Adam Zagoria covers basketball at all levels. He is the author of two books and an award-winning journalist whose articles have appeared in ESPN The Magazine, SLAM, Sheridan Hoops, Sports Illustrated, Basketball Times and in newspapers nationwide.
Arizona, Kansas Among Those Intrigued by Greek 7-Footer
Count No. 1 Arizona and No. 15 Kansas among those intrigued by Greek 7-footer Georgios Papagiannis of Westtown (Pa.).
Spencer Dunkley, a British-born basketball player who was chosen in the second round of the 1993 NBA Draft, is serving as Papagiannis’ mentor and recently spoke with SNY.tv.
“Right now he’s just getting introduced to the American scene,” Dunkley said. “We’re just trying to give everybody an opportunity to see him. Some schools have already shown interest — Arizona, Kansas, Wichita [State], Virginia, Georgetown, Miami, Temple, La Salle has been very active, Maryland. All those schools have shown a lot of interest.”
Dunkley said Papagiannis has already visited Maryland while there with his team for a tournament, and sources said Maryland has offered him a scholarship.
Dunkley said but that no other schools have officially offered Papagiannis yet.
“They’re expressing interest,” he said. “He’s new, they’ve never seen the kid before so they’re just coming into the gym, coming to open practices and they’re just watching and evaluating and they’re probably trying to see if he fits their program.
“We’re just trying to feel it out, to see what’s what and who’s who.”
One high-major assistant told SNY.tv that Papagiannis has “a chance to be very good.”
Another said, “Good player, skilled. Needs to work on athleticism but real good.”
As we previously reported here, Westtown coach Seth Berger believes Papagiannis can be a lottery pick in 2016.
“I think he’s the best player I will ever coach until I’m 80 years old; he has a legitimate chance to be a top five pick in the 2016 NBA draft,” Berger told CBSSports. “George is a one-and-done for sure. He’s that once-in-a-lifetime kind of player.”
As far as recruiting, Dunkley said they would eventually form a list.
“At some point we will try to narrow it down,” Dunkley said. “We’ll sit down with the family and try to narrow it down to the best situation for the kid, the best situation for the parents to see their son play, all of that.
“Just because he just popped up, it’s a lot to deal with.”
As for his future, Papagiannis could spend this year and next at Westtown and then go to college. It’s also possible he could return to Greece at some point and play professionally there before potentially entering the NBA.
“Anything could happen, man,” Dunkley said. “I’ll just leave that open. He’ll be there for the rest of this year.”
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Adam Zagoria is a New York Times contributor and Basketball Insider who covers basketball at all levels. He is the author of two books and is an award-winning journalist whose articles have appeared in ESPN The Magazine, SLAM, Sheridan Hoops, Sports Illustrated, Basketball Times and in newspapers nationwide.
A veteran Ultimate Frisbee player, he has competed in numerous National and World Championships and, perhaps more importantly, his teams won the Westchester Summer League (WSL) championships in 2011 and 2013.
He lives in Manhattan with his wife and children.