On Friday night at Peace and Friendship Arena, in front of the fans who have supported him throughout his lengthy career with Olympiacos Piraeus, Georgios Printezis joined some very rare company when he became the third player in Turkish Airlines EuroLeague history to reach 3,000 career points. The 34-year-old forward, who came into the game with 2,998 points, wasted little time in marking the milestone. He banked in one of his patented one-hand shots off the top of the basket in the game's sixth minute. Printezis finished with 10 points for a new career total of 3,008 as Olympiacos downed visiting Zalgiris Kaunas 83-74.
Only all-time scoring leader Juan Carlos Navarro (4,152 points) and Printezis's teammate Vassilis Spanoulis (4,052 entering Round 8) have more points than him. However, the number of members in the 3,000-point club is expected to grow soon. Real Madrid's Felipe Reyes, the EuroLeague's career rebounding king, is sitting on 2,998 points, but is currently injured. Paulius Jankunas of Zalgiris raised his career total to 2,996 in the loss to Olympiacos. Sergio Llull of Real (2,918 entering Round 8) and Nando De Colo (2,833 entering Round 8) of Fenerbahce Beko Istanbul could also reach 3,000 this season.
Printezis has played the vast majority of his 18 seasons with Olympiacos, which he helped to back-to-back EuroLeague crowns in 2012 and 2013. In the first of those, his one-hander in the final seconds capped a memorable comeback against CSKA Moscow to give the Reds the title. Printezis, who was named to the 2016-17 All-EuroLeague First Team, also has the 2013 Intercontinental Cup and three Greek League championships in his trophy case. He won a bronze medal at EuroBasket 2009 with the Greek national team, too.
A product of the youth system at Asteras Ag. Dimitriou, Printezis was just 15 when he first signed for Olympiacos and made his senior debut at age 18. After a season on loan with Larissa in 2006-07, he returned to the Reds with a bigger role. Printezis later left for a season and a half with Unicaja Malaga, but since his return to the club in March 2011, Printezis has been an Olympiacos mainstay and helped the club reach a golden period that will long be remembered.
This scoring milestone serves as a tribute to the high-level of play, professionalism and consistency he has shown throughout his career. In addition to ranking third all-time in scoring and second in two-point baskets made with 998, Printezis is sixth in career rebounds with 1,246, too.