Fragiskos Alvertis

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Fragiskos Alvertis
Panathinaikos Athens
Position Team manager
League Greek League
Euroleague
Personal information
Born (1974-06-11) June 11, 1974 (age 40)
Athens, Greece
Nationality Greek
Listed height 6 ft 9 in (2.06 m)
Listed weight 225 lb (102 kg)
Career information
NBA draft 1996 / Undrafted
Pro career 1990–2009
Position Small forward
Number 4
Career history
As player:
1990–2009 Panathinaikos
As coach:
2014 Panathinaikos
Career highlights and awards

Fragiskos Alvertis (in Greek: Φραγκίσκος Αλβέρτης) (born June 11, 1974 in Athens) is a retired Greek professional basketball player and current team manager of Panathinaikos Athens. As a player he was the captain of Panathinaikos, where he spent his whole career. On February 3, 2008, Alvertis was chosen as one of the 50 Greatest Euroleague Contributors over the last half-century by the Euroleague Basketball Experts Committee, in recognition of his major contribution to Panathinaikos' rise on the continental scene.[1]

Alvertis is commonly referred as one of the best pure shooters of the 1990s and the beginning of the new millennium, winning the Greek League 3-Point Shootout Contest three years in a row (1996–1998) and averaging 41 per cent in three point field goals throughout his Euroleague career. Alvertis made his eighth Euroleague Final Four appearance in 2007.[2]

He began his career in 1986 with Glyfada BC and joined Panathinaikos in 1990. He won 11 Greek Championships, 5 Euroleague Championships, 8 Greek Cups, and one Intercontinental Cup.[3] His jersey number (4) was the first and only Panathinaikos shirt number ever to be retired. It was hung at the beginning of the 2009-10 season along with the trophy banners above the court of OAKA Indoor Hall, after his retirement following the 2008–09 season.

Alvertis also was a regular member of the Greek national team until 2004, reaching once the FIBA World Championship semifinal in 1998 and twice the EuroBasket semifinal (1995, 1997).[4]

Club career[edit]

1991–1996: A star is born[edit]

A great deal had been actually accomplished for Panathinaikos (PAO) and the years to come would prove it. Alvertis was actually an amazing prospect at the time, almost 10 cm (4 inches) taller than the conventional shooting guard. His potential was proven to be great in the 1991 Cadet's Eurobasket where Alvertis led, alongside with Panagiotis Liadelis, the Greek team to the silver medal.[5] At the same time, Panathinaikos was going through a transition period during which the average team of the late 1980s strove to become a European powerhouse. Consequently, young Alvertis had to wait until the 1993-94 season to get significant playing time on a team that reached the Euroleague Final Four that year. The star of the twenty year old player shone right away, particularly in the playoff series against Limoges CSP.[6] Alvertis averaged 13 points, forcing Coach Božidar Maljković to declare that he already was to be counted as one of the very best players in Europe.

Panathinaikos had a status to confirm in the 1994-95 season and Alvertis helped them to do so by elevating his play to another even higher level. Using his strong shooting with a rare maturity for a player his age, he was a major contributor to his team's march towards another Euroleague Final Four. Alvertis finished his Euroleague year averaging 12 points per game, and although the semifinal against Olympiacos was a failure, he scored a season high of 29 points in the third place game against Limoges CSP.[7]

In the 1995-96 season Alvertis saw NBA legend Dominique Wilkins join the team and the Euroleague title seemed closer than ever.[8] The Greek star averaged 10.8 points per game that season in the competition and he led Panathinaikos in scoring during the winning final game against FC Barcelona with 17 points. He was only 22 years old.[9]

1996–2004: A great shooter[edit]

Fragiskos Alvertis was a great shooter.

Over the next few years, Alvertis’ performance with Panathinaikos still remained at a very high level and in spite of the fact that the team experienced some disappointments in the European competitions, it won in the 1997-98 season its first national championship since 1984.[10] A dynasty was born in Greek basketball and Alvertis would soon become its captain.

After an unexpected disqualification from the Euroleague Top 8 in the 1998-99 season, Alvertis lifted one more Greek Championship by beating rival Olympiacos in the final after breaking the home court advantage and winning the fifth decisive game at Peace and Friendship Stadium. The best was yet to come, however.

In the 1999–2000 season, having missed an important part of the season due to an injury, Alvertis still came back in time. Performing great basketball, he helped Panathinaikos win its second Euroleague title in Thessaloníki as well as its third straight Greek Championship, downing PAOK Thessaloníki in the final.

