Nikos Galis

From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia
  (Redirected from Nick Galis)
Jump to: navigation, search
Nikos Galis
Νίκος Γκάλης.jpg
Nikos Galis with Aris.
Personal information
Born (1957-07-23) July 23, 1957 (age 59)
Union City, New Jersey
Nationality Greek / American
Listed height 6 ft 0 in (1.83 m)
Listed weight 180 lb (82 kg)
Career information
High school Union Hill
(Union City, New Jersey)
College Seton Hall (1975–1979)
NBA draft 1979 / Round: 4 / Pick: 68th overall
Selected by the Boston Celtics
Playing career 1979–1994
Position Guard
Number 6, 4
Career history
1979–1992 Aris
1992–1994 Panathinaikos
Career highlights and awards
FIBA Hall of Fame as player

Nikolaos Georgalis (Greek: Νικόλαος Γεωργαλής), commonly known as either Nikos Galis (Greek: Νίκος Γκάλης), or Nick Galis (born July 23, 1957),[1] is a retired Greek-American professional basketball player. He was named one of FIBA's 50 Greatest Players in 1991, is an inaugural member of the FIBA Hall of Fame[2] and was chosen as one of the 50 Greatest Euroleague Contributors on February 3, 2008.[3] Galis is widely regarded as one of Europe's greatest scorers ever to play the game, as well as one of the all-time greatest players in FIBA international basketball history.[4][5][6]

Galis played the point guard position during his college years at Seton Hall University, but turned into a shooting guard as a professional. He spent most of his career in Aris, before having a late stint with Panathinaikos. He is the Euroleague's all-time leader in both career points scored and points per game (counting both FIBA Europe and Euroleague Basketball Company era games 1958 season–present), leading the competition in scoring eight times. In the premier European club scene, he reached the Euroleague Final Four on four occasions, three consecutive ones with Aris (1988, 1989, and 1990), and another one with Panathinaikos (1994). An eight-time Greek league champion, Galis is the league's all-time leading scorer in both career points scored and career scoring average, counting all league formats (since the 1963–64 season).

Galis led the Greek national team to a EuroBasket gold medal in 1987, as well as to a EuroBasket silver medal in 1989, earning the tournament MVP honor in 1987, and being elected to the All-EuroBasket Team four times. Among his myriad accomplishments, he holds the EuroBasket record for highest career scoring average (31.2 points per game), and was the leading scorer of four EuroBasket tournaments in 1983, 1987,1989, and 1991. In addition to that, he holds the FIBA World Cup record for highest career scoring average (33.5 points per game), as well as for most points ever scored in a single tournament, which he set at the 1986 FIBA World Cup. Following the stunning success of the EuroBasket title in 1987, he won the Mr. Europa Player of the Year and the Euroscar awards the same year.

Nicknamed "Iron Man",[7] "Nick The Greek",[8] and "The Gangster",[9] Galis is highly revered in Greece, where he is considered to be the greatest national athlete the country has ever seen.[10] His years at Aris lifted Greek basketball from relative obscurity, to global power status, with Galis being the figure that eventually inspired thousands of Greeks to take up the game.[11]

US career[edit]

Nikos Galis during a basketball game in October 1991.

The child of a poor immigrant family from the Greek islands of Rhodes and Nisyros, Nick took up boxing in his early years, after his father, George Georgalis, who had also been a boxer in his youth. He was persuaded to give up boxing by his mother, Stella Georgalis, who was terrified each time that her son would return home with a new facial injury. As a result, he started playing basketball and attended Union Hill High School in Union City, New Jersey.[4]

After high school, Galis enrolled at Seton Hall University, where he would play college basketball as a member of the Seton Hall Pirates. In his senior season, Galis saw his scoring average reach 27.5 points per game, which was third in the nation, behind Idaho State's Lawrence Butler (30.1 points per game) and Indiana State's Larry Bird (28.6 points per game),[12] including a 48-point outburst against the University of Santa Clara. The same year, he also took part in the Pizza Hut All-American game alongside Bird and Vinnie Johnson.[13] Galis' coach at Seton Hall, Billy Raftery, would later state that Galis was the best player he ever coached. Finishing his collegiate career in 1979, Galis signed with agent Bill Manon, who also managed Diana Ross. Manon did not have Galis work out with any NBA team.[14] Galis was eventually selected by the Boston Celtics in the 4th round of the 1979 NBA Draft, 68th overall.

