Giorgos Kolokithas is one of the best players that have ever worn Panathinaikos’ jersey, or more accurately put, one of the best basketball players of all times. Born on November 2nd 1945, his talent was much more than obvious. He played for Sporting, where he stayed until 1966. His transfer to Panathinaikos caused a lot of discussions for quite some time. Being a clover player until 1973 went hand-in-hand with exceptional performances until his last day with the team, when he decided to put an early stop to his basketball career. He loved and continues to love basketball as much as life itself.
He won four championships wearing the Panathinaikos’ jersey (1967, 1969, 1971, and 1972). In 1969 he played at the Cup Winners’ Cup semifinal– as it was called back in those days – scoring 36 points in the double quarterfinal against Benfica. In 1972, he went all the way to the Champions’ Cup semifinal. His personal record in a single game is 51 points, a record he made in his first season as a Panathinaikos’ player (1966-67). He led the Greek Championship top scorers’ board in 1964, 1966 and 1967. As he had admitted himself he had a …knack for offence: “I love scoring and was as easy to me as breathing. Being able to jump quite high also helped in that.”
An important part of his career, that made him famous even outside Greek boarders to this very day, was his accomplishments with the Greek National Men’s Basketball Team. He scored 1807 points in 90 games, while the relevant figures in Eurobasket competitions is 25 and 492, respectively; an average of 19.7 points per game. Kolokithas is the first Greek player to be named top scorer in a Eurobasket; and not just one, but two of them! The first time he did it was in 1967 in Helsinki where he had a 22.9-point average, and the second in Caserta where he averaged 22.7 points. He even made sure that his farewell game with the National Team was one of his best ever wearing the white-and-blue coat of arms: on May 4, 1971 he scored 35 points against Scotland’s National Team.
When he gave up his basketball career as an active player, he did not give up on basketball altogether. He is currently a member of the Greek Basketball Federation Board of Directors, and head of the national teams.