Fresh off a big home win on Thursday, Panathinaikos Athens has registered one of the top young center prospects in the world, Giorgi Shermadini, for its Euroleague roster. Shermadini (216, 19) is now eligible to join the team for its next regular season game, at Asseco Prokom Sopot next week. Shermadini has been a dominating force in his native Georgia, leading the domestic league there in points, rebounds and blocks while winning the player of the year award during the last three seasons. He averaged 33.5 points and 18.4 rebounds and 3.1 blocks in the Georgian League last season, although his team, Maccabi Brinkford Tbilisi, finished last at 6-24. Shermadini arrived in Athens three weeks ago and has been trying out for Panathinaikos in the interim. He was in street clothes behind the bench on Thursday as Panathinaikos downed previously undefeated Montepaschi Siena to join a first-place tie in Group B.
"Panathinaikos is not a team that sings a player if they are not sure that he can play with them, so it's a big honor for me and also a great opportunity," Shermadini said. "Three years ago, when I started my career, I coudn't even imagine that I should be part of the best European team. I'll work hard to show my potential and have some playing time when coach Obradovic decides that I am ready to be on the court."