Sofoklis Schortsanitis

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Sofoklis Schortsanitis
Schortsanitis warming up in 2011.jpg
Schortsanitis with Maccabi Tel Aviv, 2011
Free agent
Position Center
Personal information
Born (1985-06-22) 22 June 1985 (age 33)
Tiko, Cameroon
Nationality Greek / Cameroonian
Listed height 6 ft 10 in (2.08 m)
Listed weight 450 lb (204 kg)
Career information
NBA draft 2003 / Round: 2 / Pick: 34th overall
Selected by the Los Angeles Clippers
Playing career 2000–present
Career history
2000–2003 Iraklis
2003–2004 Cantù
2004–2005 Aris Thessaloniki
2005–2010 Olympiacos
2010–2012 Maccabi Tel Aviv
2012–2013 Panathinaikos
2013–2015 Maccabi Tel Aviv
2015 Crvena zvezda
2015–2016 PAOK
2017–2018 Aries Trikala
Career highlights and awards

Sofoklis Schortsanitis (Greek: Σοφοκλής Σχορτσανίτης) (born 22 June 1985) is a Greek professional basketball player. At 2.06 m (6 ft 9 in)[1] he plays at the center position. He was born in Tiko, Cameroon, to a Greek father, Konstantinos, and a Cameroonian mother, Georgette.[2]

An All-EuroLeague First Team selection in 2011, "Big Sofo" or "Baby Shaq" as he is nicknamed,[3] won the EuroLeague title in 2014 with Maccabi Tel Aviv, and reached the EuroLeague Final on another two occasions 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 a bronze medal in the EuroBasket 2009.

Early years[edit]

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 younger brother called Alexandros.[4] Sofoklis first took up basketball in his home 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 practicing and then progressively, 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.

Professional career[edit]

Schortsanitis began playing basketball at a professional level with Iraklis in the Greek League, when he was a teenager, starting in the 2000–01 season. In the 2002–03 season, he averaged 11.5 points and 6.2 rebounds per game in the Greek Basket 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 there was a failure, due to a lack of maturity and experience. Following that, he returned to Greece, and spent the 2004–05 season with the Greek club Aris.

Olympiacos[edit]

In the 2005–06 season, Schortsanitis was transferred to Olympiacos. He became a vital member of the team that reached the EuroLeague quarterfinals, 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 achieve consistency, and his chronic weight issues re-emerged, to the point that he spent almost the entire 2007–08 season dealing with them.[5] He came back in shape for the 2008–09 season, and helped Olympiacos reach the EuroLeague Final Four. In the 2009–10 season, he made another step towards consistency, displaying his most mature performances with Olympiacos, on the club's way to the EuroLeague Final, which they lost to Juan Carlos Navarro's and Ricky Rubio's Barcelona, by a score 86–68.

Maccabi Tel Aviv[edit]

On 5 August 2010, Schortsanitis signed a two-year deal with the then five-time EuroLeague champions, Maccabi Tel Aviv of the Israeli Premier League.[6] His presence alongside Jeremy Pargo, Chuck Eidson, and Doron Perkins helped the team reach the 2011 EuroLeague Final, where they eventually lost to Dimitris Diamantidis' Panathinaikos, by a score of 78–70. Schortsanitis averaged 12 points, 4.1 rebounds and 1 assist per game throughout the EuroLeague 2010–11 season, earning an All-EuroLeague First Team selection.[7]

In the 2011–12 season, Schortsanitis fought a chronic knee injury, which affected 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 quarterfinals, where they were topped by Panathinaikos, losing the series, 3–2.

Panathinaikos[edit]

On 4 July 2012, Schortsanitis signed a three-year contract with the Greek club Panathinaikos,[8] worth €1.5 million euros net income.[9] 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 Panathinaikos. In July 2013, Panathinaikos announced that Schortsanitis would not continue play for the club.[10]

Second stint with Maccabi[edit]

On 10 July 2013, Schortsanitis returned to Maccabi after one season in Panathinaikos, and signed a three-year contract with the defending Israeli Premier League champions.[11] In his comeback season with Maccabi, the club won the finals of the that season's EuroLeague, which was the first EuroLeague championship won in Schortsanitis' career. Over 29 games played in the EuroLeague that season, he averaged 9.6 points and 2.6 rebounds per game, in 14.2 minutes per game of playing time.

Crvena zvezda[edit]

On August 2, 2015, Schortsanitis signed a one-year contract with the Serbian club Crvena zvezda.[12][13] On October 28, 2015, he parted ways with Zvezda. In 6 games played with the club in the ABA League, he averaged 4.8 points and 2.5 rebounds per game.[14]

PAOK[edit]

On November 2, 2015, Schortsanitis signed with the Greek club PAOK, for the rest of the season.[15] With PAOK, he averaged 13.4 points, 4.4 rebounds, and 1.8 assists per game, in the European-wide 2nd-tier level EuroCup.[16]

Apollon Patras[edit]

In December 2016, Schortsanitis joined the Greek club Apollon Patras. However, on December 28, he suffered a serious injury, as he ruptured his Achilles tendon, during one of the team's practices. The injury caused him to then miss the entire remainder of the 2016–17 season, and he was thus not able to play in any games with Apollon.

