Schortsanitis in 2011
|No. 21 – Maccabi Electra Tel Aviv|
|League||Israeli Super League
22 June 1985 |
|Nationality||Greek / Cameroonian|
|Listed height||6 ft 10 in (2.08 m)|
|Listed weight||345 lb (156 kg)|
|NBA draft||2003 / Round: 2 / Pick: 34th overall|
|Selected by the Los Angeles Clippers|
|2003–2004||Pallacanestro Cantù (Italy)|
|2004–2005||Aris Thessaloniki (Greece)|
|2010–2012||Maccabi Tel Aviv (Israel)|
|2013–present||Maccabi Tel Aviv (Israel)|
|Career highlights and awards|
Sofoklis Schortsanitis (Greek: Σοφοκλής Σχορτσιανίτης) (born 22 June 1985) is a Greek-Cameroonian professional basketball player for Maccabi Tel Aviv B.C. of the Israeli Super League. Listed at 2.08 m (6 ft 10 in) and 156.5 kg (345 lb), he was born in Tiko, Cameroon, to a Greek father and a Cameroonian mother.
An All-Euroleague First Team selection in 2011, "Sofo" won the Euroleague title in 2014 with Maccabi Tel Aviv and reached the Euroleague Final twice in 2010 and 2011, while playing for Olympiacos and Maccabi respectively. He was a member of the Greek national team as they captured silver medal honours in the 2006 FIBA World Championship, and bronze in the FIBA EuroBasket 2009.
Born in his native port town of Tiko, Cameroon, Sofoklis moved to his other country, Greece with his parents when he was very young. He has a brother called Alexandros. Sofoklis first took up Basketball in his native city of Kavala. It was there where his parents advised him to play Basketball and Sofoklis at first didn't like the sport. But eventually the game grew on him and he was always practising and then slowly and slowly he began to like it which led to him playing it every day. Eventually a scout/coach discovered his talent and pushed him into the sport. Schortsanitis began playing basketball at a professional level with Iraklis in the Greek League when he was a teenager, starting the 2000–01 season. In the 2002–03 season, he averaged 11.5 points and 6.2 rebounds per game in the Greek league at the age of 17. He then went on to play in the Italian League with Cantù during the 2003–04 season, but his stay was a failure due to a lack of maturity and experience. Following that, he returned to Greece and spent the 2004–05 season with Aris.
In the 2005–06 season, "Sofo" was transferred to Olympiacos. He became a vital member of the team that reached the Euroleague quarter finals and his performances impressed Panagiotis Giannakis, who picked him for the senior Greek national basketball team at the end of the season.
During the following two years, Schortsanitis failed to reach consistency and his chronic weight issues re-emerged, to the point he spent almost the entire 2007–08 season dealing with them. He came back in shape in the 2008–09 season, helping Olympiacos reach the Euroleague Final Four. In the 2009–10 season, he made another step towards consistency, displaying his most mature performances on the "Reds'" way to the Euroleague Final, which they lost to Navarro's and Rubio's Barcelona by 86–68.
Maccabi Tel Aviv
On 5 August 2010, Schortsanitis signed a two-year deal with five-time Euroleague champions Maccabi Tel Aviv of the Israeli Super League. His presence alongside Jeremy Pargo, Chuck Eidson, and Doron Perkins helped the team reach the 2011 Euroleague Final, where they eventually lost to Diamantidis' Panathinaikos, by a score of 78–70. Sofo averaged 12 points, 4.1 rebounds and 1 assist per game throughout the Euroleague 2010-11 season, earning an All-Euroleague First Team selection.
In the 2011–12 season, Schortsanitis fought a chronic knee injury which had an impact on his performance during the season and left him unable to participate with the Greek national team that summer. Nevertheless, he helped Maccabi reach the Euroleague quarter finals, where they were topped by Panathinaikos, losing the series, 3–2.
On 4 July 2012, Schortsanitis signed a three-year contract with Panathinaikos, worth €1.5 million euros net income. He reportedly turned down significantly more lucrative offers from Baskonia Vitoria and Galatasaray, among others, to return to Greece and fulfill his desire to play for the Greens. In July 2013, Panathinaikos announced that Schortsanitis would not continue play for Panathinaikos.
Second stint with Maccabi
On 10 July 2013, Schortsanitis returned to Maccabi after one season in Panathinaikos and signed a three-year contract with the Israeli champion. Following his comeback, Maccabi won the Euroleague, the first in his career. Over 29 games in the Euroleague, he averaged 9.6 points and 2.6 rebounds in 14.2 minutes of play.
