A.E.K. Athens B.C.
|A.E.K. Athens B.C.|
|Nickname||Vasilissa / Queen
Dikefalos Aetos / Double-Headed Eagle
Enosis / Union
Kitrinomavroi / Yellow-Blacks
|Arena||Athens Olympic Indoor Hall
|Location||Nea Filadelfeia, Athens, Greece|
|Team colors||Yellow and Black
|Head coach||Evangelos Ziagos|
|Website||aekbc.gr (under construction)|
A.E.K. Athens B.C. (Greek: Αθλητική Ένωσις Κωνσταντινουπόλεως– Athlitiki Enosis Konstantinoupoleos), the Athletic Union of Constantinople, is a Greek professional sports basketball club based in Athens, Greece. The club was established in Athens in 1924 by Greek refugees from Constantinople in the wake of the Greco-Turkish War (1919–1922).
Well-known players that have played with the club over the years have included: Rolando Blackman, Ricky Pierce, Danny Vranes, Ruben Patterson, Kurt Rambis, J.R. Holden, Willie Anderson, Joe Arlauckas, Anthony Bowie, Arijan Komazec, Clint Richardson, Victor Alexander, Claudio Coldebella, İbrahim Kutluay, Bane Prelević,Georgios Amerikanos, Georgios Trontzos, Vassilis Goumas, Minas Gekos, Kostas Patavoukas, Angelos Koronios, Michalis Kakiouzis, Nikos Chatzis, Jake Tsakalidis, Nikos Zisis, Nasos Galakteros, Dimos Dikoudis, Dimitris Papanikolaou, Ioannis Bourousis.
- 1 History
- 2 Crest
- 3 Colours and kit
- 4 Arenas
- 5 Roster
- 6 Technical and medical staff & academies staff
- 7 Honours
- 8 International achievements
- 9 The road to the European Cup victories
- 10 Seasons
- 11 Chairmen history
- 12 Relationships with other clubs
- 13 References
- 14 External links
The large Greek population of Constantinople, not unlike those of the other Ottoman urban centres, continued its athletic traditions in the form of numerous athletic clubs. Clubs such as Enosis Tataoulon (Ένωσις Ταταούλων), from the Tatavla district, Megas Alexandros (Μέγας Αλέξανδρος) of Vathyriakos, Hermes (Ερμής – Ermis) of Galata, Olympias (Ολυμπιάς) of Therapia, and Kati Kioi (Κατί Κίοϊ) of Chalcedon, existed to promote Hellenic athletic and cultural ideals. These were amongst a dozen Greek-backed clubs that dominated the sporting landscape of the city in the years preceding World War I. After the war, with the influx of mainly French and English soldiers to Constantinople, many of the city clubs participated in regular competition, with teams formed by the foreign troops. Taxim, Pera, and Tatavla became the scene of weekly competitions in not only football, but of athletics, cycling, boxing, and tennis.
Of the clubs in the city though, football was dominated by Enosis Tataoulon and Hermes. Hermes, one of the more popular clubs, was formed in 1875, by the Greek community of Pera (Galata). Forced to change its name to Pera Club in 1921, many of its athletes, and those of most other sporting clubs, fled during the population exchanges at the end of the Greco-Turkish War, and settled in Athens and Thessaloniki.
AEK (Queen) Athens Basketball is the most successful among A.E.K's athletic departments. The obvious reason is that AEK's basketball team was the first ever Greek team to win an international trophy in any of the team's sports. AEK won an unofficial championship played in Athens, that was organized by the YMCA in 1924. The basketball section of AEK was dissolved in 1929 and reestablished in 1949. Under Missas Pantazopoulos' guidance, AEK won the club's first Greek championship in 1958.
The First European Triumph
AEK was the first ever Greek team to participate in the European Champions Cup (now called the Euroleague) Final Four, in 1966, which was held in Bologna, Italy. Two years later, AEK was the first-ever Greek team, not only to reach a European Cup Final, but also to win a European title. On April 4, 1968, AEK defeated Slavia Prague by a score of 89-82, in Athens before 80,000 spectators (the Guinness world record in basketball attendance). In 1970, AEK reached the Cup Winners' Cup semifinals, where the team was eliminated by Vichy Basket, France, in what turned out to be the last year of the first "Golden Era" of the club's history. It was called the "Golden Era" because AEK dominated Greek Basketball during the 1960s, winning the Greek League championship 4 consecutive years in 1963, 1964, 1965, 1966, as well as in 1968 and 1970; 6 times in 8 years.