Due to a severe injury that he suffered during the Celtics pre-season training camp, the franchise was no longer interested in offering him a contract because Gerald Henderson had taken his place, and his injury would keep him out for the foreseeable future. It was then that Galis decided to pursue a professional career in Greece's Basket League. Later, while playing in Greece, he would be offered NBA contracts by the Celtics and the New Jersey Nets. However, he turned the offers down, because at the time, and until 1989, FIBA did not have professional status, and consequently did not allow NBA players to compete at the national team level. Since playing for the Greek national team meant so much to him, he stayed in Greece. Celtics legend Red Auerbach, later said that the single biggest mistake he ever made in his career was not keeping Galis.[15][16]

College stats[edit]

[17]

Season Team Competition Games Played Field Goal% Free Throw% Rebounds Assists Points
1975–76
Seton Hall
NCAA D-I
24
48.0
73.0
1.1
1.8
3.2
1976–77
Seton Hall
NCAA D-I
29
51.8
81.9
2.3
4.7
12.9
1977–78
Seton Hall
NCAA D-I
27
52.1
82.6
2.4
4.5
17.3
1978–79
Seton Hall
NCAA D-I
27
57.6
82.6
3.5
3.9
27.5
Career Totals
Seton Hall
NCAA D-I
107
50.0
81.7
2.3
3.25
15.5

Greek career[edit]

Galis made the move across the Atlantic, and signed to play with Aris of Thessaloniki, Greece, in 1979. Panathinaikos and Olympiacos had also shown some interest in signing the newcomer, but it was Aris' interest that was the most persuasive. His move to the country helped Greek basketball reach heights never before imagined. In 1983, while playing in a game with the Greek national team against the North Carolina Tar Heels at Chapel Hill, Greece's shooting guard Galis, while being guarded by North Carolina's shooting guard Michael Jordan, scored 50 points during the game.[18][19] He played in the 1986 FIBA World Championship, where he led all players in scoring average with 33.5 points per game. In that tournament, he had a 53-point outburst against the Panamanian national basketball team.

Galis next led the Greek national basketball team to the EuroBasket 1987 gold medal. Averaging 37.0 points per game during the tournament, he was named the MVP of the tournament, after scoring 40 points in the final against the Soviet Union national basketball team and its legendary player, Šarūnas Marčiulionis, for a 103-101 victory.

Galis also led Greece to the second place at the EuroBasket 1989, averaging 35.6 points per game. Galis is most remembered from that tournament, for a stunning effort against the Soviet team led by Marčiulionis, and its other star player, Arvydas Sabonis, in the semifinal game. He scored 45 out of his team's 81 total points in a dramatic, last-gasp 81-80 victory.[20] The Greek team then settled for a second-place finish, after losing against the ever-dominant Yugoslavian national basketball team in the tournament's final.

Aris Thessaloniki[edit]

Averaging more than 30 points per game every season, Galis was the indisputable leader of Aris Thessaloniki. Playing alongside other great players at Aris such as Panagiotis Giannakis and Slobodan Subotić (who was known in Greece as Lefteris Soumpotits), Galis won 8 Greek League championships (7 of them consecutively, and 3 undefeated, in the years 1983, 1985, 1986, 1987, 1988, 1989, 1990, and 1991), 6 Greek Cups (4 of them consecutively, in the years 1985, 1987, 1988, 1989, 1990, and 1992), and led Aris to 3 consecutive appearances at the European Champions' Cup Final Four ('88, '89, and '90). In the one disappointment of an otherwise glittering career with Aris, all three European Champions' Cup appearances ended in defeat in the semifinals, thus depriving Galis of the opportunity to shine all the way on Europe's biggest club, stage at the European Champions' Cup Finals. The team's performances and general standard of play, however, won the heart of most every basketball fan in Greece. Indeed, cinemas and theaters would often reduce their admission prices on Thursday evenings, when Aris was playing, and the entire country settled down to watch them on television.

After a disappointing season in 1991–92, Galis was forced to leave Aris.[21] The new management of the team, and the fact that the club was in decay, were the main causes for his departure. Galis, who adored Thessaloniki, had insisted on remaining in the club and playing for the team, as he believed that he still had a lot to offer.

