After breaking records as the highest-ever selected Greek player last week, Georgios Papagiannis has a lot to live up to. He was chosen as No. 13 overall in the NBA draft.
Speaking to the press, Papagiannis stated that being selected doesn't mean that he will slack for the year ahead. The eighteen-year-old believes that he will still put his best into everything and work hard. He's hungry for success and will do his very best to bring a championship to his town.
Papagiannis is 7 foot 2 inches tall and has impressive skills when it comes to long distance shooting. Initially, people believed that Papagiannis would be in the late first-round, possibly an early second round selection. During a surprising first-round, when 14 international players were taken, Papagiannis took center stage.
People and spectators thought that the Phoenix Suns would take him, but it was the Sacramento Kings that eventually got him. With some luck, he will be able to play alongside another Greek player situated in Kosta Koufos.
Papagiannis displays his enthusiasm towards working with another Greek man in the same team. It's a new experience for him. He was also quick to point out that they also have Peja, the team's director of player personnel who can communicate in Greek. He feels excited for the times ahead.
However, Papagiannis did admit that he didn't know too much about the Kings leading up to the draft. He met the Kings bunch during the pro day. Aside from those he met on the day, he already knew Vlade Divac, a hero in his rights. He is keen to start working with the team, especially Peja and DeMarcus Cousins, whose playing ability he admires greatly.
2013 was the last year that a Greek player was taken so high. That year, Milwaukee Bucks gave Giannis Antetokoumpo a chance.
American scouts were eyeing up Papagiannis during his time as a basketball player in high school based in Pennsylvania. However, Papagiannis opted to forgo his college eligibility to compete professionally with powerhouse Panathinaikos instead. Till this day, the Greek club still has rights over the young player, although his contract states an NBA payout of approximately $500,000, which is petty cash for most NBA clubs.
The burning question now is whether Sacramento will push him overseas to develop and progress or keep him on their home grounds under close watch?
It's not entirely clear where he comes into play on the roster alongside huge players like Koufos, Willie Cauley-Stein, and DeMarcus Cousins, but Papagiannis remains confident and insists that he is ready to play right away.