The next season, Alvertis co-led Panathinaikos with Dejan Bodiroga to the Euroleague Final Four in which they lost to Maccabi Tel Aviv.[11] As for the Greek Championship, the final was a challenge as Olympiakos had once again a very impressive team that year. After the series was tied at 2-2, Alvertis scored 23 points in the fifth and final game, including seven straight ones in the clutch to give Panathinaikos one more Greek Championship crown. His legend, especially among the team's fans, was still growing.

After winning everything on the club level, Alvertis was still thirsty for titles nonetheless. In the 2001-02 season he led the Panathinaikos offense along with the great Dejan Bodiroga, Damir Mulaomerović and İbrahim Kutluay, averaging 10.2 points per game;[12] in the final against Kinder Bologna he scored 11 points, showing great leadership throughout the game. By lifting his third Euroleague title, Alvertis proved that the sky was the limit concerning the number of his titles.

The 2002-03 season started as a very ambitious one for Alvertis and Panathinaikos. The team led its regular season Euroleague group with an 11-3 record. After averaging 12.7 points per game in the first three Top 16 Games, Alvertis’ season was cut short by an injury which caused him to miss the remaining three games.[13] As a result, Panathinaikos did not manage to make it to the Final Four without its natural leader. In the Greek Championship, Alvertis was there to assure PAO's dominance, winning its fifth title in six seasons. He averaged 12 points in the finals against AEK and was voted the Greek League MVP.[14] Prior to that, he had led the Greens to their first Greek Cup since 1996, scoring 22 points in the final against Aris and being named the tournament's MVP.[15]

Due to the renovation of the OAKA Indoor Hall in the 2003-04 season for the 2004 Athens Olympic Games, Panathinaikos had to move to a small capacity arena. The budget of the club consequently decreased and suddenly the team became relatively less competitive than the previous year, especially after the departure of Antonis Fotsis. Despite Alvertis averaging 11.2 points per game and leading the team in the locker room, Panathinaikos made the Top 16 but was not able to reach further to the Final Four.[16] Alvertis’ sixth Greek Championship title was a bitter consolation for a player whose titles were already uncountable.

2004–2009: A new role for a leader[edit]

The captain was ready to serve PAO.

The 2004-05 season was an adjustment for the captain of Panathinaikos. Unable to contribute to Coach Obradović's demanding systems as efficiently as before, he was not starting any of the games anymore. Nevertheless, he came off the bench as a spot shooter who gave the team valuable three pointers and experience.[17] Along with the new stars Dimitris Diamantidis, Jaka Lakovič and Mike Batiste, PAO made it to the Euroleague Final Four in Moscow, losing to Šarūnas Jasikevičius' and Anthony Parker's Maccabi Tel Aviv. Alvertis finished the Euroleague season with an average of 8.4 points per game, the lowest since his first Euroleague season in 1994. Finally, he lifted another Greek Championship cup, beating AEK Athens in the final series, in which he averaged 11 points per game.

During his sixteenth season with Panathinaikos, Alvertis had the same role as the previous year. Coming off the bench he helped his team make the Euroleague Top 8 where they were upset, however, by TAU Ceramica in Athens, during the decisive third game, missing the Final Four. This disappointment was relieved slightly by the sweep against Olympiacos in the Greek Championship Finals.

The 2006-07 season was a great one for Panathinaikos, in which they won the 2007 Euroleague Final Four in Athens, Greece, as well as the Greek Championship and Cup.[9] Alvertis’ contribution had not been anything special on the court, but the captain of the Greens was ready to serve his team whenever they needed him. The 2007-08 season confirmed that, with Alvertis being the soul of the Greens, who won both the Greek Championship and the Greek Cup, even though his contribution on the court was again limited.

International career[edit]

1995–1998: The first steps[edit]

As one of the best European prospects from the age of 17, Alvertis was selected very early for the Greek men's national team. The first great tournament in which he participated was the EuroBasket 1995, where Greece made the semifinals, finishing fourth. Alvertis did not start any of the games, nor get very significant playing time, but he helped the team with his shooting coming off the bench. He finished the tournament averaging 4.9 points per game.[18]

The following year, Alvertis was already a permanent member of the Greek team and he participated in the 1996 Summer Olympic Games in Atlanta, Georgia. Even though he still was not starting the games, his contribution rose to 8.6 points per game, as Greece finished fifth.[19] It was obvious, however, that the departure from the team of legendary play-maker Panagiotis Giannakis, and the imminent one of Fanis Christodoulou, would increase Alvertis’ responsibilities.

At the EuroBasket 1997, Greece started the tournament once again with very high ambitions and a victory against title contender Russia in the qualifying group raised their hopes even higher. Alvertis’ role in the team was as important as the previous year, and he remained a secondary, but significant option on offense, averaging 6.9 points.[20] Greece fell to the future champion SFR Yugoslavia in the semifinal, losing 80-88. The disappointment in the Greek team was huge, and they once again finished in fourth place, after being beaten in the bronze medal game by Russia by a score of 98-78.

