Eight years after he passed away, prolific scorer Alphonso Ford will be memorialized Sunday by his Greek colleagues and fans. His former teammates from Papagou, one of four Greek clubs he played for during his illustrious career, organized a game in his memory on the team's home floor. Ford led the Greek League in scoring with 24.6 points per game in his lone season with Papagou in 1996-97. That team, led by Michalis Yfantis and Giorgos Liminatis and Coach Kostas Missas will face a selection of veteran Greek players, including Euroleague legends and stars Fragiskos Alvertis, Theo Papaloukas, Efthimis Rentzias, Giorgos Sigalas, Michalis Kakiouzis and Nikos Boudouris. Former Peristeri head coach and current boss of Panathinaikos, Argiris Pedoulakis, will head the Greek Selection.
Alphonso Ford began his European career in 1995 in Spain with Grupo AGB Huesca and came to Greece the following season. After one season with Papagou, he was diagnosed with leukemia and was forced to sit out the 1997-98 campaign. However he returned as strong as ever with Sporting Athens, played two years with Peristeri and another with Olympiacos. He went on to spend a season each in Italy with Montepaschi Siena and Scavolini Pesaro.
Among his list of accomplishments were leading the Euroleague in scoring twice and leading the Greek League in scoring four times. He was named to the All-Euroleague First Time twice and to the All-Euroleague Second Team once, won the 2001 Greek League MVP and led Olympiacos to the 2002 Greek Cup. His name is firmly etched into the Euroleague record books for the most points scored in a Euroleague game (41, tied with two others), the highest scoring average for a season (26 points per game with Peristeri in 2000-01) and the highest scoring averaged for a career (22.2 ppg.).
Ford passed away on September 4, 2004 – mere months after he played his final game for Pesaro – after a long and painful battle against leukemia. He was 32. Euroleague Basketball subsequently named the award for its annual scoring champion the "Alphonso Ford Top Scorer Trophy" in his memory.