Aries Trikala[edit]

On October 18, 2017, Schortsianitis returned to action, and joined Aries Trikala of the Greek Basket League.[17] On January 6, 2018, he made his debut in a 76–86 loss to Rethymno Cretan Kings, recording 6 points and one rebound, off the bench.[18][19]

NBA draft rights[edit]

Schortsanitis drew interest from the NBA's Los Angeles Clippers in the summer of 2006, after having been originally 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 a move to the NBA.[20] 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 draft rights of Schortsanitis, to the Atlanta Hawks, in a sign-and-trade deal for Willie Green.[21]

On 15 July 2014, his draft rights were traded to the Oklahoma City Thunder, in exchange for Thabo Sefolosha, the rights to Georgios Printezis, and cash considerations.[22]

National team career[edit]

Schortsanitis playing for the senior Greek national team.

Greek junior national team[edit]

Schortsanitis was a member of the junior national teams of Greece. With Greece's junior national teams, he played at the 2001 FIBA Europe Under-16 Championship, the 2002 FIBA Europe Under-18 Championship, where he won a bronze medal, and at the 2003 FIBA Under-19 World Cup, where he won a bronze medal. Schortsanitis also won the gold medal at the 2002 Albert Schweitzer Tournament, where he was also named the MVP of the tournament.

Greek senior national team[edit]

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, which was held in Japan. He helped Greece to win the silver medal at the tournament, after they defeated Team USA, by a score of 101–95, in the semifinals. Schortsanitis scored 14 points, in 17 minutes played during the game. He also played with Greece at the 2008 Summer Olympics.

At the EuroBasket 2009, which was held in Poland, Schortsanitis' performance was decisive in Greece winning the tournament's bronze medal game against Slovenia, as he scored 23 points on a 78% field goal shooting percentage, while grabbing six rebounds, blocking two shots, and managing to draw 12 fouls. He also played at the 2010 FIBA World Championship.

Player profile[edit]

Schortsanitis is a classic, "old school" style center that plays in the low post on offence, and that defends the rim and painted lane area of the court on defense. Schortsanitis was measured at the 2003 NBA pre-draft camp at a height of 6 ft 8 34 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.[23][24]

His official playing weight is listed as 345 pounds (156 kg).[25]

Career statistics[edit]

Legend
  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
 Bold  Career high

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, and regional competition if applicable.

Denotes season in which Schortsanitis' team won the EuroLeague

Domestic leagues[edit]

Season Team League GP MPG FG% 3P% FT% RPG APG SPG BPG PPG
2000–01 Greece Iraklis GBL 2 4.0 1.000 -- .333 .5 .0 .0 .0 2.5
2001–02 11 6.7 .750 -- .438 1.4 .4 .1 .2 2.8
2002–03 26 21.5 .604 -- .510 6.2 .9 .7 .3 11.5
2003–04 Italy Cantù LBA 33 16.1 .620 .000 .421 3.6 .2 .8 .3 6.4
2004–05 Greece Aris GBL 21 11.7 .712 -- .483 2.9 .4 .4 .4 5.8
2005–06 Greece Olympiacos 26 16.7 .664 1.000 .661 3.8 .6 .9 .7 9.3
2006–07 15 12.2 .568 -- .585 2.7 .7 .4 .2 8.1
2007–08 3 13.3 .750 -- .385 3.3 1.0 .7 .0 7.7
2008–09 21 8.5 .593 -- .479 1.4 .5 .2 .0 4.4
2009–10 31 13.9 .686 -- .523 3.4 .7 .7 .5 9.0
2010–11 Israel Maccabi IPL 30 17.8 .707 -- .559 4.9 .9 .6 .7 11.8
2011–12 ABA 24 16.5 .604 -- .629 4.2 1.1 .5 .5 9.8
IPL 10 18.3 .608 .630 .796 4.3 1.0 .4 .7 9.1
2012–13 Greece Panathinaikos GBL 29 12.1 .653 -- .571 2.3 .8 .3 .1 8.1
2013–14 Israel Maccabi IPL 23 14.4 .701 -- .574 3.2 1.5 .8 .3 8.9
2014–15 23 12.8 .620 .000 .563 2.6 .9 .4 .3 7.8
2015–16 Greece PAOK GBL 13 22.5 .537 .000 .670 3.7 2.7 .5 .3 11.23

EuroLeague[edit]

