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The Summer of Παπαπέτρου


Back in May, Ioannis Papapetrou boarded a flight and headed home. He was headed back to Greece. The Summer of Παπαπέτρου was about to begin.

After spending some time with his family, Papapetrou joined up with the Greek national team for the Under 20 European Championships.

In the first game of the tournament, Papapetrou led the Greek squad to a comeback win against Serbia, after being down by 11 points in the third quarter. Papapetrou finished with a game high 18 points on 7-13 shooting. The Summer of Παπαπέτρου was in full swing.

Papapetrou led his team in scoring over the course of the championship, putting up double figures in nine out of ten games. He averaged 16 PPG and 5 RPG during the event.

He also took some time to make a short video with his teammates.

Papapetrou ended the tournament scoring 21 points against Turkey in the fifth place game. The victory over Turkey allowed Papapetrou to show his broad range of skills. He knocked down jump shots, went to the basket, crashed the glass, and even dropped a Sikmaesque reverse pivot move after receiving the ball with his back to the basket (1:50 mark in the video).

But the Summer of Παπαπέτρου was not yet over. After the U20 championships ended, word leaked out that Papapetrou was being courted by the two top professional basketball teams in Greece. He was first offered a contract from reigning Euroleague champion Olympiacos. This offer eventually became worth 1.2 million Euros after taxes over five years.

At the same time, rival club Panathinaikos also reached out to the Papapetrou family. Panathinaikos was the team that Papapetrou's father Argiris had played with from 1985-1994.

As of the time of this writing, it appears that Papapetrou has turned down both professional clubs. He has said that his "desire is to stay in Texas." Still, these offers represent something of significance; they represent that Papapetrou is considered among the very best young basketball players in Greece.

And now, the Summer of Παπαπέτρου is coming to an end. According to Papapetrou's Instagram feed, he will be back in Austin on August 24, just in time for the fall.