Panathinaikos[edit]

Galis with Panathinaikos B.C.

Galis moved to Athens in the summer of 1992, to play with Panathinaikos, and he was the player who then led the "Greens" to a club rebirth, after it had suffered through a long drought period, during which the historical team remained without titles. The previous season (1991–92) had been particularly disappointing for the club, with the team finishing eighth in the Greek league. As the team's captain, Galis inspired the young players of Panathinaikos, such as Fragiskos Alvertis and Nikos Oikonomou, and gradually brought back hope to the team's fans. So much so, as to the point that the club's then home arena, Glyfada Indoor Hall, was always overcrowded. In that season (1992–93), Panathinaikos finished second in the Greek league, and won the Greek Cup, which was the seventh Greek Cup title for Galis.

The following season (1993–94), Galis was the FIBA European League Top Scorer (averaging 23.8 points per game in 21 games) and passer (4.7 assists per game, in 21 games). In the decisive game 3 of the Euroleague quarterfinals, against the reigning FIBA European League champions, Limoges, Galis truly led Panathinaikos into a new club era, with their qualification to the 1994 FIBA European League Final Four, by scoring 30 points on 75% field goal shooting in the game. The "Greens" eventually finished in 3rd place in the FIBA European League that season, after losing in the semifinal, but it was still a success they had never reached before. Galis scored 30 points in the third place game against FC Barcelona, leading all scorers in the game.

In his third season in Panthinaikos (1994–95), Galis teamed up with Panagiotis Giannakis and Žarko Paspalj, to make a strong effort to win the FIBA European League. Galis was the player who led Panathinaikos to the Top 16 group, as he prevented the elimination of Panathinaikos by Budivelnik Kiev, with a team-high 23 points in the decisive second-leg victory. He was also the leader of the team in the Greek Cup win against Olympiacos, at Sporting Sports Arena. But Galis' career controversially ended on October 18, 1994,[22] a few games after the start of the Greek League 1994–95 season. Kostas Politis, Panathinaikos' coach at the time, chose not to include Galis in the starting line-up of a Greek League game against Ambelokipi. Galis left the court, and never again returned to action.[23] His last game in professional basketball, was as a player of Panathinaikos, in a game against AO Dafni, on October 12, 1994. In the game, Galis scored 8 points in 35 minutes of playing time, as his team won in a blowout, 82-60.

Professional career scoring statistics[edit]

[24][25][26]

Competition Games Played Points Scored Scoring Average
Greek Championship
384
12,849
33.5
Greek Cup
55
1,935
35.2
European Cups
146
4,807
32.9
FIBA International Competitions
(Greek National Team)
169
5,163
30.6
Career Totals
754
24,759
32.8

Greek Championship season by season scoring stats[edit]

  • (Counting regular season only)

[27][28]

Season Competition Games Played Points Scored Scoring Average Club
1979–80
Greek Championship
22
692
31.4
Aris
1980–81
Greek Championship
26
1,143
44.0
Aris
1981–82
Greek Championship
22
828
37.6
Aris
1982–83
Greek Championship
24
869
36.2
Aris
1983–84
Greek Championship
23
948
41.2
Aris
1984–85
Greek Championship
24
891
37.1
Aris
1985–86
Greek Championship
24
944
39.3
Aris
1986–87
Greek Championship
18
715
39.7
Aris
1987–88
Greek Championship
18
651
36.2
Aris
1988–89
Greek Championship
17
641
37.7
Aris
1989–90
Greek Championship
23
893
38.8
Aris
1990–91
Greek Championship
23
813
35.3
Aris
1991–92
Greek Championship
26
835
32.1
Aris
1992–93
Greek Championship
26
615
23.6
Panathinaikos
1993–94
Greek Championship
33
622
18.8
Panathinaikos
1994–95
Greek Championship
4
51
12.8
Panathinaikos

Greek National Team[edit]

Galis averaged 33.3 points per game at the EuroBasket 1983, 33.5 points per game at the 1986 FIBA World Championship, 37.0 points per game at the EuroBasket 1987, 35.6 points per game at the EuroBasket 1989, and 32.4 points per game at the EuroBasket 1991.