Year Team GP GS MPG FG% 3P% FT% RPG APG SPG BPG PPG PIR
2005–06 Greece Olympiacos 22 1 19.1 .618 .000 .632 4.9 .5 1.2 .6 10.7 12.0
2006–07 Greece Olympiacos 17 1 11.0 .655 .000 .507 1.8 .7 .4 .4 6.6 5.4
2008–09 Greece Olympiacos 13 1 8.3 .568 .000 .625 1.8 .3 .2 .1 4.4 2.8
2009–10 Greece Olympiacos 19 18 13.3 .614 .000 .486 2.5 .6 .5 .2 7.2 6.6
2010–11 Israel Maccabi 22 20 19.2 .585 .000 .625 4.1 1.0 .8 .6 12.0 13.0
2011–12 Israel Maccabi 21 14 16.0 .595 .000 .625 3.0 1.0 .6 .4 8.7 8.6
2012–13 Greece Panathinaikos 26 9 12.1 .576 .000 .604 2.3 .9 .3 .1 7.8 6.4
2013–14 Israel Maccabi 29 20 14.2 .613 .000 .577 2.6 1.1 .8 .3 9.6 8.3
2014–15 Israel Maccabi 26 20 14.7 .528 .000 .549 2.3 1.0 .3 .4 6.7 5.9
2015–16 Serbia Crvena zvezda 2 1 15.2 .500 .000 .500 .5 .0 .0 .5 4.5 -1.5
Career 197 105 14.5 .593 .000 .583 2.9 .8 .6 .4 8.4 7.9

Awards and accomplishments[edit]

Pro career[edit]

Greek junior national team[edit]

Greek senior national team[edit]

References[edit]

  1. ^ Sofoklis Schortsanitis Position: Center ▪ Shoots: Right 6-10, 345lb (208cm, 156kg).
  2. ^ "Prospect Profile: Sofoklis Schortsanitis". NBA.com. Retrieved 2 August 2015. 
  3. ^ Sofoklis Schortsanitis (Baby Shaq, Big Sofo).
  4. ^ ALEXANDROS SCHORTSANITIS basketball profile.
  5. ^ "The Long Journey Of Sofoklis Schortsanitis". losangeles.sbnation.com. 12 July 2010. Retrieved 2 August 2015. 
  6. ^ "Maccabi Tel Aviv announced Sofoklis Schortsanitis". Sportando.net. Retrieved 30 September 2011. 
  7. ^ "MVP Diamantidis heads 2010-11 All-Euroleague First Team". Euroleague.net. 7 May 2011. Retrieved 2 August 2015. 
  8. ^ "Panathinaikos lands Schortsanitis". Euroleague.net. 4 July 2012. Retrieved 2 August 2015. 
  9. ^ Article on sport24.gr about Schortsanitis' transfer.
  10. ^ "Panathinaikos waive Sofoklis Schortsanitis". Sportando.com. 5 July 2013. Retrieved 2 August 2015. 
  11. ^ "Sofoklis Schortsanitis Returns to Maccabi". maccabi.co.il. 10 July 2013. Retrieved 2 August 2015. 
  12. ^ "Skorcanitis menja Bobana Marjanovića". kkcrvenazvezda.rs (in Serbian). 2 August 2015. Retrieved 2 August 2015. 
  13. ^ "Crvena Zvezda signs former-Euroleague champ Schortsanitis". Euroleague.net. 2 August 2015. Retrieved 2 August 2015. 
  14. ^ "Friendly breakup – Crvena zvezda parted ways with Schortsanitis". aba-liga.com. 28 October 2015. Retrieved 28 October 2015. 
  15. ^ "PAOK adds size with Euroleague champ Schortsanitis". Eurocupbasketball.com. 2 November 2015. Retrieved 2 November 2015. 
  16. ^ SCHORTSANITIS, SOFOKLIS EuroCup 2015-16 STATISTICS.
  17. ^ "Sofoklis Schortsanitis joins Trikalla". eurobasket.com. 18 October 2017. Retrieved 19 October 2017. 
  18. ^ "'Big Sofo' is back: Schortsanitis again on the court after almost two years". Sportando.com. January 6, 2018. Retrieved January 6, 2018. 
  19. ^ "Trikala Aries 76 - 86 Rethymno Cretan Kings". baskethotel.com. January 6, 2018. Retrieved January 6, 2018. 
  20. ^ "– ΝΒΑ καλεί Σχορτσιανίτη" (in Greek). Sport24.gr. 5 September 2011. Retrieved 30 September 2011. 
  21. ^ CLIPPERS ACQUIRE GUARD WILLIE GREEN FROM ATLANTA.
  22. ^ Thunder Acquires Schortsanitis and Trade Exception.
  23. ^ "Official NBA Draft Measurements". Ibiblio.org. Retrieved 30 September 2011. 
  24. ^ "Greek Prospects – ESPN.com Chad Ford 6'10". Interbasket.net. Retrieved 30 September 2011. 
  25. ^ Sofoklis Schortsanitis Position: Center ▪ Shoots: Right 6-10, 345lb (208cm, 156kg).

External links[edit]