FIBA BASKETBALL WORLD CUP
|Giannis Antetokounmpo will miss playing for the U20 Greek team but will be back later in the summer attempting to get a spot on the Greek national team roster |
Young star Giannis Antetokounmpo will not after all assist hosts Greece in their medal quest at the U20 European Championship, which gets under way on 8 July on Crete.
The versatile Milwaukee Bucks guard/forward, who was voted on the 2013/14 All-Rookie Second Team at the end of his rookie season in the NBA, was not included in Greece's preliminary squad that begins preparations for the tournament on Monday.
Antetokounmpo will instead participate with the Bucks in the NBA Summer League, which coincides with the U20 European Championship in July.
The promising youngster however is expected to return to Greece in August and join the training camp of the senior national team, with a view to challenge for a spot on the 12-man squad that will travel to the FIBA Basketball World Cup, in Spain.
Kostas Missas, the head coach of the U20 Greek national team, had met with Antetokounmpo in the USA during the club season and stated that Greece were hoping he would, ideally, be available in the summer for both the U20 and the senior national team.
Both the coach and the federation had pointed out however that the NBA rookie would have their full support in case he had to follow a different summer schedule with the Bucks.
Antetokounmpo, who does not turn 20 until December, averaged 6.8 points, 4.4 rebounds and 1.9 assists in 24.6 minutes of playing time per game in his maiden season across the Atlantic and was the only Europen to be included in this year's NBA rookie awards.
He made his debut with the Greek national team in last summer's U20 European Championship in Estonia, where the Hellenic team finished in fifth place.
Yannis Papapetrou and his team-mate on Olympiacos Dimitrios Agravanis, together with Aris Thessaloniki guard Eleftherios Bochoridis, headine the U20 Greek preliminary squad.
The list of coach Missas also includes Georgios Diamantakos, Konstantinos Gontikas, Michail Kamperidis, Ioannis Karamalegkos, Ioannis Kouzeloglou, Michail Liapis, Kyprianos Maragkos, Alexandros Mitsialos, Stylianos Poulianitis, Dimitrios Siologkas, Diamantis Slaftsakis, Alexandros Spyridonidis, Anastasios Spyropoulos, Andreas Hsistodoulou.
Greece were drawn in first round Group A of the tournament on Crete, together with Lithuania, Great Britain and last year's silver medallists Latvia.