BASKETBALL IN EUROPE
|Vassilis Spanoulis is set to be honoured by the Vatican|
Greek international Vassilis Spanoulis is to be presented with the 2013 Giuseppe Sciacca International Award for Sport at a ceremony in Vatican City.
"[Spanoulis] is a player of exceptional talent, high sporting achievements and moral value who sets an example to young people as a person and an athlete," the secretary of the awards' committee said.
"The committee voted for him among tens of top athletes from a variety of sports around the world."
The Giuseppe Sciacca awards, who also honour candidates in the fields of music, cinema, theatre and legal studies, among others, were set up by the cultural association Uomo e Societá (Man and Society) of the Catholic Church in memory of the Rome-born architect of the same name.
Sciacca lost his life prematurely in 1986, at the age of 26, in a parachute accident above Rome during religious festivities.
The Absolute Award this year will be presented to Vitalii Nechaiev, a nine-year-old geniuswho has overcome a disability to become a professor at Bohdan Khmelnytskyy University of Cherkasy in Ukraine.
"This award is a great honour and joy for me personally, my team and my country," Spanoulis said.
"It has come as a great surprise."
Spanoulis, led Olympiacos Piraeus to back-to-back Turkish Airlines Euroleague titles in 2012 and 2013 and was named Final Four MVP on both occasions.
With the Greek national team, he conquered EuroBasket gold in 2005 and bronze at EuroBasket 2009, as well as the silver medal in the 2006 World Championship.
The award ceremony will take place on Saturday 16 November with the presence of Cardinals Dario Castrillon Hoyos and Peter Turkson, as well as other top dignitaries from the Vatican.