Galis' top 10 scoring FIBA rules games with the Greek National Team[edit]

[25]

Points Scored Date Opponents Final Game Score Tournament
53
7/5/1986 Panama 110-81 1986 FIBA World Championship
52
9/10/1984 Poland 88-89 EuroBasket 1985 Qualification
49
7/20/1986 China 111-112 1986 FIBA World Championship
48
1/4/1981 Finland 101-92 FIBA International Tournament
48
11/19/1989 Denmark 113-91 Friendly
47
11/29/1984 Bulgaria 91-84 1986 FIBA World Championship Qualification
47
5/23/1982 Belgium 97-72 EuroBasket 1983 Qualification
46
6/20/1986 Netherlands 104-88 1986 Acropolis International Tournament
46
11/25/1989 Romania 97-77 EuroBasket 1991 Qualification
45
6/24/1989 Soviet Union 81-80 EuroBasket 1989

Scoring statistics with the Greek National Team in FIBA rules games[edit]

[25]

Tournament Games Played Points Scored Scoring Average
1980 Olympics Qualification
4
78
19.5
FIBA International Tournament (1980–89)
28
853
30.5
Friendlies (1981–91)
18
450
25.0
EuroBasket 1981 Qualification
8
225
28.1
EuroBasket 1981
8
161
20.1
1982 Balkan Games
4
97
24.3
EuroBasket 1983 Qualification
9
283
31.4
EuroBasket 1983
7
233
33.3
1984 Olympics Qualification
9
288
32.0
EuroBasket 1985 Qualification
5
178
35.6
1984 Balkan Games
3
89
29.7
1986 FIBA World Championship Qualification
6
206
34.3
1986 Acropolis International Tournament
3
108
36.0
1986 FIBA World Championship
10
335
33.5
1986 Balkan Games
3
117
39.0
1987 Acropolis International Tournament
3
112
37.3
EuroBasket 1987
8
296
37.0
1988 Olympics Qualification
9
254
28.2
EuroBasket 1989 Qualification
4
146
36.5
1989 Acropolis International Tournament
3
113
37.7
EuroBasket 1989
5
178
35.6
EuroBasket 1991 Qualification
3
134
44.7
1990 Acropolis International Tournament
1
4
4.0
1991 Acropolis International Tournament
3
63
21.0
EuroBasket 1991
5
162
32.4
Career Totals
169
5,163
30.6

Player profile[edit]

It has been noted that Galis was not only a legendary scorer, but that he was also a great play maker and passer. The majority of his points scored came inside the paint, due to his penetrating ability.[29] Galis' mid-range jumper was one of his biggest offensive weapons, being able to consistently pull it off under pressure. His post game was excellent, as he used his strength and leaping ability to counter his lack of height. Another enormous competitive advantage that Galis possessed was his incredible stamina, which was due to his exemplary physical condition. This led to his being given the nickname of "Iron Man". At the EuroBasket 1987, he was never once substituted out of any game after the second day of the competition, completing 7 games in 9 days.[29]

Retirement[edit]

Since his official retirement on September 29, 1995, and up until early 2006, Galis was the owner of a summer basketball camp in Chalkidiki, Greece. The basketball camp is listed at the Athens Stock Exchange.[30] As a token of appreciation for his contribution to Greek sport, Galis was chosen to be the first torch bearer in the final round of the Olympic Flame, for the Athens 2004 Olympics. Galis entered the stadium at the conclusion of the Opening Ceremony, and set off the procession of the flame to the altar.

In September 2007, Galis was elected as a member of the first class of the FIBA Hall of Fame, which includes the best basketball players in the history of the game internationally. Galis was inducted as a player. Bill Russell of the famous Boston Celtics dynasty was another one of the 16 inaugural player inductees. Galis is also a member of the Eurobasket.com website's Greek Basketball Hall of Fame, inducted as a player. Galis is married to Eleni Panagiotou, and he has one daughter, named Stella.

In May 2013, Aris renamed their home arena to Nick Galis Hall, and organized a celebration of Galis's life and career, which was attended by many of his teammates and opponents from the 1980s and 1990s. Attendees included Greek legends such as the majority of the 1987 EuroBasket winning team, as well as international stars who played against Galis, such as Dino Radja, Jordi Villacampa, and Doron Jamchi.