Over the next decades, AEK lost its glamour, and managed to win only one trophy, the Greek Cup in 1981, under the direction of Coach Fred Develey, an American coach who previously was the head coach of Maccabi Tel Aviv and Aris of Greece, with super star Nick Galis. In addition to winning the Greek Cup in 1981, AEK was also a finalist of the Greek Cup in 1976, 1978, 1980, 1988, and 1992, but failed to win in any of those years.
The Queen's Comeback
AEK made a come back in the late 1990s, when the team played in six consecutive Greek Cup Final Fours in the years 1996, 1997, 1998, 1999, 2000, 2001, four consecutive Greek Cup Finals in the years 1998, 1999, 2000, 2001, winning the Greek Cup in 2000 and 2001. In 2002, AEK won the Greek League championship for the first time in 32 years, becoming the first team to win the Greek League championship after having lost the first two games of a 5 game playoff series. AEK lost the first two games of the series to Olympiacos, but managed to win the next 3 games, and take the series and the title 3-2. AEK also reached the Greek Playoff Finals in the years 1997, 2003, and 2005, and the Greek Cup Semi-Finals in the year 2006.
In this same era, AEK reached again a high level in European competitions. The team reached the FIBA Euroleague's Final Four in Barcelona in 1998, and beat Benetton Treviso by a score of 69-66, before losing in the final to Virtus Bologna, by a score of 44-58. In 2000, on April 11, AEK won their second international trophy, the Saporta Cup, by defeating Virtus Bologna 83-76. The next year, 2001, AEK reached the Euroleague semifinals, losing their playoff series there to TAU Cerámica, in 3 straight games.
Relegation and return to A1
In the 2011-12 season, the team played in the Greek second division, and finished in a tie for the 2nd place in the league standings, with a record of 20 wins and 10 losses. However, AEK was not promoted to the Greek first division, as they lost the tie breaker in the standings to Apollon Patras.
On July 2012, AEK was relegated down to the national B division, due to serious financial problems. The club's basketball department was legally registered as an amateur club for the first time in the club's history, and would be playing in Greece's semi-pro level. This was done when the club's major shareholder gave up his shares and left the club, so that AEK could then be registered as an amateur club, in an effort to begin the upcoming season without debt.
On April 29, 2013, AEK B.C. won against Iraklis in a playoff final, and was promoted to back the Greek A2 Division.
In the 2013-14 season, AEK once again played in the Greek Second Division. Finally, AEK was the winner of the second division championship, and won the promotion back to play in the top Greek League again, after a 3 year period of absence. AEK had a record of 23 wins and 3 losses during the Greek A2 Basketball League 2013-14 season.
In 1924, AEK adopted as their emblem, the image of a double-headed eagle (Δικέφαλος Αετός – Dikefalos Aetos). When AEK was created by Greek refugees from Constantinople in the years following the Greco-Turkish War, and subsequent population exchange, the emblem and colours (yellow & black) were chosen as a reminder of lost homelands; they represent the club's historical ties to Constantinople. After all, the double-headed eagle is featured in the flag of the Greek Orthodox Church, whose headquarters are in Constantinople, and served as Imperial emblem under the Palaiologos dynasty. A.E.K.'s main emblem underwent numerous minor changes between 1924 and 2007. Since 2007, the emblem has remained as the current shield design.
Colours and kit
The colours of yellow and black were adopted from AEK's connections with Constantinople and the Byzantine Empire. AEK's traditional away colours are all-black with a yellow stripe on the sides, and home colours are all-yellow with a black stripe on the sides.
Shirt sponsors and manufacturers
|Period||Kit Manufacturer||Shirt Sponsor|
|2010–11||Champion||Chillo Energy Drink|
|Nea Filadelfeia-outdoor hall||1950s|
|Sporting Sports Arena / "AS Ionikos N.Filadelfeias Hall"||1,862 / 1,500||1970s & 1980s|
|"Georgios Moschos" Nea Filadelfeia||2,000||1989–1995|
|Athens Olympic Indoor Hall||18,500||1995–2002,
|Zofria Indoor Hall||1,300||2002–2004,
|Chalkiopoulio Sports Hall||2,600||2002–2003 (Euroleague)|
|Galatsi Olympic Hall||5,141||2004–2006|
|Sporting Sports Arena||1,862||2008–2009|
|Helliniko Olympic Arena||8,000||2009–01/2011|
AEK Athens has a large fan base. The majority of AEK supporters are refugees or have refugee descent from Constantinople, and people from the population exchange of the Minor Asia Catastrophe. Original 21 is the largest AEK Athens supporters club. The first attempt to organize AEK supporters was "Gate 21" (formed in 1975), which took its name from the gate in the Nikos Goumas Stadium at Nea Filadelfia, where the most hardcore fans gathered. AEK Athens also has many supporters worldwide, most of them being Greek immigrants, in places as like North America, England, Australia, and Cyprus.