1998–2001: Leader of the national team[edit]

In order to confirm that it was among the four or five best teams in the world, Greece had to reach at least the semifinals in the FIBA World Championship it hosted in 1998. Coach Panagiotis Giannakis was confident that the Greek team would fulfill its mission and he put Alvertis, alongside his Panathinaikos teammate Nikos Ekonomou, in charge of the team's offense. Alvertis averaged 13.2 points and a surprisingly high 6.2 rebounds per game, being a major contributor in Greece's fourth place finishing team.[21] His leading role was now indisputable, especially since the great Panagiotis Fassoulas decided to retire from the national team after the end of the tournament.

At the EuroBasket 1999, Alvertis seemed ready to lead Greece to its first medal since 1989. After leading the team in offense, with 18.1 points per game in the qualifying round, everything seemed to indicate a great EuroBasket for the Greek star.[22] Nevertheless, misfortune is part of the game of basketball. A few days before the tournament, Alvertis suffered a severe injury during practice. This injury made him not only miss the EuroBasket, but also the major part of the Panathinaikos 1999–2000 season. Without its offensive leader, and also without Nikos Ekonomou and Efthimios Rentzias, who were also injured, Greece finished in an embarrassing sixteenth and last position. Greece failed to qualify for the 2000 Summer Olympics of course, and was doomed to two years of exclusion from every major tournament.

Greece had to wait for the EuroBasket 2001 in order to make its comeback to the international scene. The team obviously was in the middle of a transition period, during which young stars Theodoros Papaloukas, Antonis Fotsis, and Lazaros Papadopoulos were unable to build a highly competitive team right away. Alvertis, coming off a great year with Panathinaikos, and Giorgos Sigalas, had to show to the young generation the road to success. The first game against Italy, the reigning champion, proved that Alvertis was ready to fulfill his role. A buzzer-beating three pointer gave Greece a very impressive 83-82 win. The team, however, had not reached the level of a medal contender yet. The 105-82 loss against Russia in the next game confirmed that. Consequently, in order to reach the quarter finals, Greece's game against rising power Germany appeared to be a difficult task. After leading the game by 22, the Greek team actually collapsed against superstar Dirk Nowitzki and his teammates, giving Germany an 80-75 win. Alvertis averaged 16 points in the tournament, but Greece ended up in ninth place.[23] It was his last opportunity to reach success with the national team as its leader, especially since Greece had not qualified for the 2002 FIBA World Championship. The transition period for the young generation was soon going to be over.

2001–2004: The last years[edit]

Prior to the EuroBasket 2003, Alvertis was a player whose leadership and experience with Panathinaikos and the Greek national team were priceless. Consequently, although his role within the Greek national team had become secondary on the court, it was still a leading one off the court. He was in charge of transmitting values such as commitment, partnership, and ambition to the new generation of Greek stars. After Greece finished in fifth place at both the EuroBasket 2003 and the 2004 Summer Olympics, the veteran star announced his retirement from the Greek National Team. Alvertis kept his word, even though Coach Giannakis thought about including him on the Greek team that would eventually win the gold medal at the EuroBasket 2005. Alvertis had already known that the future of the Greek national team was in good hands.

Player profile[edit]

Alvertis attempting a layup.

Alvertis was regarded for a long time as one of the best perimeter shooters in Europe.[24] His shooting style, combined with his height, made him very hard to defend. His lack of athleticism did not allow him to show great regularity; nevertheless, he was never afraid to take clutch shots, and he was very often successful. He was also an above-average defender. He sometimes played at the power forward position in Panathinaikos, over the last 5 years of his career, due to his height and size, although his all-around skills were quite average.

Finally and above all, Alvertis was for Panathinaikos, a real team leader, both on and especially off the court, keeping his teammates focused on the team's success. Coach Želimir Obradović himself once said, "Alvertis is the best captain I ever had", paying tribute to the leadership skills of his star.[25]

Personal life[edit]

As well as being the most-crowned player of his generation in Europe, Alvertis is a family man, a father of one son, Carolos, and husband to Anta, a former water polo player whom he sat next to in high school.[9] Off the court, Frankie loves hunting and fishing, likes to play with his dogs and birds, and enjoys a night out with good food at a traditional Greek tavern. He drinks a glass of red wine before performing his favorite zeibekiko. To relax, he prefers a good book, such as "The Old Man and the Sea" by Ernest Hemingway, one of his favorites.[9]

"I just love playing basketball, every single moment of it: a shot, a rebound, fighting for good position", Alvertis says. "And I really feel rich in emotions. I am happy to be part of Panathinaikos. I have spent half of my life here."[9]

Awards and accomplishments[edit]

As a player[edit]

Panathinaikos[edit]

Alvertis giant portrait (OAKA Indoor Hall roof).