Quotes about Galis[edit]

"If I'm the devil's son, then Galis is the devil himself.", Dražen Petrović

"If Galis wants to score, he will score no matter who's defending him.", Arvydas Sabonis

"I never thought that there was such a good offensive player in Europe, and especially in Greece.", Michael Jordan

"Although Drazen (i.e. Petrović) is my brother, for the best athlete of 1987, I voted for Galis."', Aco Petrović

"I had given specific instructions on how to defend against the other 4 players. As for Nikos, we just had to sit down and pray!", Vojcek Kricovski, CSKA Moscow coach.

"There is only one way I can think of to stop Nikos from scoring! Lock him up in the hotel!", Roud Harevain, Maccabi Tel-Aviv head coach.[31] "I wish if I was Galis "

Awards and accomplishments[edit]

[32][33][34]
Galis won numerous titles and awards during his career and had many memorable single game performances. The following are some of them:

College[edit]

Pro career[edit]

Titles:

  • Won 8 Greek League Championships: 1983, 1985, 1986, 1987, 1988, 1989, 1990, 1991
  • Won 7 Greek Cups: 1985, 1987, 1988, 1989, 1990, 1992, 1993
    (In total, he won 15 trophies in his pro club career as a player.)

Personal awards and achievements:

Greek National Team[edit]

References[edit]

References and notes[edit]

  1. ^ Thedraftreview.com Nick Galis Birthplace: Union City, New Jersey.
  2. ^ FIBA Hall Of Fame Class of 2007
  3. ^ "Euroleague official website, Experts decide European Club Basketball's 50 greatest contributors". 
  4. ^ a b Psarakis, Yannis, Fibaeurope.com, Nikos Galis - Europe's Greatest - Ever Scorer [1]
  5. ^ Stankovic, Vladimir, Euroleague.net, Nikos Galis, a scoring machine
  6. ^ Fibaeurope.com, European legends pay tribute To Galis
  7. ^ FIBAEurope.com "The Iron Man".
  8. ^ Interbasket.net Galis
  9. ^ Nikos Galis Aris
  10. ^ FIBA.com, Greece-Nick Galis.
  11. ^ Maguire, Ken, Nytimes.com, Basking in a Fonder Farewell, 19 Years Later [2]
  12. ^ "Magic Keeps Bird In Hand". Sports Illustrated. 1980-03-13. 
  13. ^ "Galis and Larry Bird (Pizza Hut All American Game 1979)". Youtube. 2010-03-10. 
  14. ^ Nikos Galis, Greece, Player Profiles by Interbasket.net
  15. ^ Fiba official website, Tribute to Nikos Galis
  16. ^ http://www.celticslife.com/2011/10/top-5-celtics-that-never-were-5-nick.html
  17. ^ TheDraftReview.com Nick Galis.
  18. ^ Ahistoryofgreece.com
  19. ^ Nikos Galis Tournaments
  20. ^ FIBA Europe official website on EuroBasket 1989 FIBA Europe.com
  21. ^ Rabotas, G., Nikos Galis, p. 137
  22. ^ Gazetta.gr Ήταν απλά ο καλύτερος (Greek).
  23. ^ Rabotas, G., Nikos Galis, p. 195
  24. ^ FIBAEurope.com Nikos Galis – Europe’s Greatest-ever Scorer.
  25. ^ a b c basket.gr Ονοματεπώνυμο: ΓΚΑΛΗΣ ΝΙΚΟΣ (Greek).
  26. ^ sansimera.gr Νίκος Γκάλης 1957– (Greek).
  27. ^ sentragoal.gr Ο Γκάλης... κρατάει ακόμα! (Greek).
  28. ^ sports.pathfinder.gr Ο Γκάλης και οι άλλοι (Greek).
  29. ^ a b Arbel, Y. ,"Iron Man Galis", November 08, 2006, FIBA Europe official website [3]
  30. ^ Official website of Galis's basketball camp
  31. ^ EuroBasket.com
  32. ^ Hellenic Basketball Federation official website
  33. ^ FIBAEurope.com on Galis' career
  34. ^ luckyshow.org on Galis' greatest scoring games
  35. ^ SETON HALL .

External links[edit]