Schortsanitis drew interest from the Los Angeles Clippers in the summer of 2006, after having been selected in the 2nd round (34th overall) of the 2003 NBA Draft; however, because he was still under contract with Olympiacos at the time, he did not make the leap to the NBA. In 2010, his contract with Olympiacos expired and he elected to participate in the NBA Summer League with the Clippers, with an eye towards joining the team; this time, however, the Clippers were unimpressed, and he failed to secure a contract with the team. On 30 July 2012, the Los Angeles Clippers traded the rights of Schortsanitis, to the Atlanta Hawks, in a sign-and-trade deal for Willie Green.
Greek national team
After some friendly games and qualifiers, Schortsanitis' first appearance at a major FIBA competition with the senior men's Greek national basketball team was at the 2006 FIBA World Championship in Japan. He helped Greece to win the silver medal after defeating Team USA by a score of 101–95 in the semi-final game. Schortsanitis scored 14 points in 17 minutes in the latter contest.
At the FIBA EuroBasket 2009 held in Poland, Schortsanitis' performance was decisive in Greece winning the bronze medal game against Slovenia, as he scored 23 points on 78% field goal percentage, while grabbing six rebounds, blocking two shots, and managing to draw 12 fouls.
Schortsanitis is a classic, "old school" style center that plays in the low post on offence and defends the rim and painted lane area of the court on defence. Schortsanitis was measured at the 2003 NBA pre-draft camp at a height of 6 ft 8 3⁄4 in (2.05 m) tall barefoot, 6 ft 10 in (2.08 m) tall with shoes on, and with a 7 ft 2 in (2.18 m) wingspan.
Euroleague career statistics
|GP||Games played||GS||Games started||MPG||Minutes per game|
|FG%||Field-goal percentage||3P%||3-point field-goal percentage||FT%||Free-throw percentage|
|RPG||Rebounds per game||APG||Assists per game||SPG||Steals per game|
|BPG||Blocks per game||PPG||Points per game||PIR||Performance Index Rating|
Note: The Euroleague is not the only competition in which the player participated for the team during the season, he also played in domestic competition.
|†||Denotes season in which Schortsanitis' team won the Euroleague|
Awards and accomplishments
- 5× Greek League All-Star: (2005, 2006, 2007, 2010, 2013)
- 2× Greek All-Star Game MVP: (2006, 2010)
- Greek League Best Five Team: (2006)
- 2× Greek Cup Champion: (2010, 2013)
- 3× Israeli State Cup Champion: (2011, 2012, 2014)
- Euroleague Champion: (2014)
- All-Euroleague First Team: (2011)
- 3× Israeli League Champion: (2011, 2012, 2014)
- Adriatic League Champion: (2012)
- Greek League Champion: (2013)
Greek national team
- 2001 FIBA Europe Under-16 Championship: All-First Team Selection
- 2002 Albert Schweitzer Tournament: Gold
- 2002 Albert Schweitzer Tournament: MVP
- 2002 FIBA Europe Under-18 Championship: Bronze
- 2003 FIBA Under-19 World Championship: Bronze
- 2006 FIBA World Championship: Silver
- FIBA EuroBasket 2009: Bronze
- Acropolis Tournament MVP: (2010)
- "CLIPPERS SET 2010 NBA SUMMER LEAGUE ROSTER". NBA.com. Retrieved 30 September 2011.
- "Sofoklis Schortsanitis 2009 Profile". EuroBasket2009.org. Retrieved 30 September 2011.
- "Maccabi Tel Aviv announced Sofoklis Schortsanitis". Sportando.net. Retrieved 30 September 2011.
- PANATHINAIKOS lands Schortsanitis
- Article on sport24.gr about Schortsanitis' transfer.
- סופוקליס שחורציאניטיס חוזר למכבי אלקטרה ת"א. maccabi.co.il (in Hebrew). Retrieved 20 May 2014.
- "– ΝΒΑ καλεί Σχορτσιανίτη" (in Greek). Sport24.gr. 5 September 2011. Retrieved 30 September 2011.
- CLIPPERS ACQUIRE GUARD WILLIE GREEN FROM ATLANTA
- Thunder Acquires Schortsanitis and Trade Exception
- "Official NBA Draft Measurements". Ibiblio.org. Retrieved 30 September 2011.
- "Greek Prospects – ESPN.com Chad Ford 6'10". Interbasket.net. Retrieved 30 September 2011.
|Wikimedia Commons has media related to Sofoklis Schortsanitis.|
- Big Sofo's Official Website (Greek) and (English)
- NBA.com Profile
- Euroleague.net Profile
- FIBA Profile
- Eurobasket.com Profile
- Adriatic League Profile
- Draftexpress.com Profile
- Interbasket.net Greek Prospects
- Interbasket.net Profile
- Schortsanitis NBA Draft Info
- NBADraft.net Profile
- Sofoklis Schortsanitis Pictures
- Big Sofo Monster Dunk