A.E.K. F.C.'s biggest rivalries are with Panathinaikos and Olympiacos. Against neighbours Panathinaikos, they contest the Athens local basketball derby. The rivalry started not only because of both competing for the title but also because of the refugee ancestry of AEK Athens fans and, by contrast, that Panathinaikos was considered the classic representative of Athenian high class society.
|A.E.K. Athens B.C. 2014–2015 roster|
|C||Vernon Goodridge||Zisis Sarikopoulos||Giorgos Tsiakos|
|PF||Dušan Šakota||Michalis Kamperidis|
|SF||Garett Williamson||Leonidas Kaselakis||Stathis Papadionysiou|
|SG||Michalis Polytarchou||David Kyles|
|PG||Cashmere Wright||Stefan Nikolic||Nondas Papantoniou||Giorgos Mpoutris|
Technical and medical staff & academies staff
- Greek Championship
- Winners (8): 1958, 1963, 1964, 1965, 1966, 1968, 1970, 2002
- Runners-up (8): 1955, 1967, 1969, 1971, 1974, 1997, 2003, 2005
- Greek Cup
- Winners (3): 1981, 2000, 2001
- Runners-up (7): 1976, 1978, 1980, 1988, 1992, 1998, 1999
- Athens-Piraeus Championship (Regional)
- Winners (4): 1924-25 (unofficial), 1928, 1960, 1961
- Greek A2 Championship
- Winners (1): 2014
- Greek Championship
- Winners (1): 2003
- Athens-Piraeus Championship
- Winners (1): 1950
|1964-65||Quarter-finals||eliminated by OKK Beograd, 85-78 (W) in Athens and 84-101 (L) in Belgrade|
|1965-66||Final Four||4th place in Bologna, lost to Slavia Prague 73-103 in the semi-final, lost to CSKA Moscow 62-85 in the 3rd place game|
|1997–98||Final||defeated Benetton Treviso 67-66 in the semi-final, lost to Kinder Bologna 44-58 in the final (Barcelona)|
|2000–01||Semi-finals||eliminated 3–0 by Tau Cerámica, 67-70 (L) & 65-90 (L) in Athens, 62-76 (L) in Vitoria-Gasteiz|
|1967-68||Cup Winner's Cup Winners||defeated Slavia Prague 89-82 in the final of European Cup Winner's Cup in Athens|
|1969-70||Semi-finals||eliminated by Jean d’Arc Vichy 60-78 (L) in Vichy and 74-65 (W) in Athens|
|1971-72||Quarter-finals group stage||3rd place in a group with Crvena Zvezda and Simmenthal Milano|
|1988-89||Quarter-finals group stage||4th place in a group with Žalgiris, Cibona and Steiner Bayreuth|
|1999-00||Saporta Cup Winners||defeated Kinder Bologna 83-76 in the final of Saporta Cup in Lausanne|
|1973-74||Quarter-finals group stage||3rd place in a group with Jugoplastika Split and Snaidero Udine|
|1977-78||Quarter-finals group stage||4th place in a group with Partizan, Nice and Emerson Genova|
The road to the European Cup victories
Cup Winners' Cup 1968
Saporta Cup 2000
Club top scorers & Most appearances
|Missas Pantazopoulos||1957||1967||5 Championships|
|Nikos Milas||1967||1974||2 Championships
1 Saporta cup
|Giannis Ioannidis||1996||1998||Euroleague Finalist|
|Dušan Ivković||1999||2001||2 Cups
1 Saporta cup
|Dragan Šakota||-||2001||2003||1 Championship|
Relationships with other clubs
A.E.K. has links with many basketball clubs in Greece, and in other countries where Greek immigrants live, like Α.Ε.Κ. B.C. Stockholm in Sweden, and in Greek clubs like A.E.K. Argous and A.E.K. Tripolis.
|Wikimedia Commons has media related to AEK BC.|
- Official Sports Club Website (Greek)
- A.E.K.com Fan Site
- ORIGINAL 21 (Ultras Website)
- A.E.K. Basketball Fans Website (Greek)
- Eurobasket.com Team Page