."