Greece national basketball team[edit]

As a team manager[edit]

As a coach[edit]

Euroleague career statistics[edit]

Euroleague official website, Fragiskos Alvertis' page.[30] FIBA Europe official website, Fragiskos Alvertis' history.[31]

SEASON TEAM GP MPG SPG BPG APG RPG PPG
1993-94 Panathinaikos 21 23.0 0.4 0 0.5 2.6 8.0
1994-95 Panathinaikos 21 28.0 0.9 0 1.0 2.9 12.0
1995-96 Panathinaikos 21 29.4 0.8 0 1.3 3.3 10.8
1996-97 Panathinaikos 20 28.5 0.8 0 0.6 3.3 12.7
1998-99 Panathinaikos 17 29.3 0.9 0 1.4 3.2 11.7
1999-00 Panathinaikos 10 22.5 0.4 0 0.7 1.8 7.9
2000-01 Panathinaikos 24 26.5 1.0 0 1.2 3.4 13.4
2001-02 Panathinaikos 22 25.9 0.9 0 0.7 3.0 10.2
2002-03 Panathinaikos 17 23.7 0.8 0 0.4 1.6 10.0
2003-04 Panathinaikos 16 23.7 0.3 0 1.1 1.9 11.2
2004-05 Panathinaikos 20 18.6 0.7 0 0.7 1.4 8.4
2005-06 Panathinaikos 16 16.9 0.8 0 0.3 1.3 8.0
2006-07 Panathinaikos 11 9.2 0.1 0. 0.5 0.5 3.3
2007-08 Panathinaikos 12 8.3 0.3 0. 0.3 0.8 3.0

He came of the bench for 1 game the following season (2008–09)

References[edit]

Notes[edit]

  1. ^ "Euroleague official website, Experts decide European Club Basketball's 50 greatest contributors". 
  2. ^ "Euroleague official website, Fragiskos Alvertis' profile". 
  3. ^ "Euroleague official website". 
  4. ^ "FIBA official website, Fragiskos Alvertis' profile". 
  5. ^ FIBA Europe official website, U16 European Championship Men 1991 - Greece's roster,[1]
  6. ^ FIBA Europe official website, Fragiskos Alvertis' 1993-94 Euroleague stats,[2]
  7. ^ FIBA Europe official website, Fragiskos Alvertis' 1994-95 Euroleague stats,[3]
  8. ^ FIBA Europe official website, Panathinaikos' 1995-96 Euroleague roster
  9. ^ a b c d e Euroleague official website, Fragiskos Alvertis' profile
  10. ^ Panathinaikos BC official website, A lifetime of championships
  11. ^ FIBA Europe official website, Suproleague 2000-01 Final stats
  12. ^ Euroleague official website, Fragiskos Alvertis' 2001-02 page
  13. ^ Euroleague official website, Fragiskos Alvertis' 2002-03 page
  14. ^ Galanis sports data website, Statistics of the 2002-03 Greek League finals, [4]
  15. ^ Galanis sports data website, Statistics of the 2002-03 Greek Cup final
  16. ^ Euroleague official website, Fragiskos Alvertis' 2003-04 page
  17. ^ Euroleague official website, Fragiskos Alvertis' 2004-05 page
  18. ^ Basket Stats website, Fragiskos Alvertis' Eurobasket 1995 statistics
  19. ^ Basket Stats website, Fragiskos Alvertis' Olympic Games 1996 statistics,[5]
  20. ^ Basket Stats website, Fragiskos Alvertis' Eurobasket 1997 statistics
  21. ^ Basket Stats website, Fragiskos Alvertis' World Championship 1998 statistics,[6]
  22. ^ FIBA Europe official website, Fragiskos Alvertis' Participations in FIBA Europe competitions,[7]
  23. ^ Basket Stats website, Fragiskos Alvertis' Eurobasket 2001 statistics
  24. ^ Sportline website, Fragiskos Alvertis presentation before the 2001 Eurobasket, [8]
  25. ^ Myworld website, Zelimir Obradovic' interview
  26. ^ Sportime article about HEBA All Star
  27. ^ Euroleague Official Website, Fragiskos Alvertis' page
  28. ^ Eurobasket website about Basketball
  29. ^ Hellenic Basketball Federation official website
  30. ^ Career stats
  31. ^ Career stats

External links[edit]