Iraklis Thessaloniki B.C.
|Iraklis Thessaloniki B.C.|
|History||1924 – Present|
|Arena||Ivanofeio Sports Arena|
White and Blue|
|Head coach||Lefteris Chatzikyriakidis|
|Championships||2 Greek Championships|
|Active departments of GS Iraklis|
Iraklis Thessaloniki B.C. (Greek: ΚΑΕ Ηρακλής Θεσσαλονίκης, Greek pronunciation: [iɾak'lis θesalo'nikis]) is a Greek professional basketball team that is located in Thessaloniki. It serves as the basketball section of the multi-sport club G.S. Iraklis. Iraklis will play in the Greek A2 for the 2017–18 season.
The team's colors are blue and white. Iraklis has won the Greek National Championship in 1928 and 1935, and has also reached the Greek Cup final three times. Several international national team players have played for the club, including: Dimitris Diamantidis, Lazaros Papadopoulos, Sofoklis Schortsanitis, Nikos Chatzivrettas, Lefteris Kakiousis, Jure Zdovc, and Vasily Karasev, as well as NBA stars such as Roy Tarpley, Xavier McDaniel, and James Donaldson.
The parent athletic club was founded in 1908, and initially featured football. The club is named after Heracles (or Hercules), the mythical Greek demigod. The basketball team of Iraklis was established in 1924.
Iraklis won the inaugural Greek League championship in 1928. To win the championship, Iraklis had to eliminate AEK Athens and Near East, before beating VAO in the championship game. The team won its second Greek championship in 1935. Also in the team's history, three times Iraklis finished in second place in the Greek Championship (1936, 1962, and 1964), three times Iraklis has been a Greek Cup Finalist (1981, 1994, and 1996), and two times Iraklis made it to the semifinals of the European 2nd-tier level league Cup Winners' Cup.
Iraklis reached the semifinals of the 1994–95 FIBA European Cup, where they competed against Taugrés. Iraklis won the first game 79–78, but lost the next two games, to be eliminated 2–1 in a best of three series. In 1996, an Iraklis team led by former NBA players Xavier McDaniel and Roy Tarpley, reached the Greek Cup Final Four. By beating Apollon Patras in the semifinal, Iraklis reached the final, where it then lost 85–74 to Panathinaikos. Iraklis has also twice competed in the top European continental competitions. The club played in the European top-tier level European Champions' Cup in the 1995–96 season, and also competed in the FIBA SuproLeague during the 2000–01 season.
Recent history (2005-present)
In 2006, Iraklis was relegated to the Greek A2 Basket League, after finishing 13th in the first-tier Greek League. In 2010, after four seasons in the second-tier level Greek League, the team was promoted back up to the top-tier Greek Basket League. After one season in the Greek top-tier level, Iraklis was again relegated down to the A2, with two matches left in the season. At the end of the season, Iraklis chose to play in the third-tier level of Greek basketball, the Greek B Basket League, in order to clear its debts. The club was promoted to the Greek A2 Basket League in 2013, after finishing 2nd in its group, and after Peristeri failed to receive financial clearance to participate in the league.
Iraklis plays its home games in the Ivanofeio Sports Arena, an arena with a seating capacity of 2,443. The arena opened in 1987, and it was expanded to its current capacity in 1991. Ivanofeio is situated in the Thessaloniki city center, and it is owned by the GS Iraklis multi-sport club.
The most prominent supporters' club of the team is Aftonomi Thira 10 (meaning Autonomous Gate 10), a fan club with a total of 15 branches in Northern Greece. The fan club is known for holding an antiracist stance, as it participates in the Ultras Antiracist Festival. Other activities of the fan club include the publication of a magazine, and the conducting of an annual festival. Other minor supporters' clubs are SFISE, Blue Boys, A.P.A.T.S.I., and Iraklis Fan Club of Athens. In a 2013 opinion poll, Iraklis was ranked as the 6th most popular basketball club in Greece, gathering 2.8% of the participating supporters' votes.
|Iraklis Thessaloniki B.C. roster|
Updated: 8 October 2016
|C||Dimitris Charitopoulos||Domagoj Bubalo|
|PF||Kostas Kakaroudis||Vasilis Angelakopoulos|
|SF||Stathis Papadionysiou||Apollon Deligeorgis|
|SG||Kostas Totsios||Michalis Giannakidis|
|PG||Giannis Gagaloudis||Dimitris Kalaitzidis|
Note: Flags indicate national team eligibility at FIBA sanctioned events. Players may hold other non-FIBA nationality not displayed.
To appear in this section a player must have either:
- David Ancrum
- Vangelis Angelou
- Walter Berry
- Roderick Blakney
- Steve Burtt Sr.
- Steve Bucknall
- Nikos Chatzivrettas
- Dimitris Diamantidis
- Byron Dinkins
- James Donaldson
- Justin Hamilton
- Savvas Iliadis
- Buck Johnson
- Lefteris Kakiousis
- Giorgos Karagkoutis
- Vasily Karasev
- Takis Karatzoulidis
- Manthos Katsoulis
- Xavier McDaniel
- Erik Meek
- Igor Milošević
- Aristeidis Moumoglou
- Dimitris Papadopoulos
- Lazaros Papadopoulos
- Vladimir Petrović-Stergiou
- Sotiris Sakellariou
- Sofoklis Schortsanitis
- Nikos Stavropoulos
- Roy Tarpley
- Christos Tsekos
- Jure Zdovc
Papadopoulos played a total of six seasons for Iraklis, between 1996 and 2004.
Schortsanitis played for Iraklis from 2000 to 2003.
|Efthimis Kioumourtzoglou||1980||1981||1 Greek Cup Finalist 1981|
|1 Greek Cup Finalist 1996|
|1 Greek Cup Finalist 1994|
Total titles: 2
- Winners (2): 1927–28, 1934–35
- Runner up (3): 1935–36, 1961–62, 1963–64
- Runners-up (3): 1980–81, 1993–94, 1995–96
- Semifinalist (1): 1994–95
- Basketball in Greece
- List of basketball clubs in Greece
- Greek basketball clubs in European competitions
- List of basketball clubs in Greece by major honours won
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