Nikolaos Zisis

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Nikolaos "Nikos" Zisis
Νικόλαος "Νίκος" Ζήσης
Nikolaos Zisis.jpg
Zisis warming up with the Greek national team.
No. 6 – Unics Kazan
Position Point guard / Shooting guard
League VTB United League
Eurocup
Personal information
Born (1983-08-16) August 16, 1983 (age 30)
Thessaloniki, Greece
Nationality Greek
Listed height 6 ft 5.75 in (1.97 m)
Listed weight 215 lb (98 kg)
Career information
Pro playing career 2000–present
Career history
2000–2005 AEK Athens (Greece)
2005–2007 Treviso (Italy)
2007–2009 CSKA Moscow (Russia)
2009–2012 Montepaschi Siena (Italy)
2012–2013 Bilbao Basket (Spain)
2013–present Unics Kazan (Russia)
Career highlights and awards

Nikolaos "Nikos" Zisis (alternate spelling: Zissis) (Greek: Νικόλαος "Νίκος" Ζήσης) (born August 16, 1983) is a Greek professional basketball player who currently plays with Unics Kazan of the VTB United League.

Player profile[edit]

He is 1.97 m (6 ft 5 ¾ in) tall and he can play at both the point guard and shooting guard positions. His primary position with his pro club teams is point guard, while his primary position with the Greek national team is shooting guard. Zisis is known as "The Lord of the Rings" because he is the Greek player with the most combined medals won at the cadet, junior, young men's and men's FIBA European and world tournaments.[1]

Professional career[edit]

Zisis started his playing career in the year 1996 at a local Saloniki youth basketball team, at the YMCA (Greek: ΧΑΝΘ). At the age of 17, he moved to Athens and to the Greek League team AEK Athens, where he began his professional basketball career. With AEK he won the Greek Cup in 2001, and also the Greek League championship in 2002. He also won the Greek League Best Young Player award in 2001.

He then moved to Treviso, Italy and played on the Italian League team Benetton Treviso. With Treviso, he won the Italian Super Cup and the Italian League championship in the year 2006, and also the Italian Cup in the year 2007. He then left Italy and moved to Moscow, Russia.

On June 13, 2007, he signed a 3-year contract worth 5 million euros net income with the Russian team CSKA Moscow.[2][3] With CSKA, Zisis won the Euroleague Championship during the Euroleague 2007-08 season. In 2009, he left CSKA and signed a 2-year contract worth 1.6 million euros net income with the Italian League club Montepaschi Siena.[4] In 2010, he signed a 2-year extension with Siena.[5]

In 2012, he signed a 2-year contract, with the second year being an option year, with the Spanish League club Bilbao Basket.[6] He moved to the VTB United League club Unics Kazan in 2013.[7]

Greek national team[edit]

With Greece's junior national teams, Zisis won the silver medal at the 1999 FIBA Europe Under-16 Championship and he also led the tournament in scoring. He also won the bronze medal at the 2000 FIBA Europe Under-18 Championship. He was named to the All-Tournament Team at the 2000 Albert Schweitzer Tournament. Zisis also won the gold medal with the Greek junior national team at the 2002 FIBA Europe Under-20 Championship, where he was also named the tournament's MVP. His first game with Greece's second selection national team took place in Tunis, at the 2001 Mediterranean Games, on September 3, 2001. At the Mediterranean Games, he helped Greece win the silver medal at the tournament.

As a member of the senior men's Greek national basketball team, Zisis won the gold medal at the FIBA EuroBasket 2005, which was held in Serbia and Montenegro. He was Greece's leading scorer during the tournament, averaging 10.6 points per game. At the end of the semifinal game against the French national basketball team, Zisis drove the length of the court, drove into the middle of the floor, drew a double team, and then dished the ball out to Dimitris Diamantidis, who hit a game-winning 3 pointer. After his great performance at the EuroBasket in 2005, Zisis was named the FIBA Europe Young Player of the Year.[8]

The next year, at the 2006 FIBA World Championship, which was held in Japan, Zisis hit a game winning 3-point shot at the end of the game against the Australian national basketball team to give Greece a 72-69 victory. However, in the next game in the tournament he was hit on the cheekbone and eye socket bone by the elbow of the Brazilian national basketball team's Anderson Varejão. Zisis suffered a severe facial injury that forced him to sit out for the remaining entirety of the World Championship, as the injury required surgery. Even though Greece lost Zisis, who was their leading scorer the year before at the FIBA EuroBasket 2005, they were still able to win the silver medal (including an improbable upset victory over Team USA in the semifinal game) during the World Championship tournament.

At the FIBA EuroBasket 2007, Zisis was one of the two key Greek players along with Theo Papaloukas, that led Greece's national team to the biggest comeback in the history of the FIBA EuroBasket, against the Slovenian national basketball team, called "the miracle". Greece finished the tournament in 4th place.

Zisis has also competed with Greece at the 2004 Summer Olympic Games, where Greece finished in 5th place in the world, and at the 2008 Olympic Basketball Tournament, where Greece finished in 5th place in the world. He also played at the 2010 FIBA World Championship, at the FIBA EuroBasket 2011, at the 2012 FIBA World Olympic Qualifying Tournament, and at the FIBA EuroBasket 2013.

Personal life[edit]

Zisis is very close friends with fellow Greek national basketball team player Vassilis Spanoulis, and he is also friends with Italian NBA player Andrea Bargnani. He married Fani Skoufi in 2010, with Vassilis Spanoulis being his best man.[9]

Awards and accomplishments[edit]

Pro career[edit]

Greek national team[edit]

References[edit]

External links[edit]

Awards and achievements
Preceded by
Slovenia Sani Bečirovič
FIBA Europe Under-20 Championship MVP
2002
Succeeded by
Slovenia Erazem Lorbek