If you're looking for something, and you can't find it no matter how much you turned your place upside down, you have three options.
There is perhaps no bigger name in the history of European basketball than Drazen Petrovic. This “Basketball Mozart” was a boy genius who put the Croatian city of Sibenik on the map. He would go on to dominate basketball in his country, win honours with Spanish giants Real Madrid and make the leap to the NBA.
“He was just a bag of nerves,” former Olympia Milano and Virtus Bolgona coach Dan Peterson said of Alexander Nikolic (right in picture), the “Father of Yugoslav Basketball.”
Lea Hakala remembers the first time she played against basketball great Uljana Semjonova. It was 1981, shortly after the European Championships, and the Soviet Union had once again won its way to a European Championship gold medal — its eighth since Semjonova joined the national team in 1968.
Sergei Belov’s average day is far from average.
“It’s basketball,” he said with a slight laugh.
Since the birth of the European Championships in 1935 and the first European club competition in 1958, literally thousands of players have stepped up to play at the top level. Yet few have had the impact on the record books as that of former Greek superstar, Nick Galis.
Compiling a list of the "most influential Americans" ever to play in Europe is no small task, as opinions vary from country to country, as each nation thinks that its first truly important American was the most influential ever to play on the Continent.
Pier Luigi Marzorati played his first tournament with the Italian national team in 1973 in Spain. Wrapped up in the excitement of the experience, the rookie was thrilled to have a Spanish journalist call his hotel room for an interview.