Papagiannis discusses recent success and the importance of mentorship from his teammates
The name may not sound familiar to some yet, but this 7-foot-1 big man from Greece has high hopes for himself and the Sacramento Kings as well.
In the recent draft, Georgios Papagiannis was selected with the 13th pick in the first round and didn’t play for most of the season, but after the DeMarcus Cousins trade was made, it opened up an opportunity and now some fans are beginning to see the qualities Vlade Divac saw in him.
Originally from Amarousio, Greece, Papagiannis is finally getting his opportunity to showcase how great he can be for the Kings. Papagiannis has played in six games for the Kings this season and it seems like his minutes will only go up from here on out.
Most recently, in a 110-94 loss against the Oklahoma City Thunder, Papagiannis scored 14 points on 6-of-10 shooting from the field and grabbed 11 rebounds. Not only was that a career-high for Papagiannis, it gave him confidence as well.
“Whenever I’m in the game, I try to get rebounds for us,” Papagiannis told Cowbell Kingdom. “It doesn’t matter if I score the ball or not.”
Although Papagiannis loves to make a living around the basket, he can hit that mid range jump shot just as well, and the highlight above showcased it. His stroke is undeniably smooth and at 19-years-old, he will only get better and stronger.
In this highlight, we can see that he has a knack for getting in good position to get a basket and also shows the toughness a big man needs when banging in the paint.
With his impressive height and wingspan, Papagiannis will more than likely affect any rebounding possibility throughout a game.
When you are a player not from the United States, it’s a tougher transition into the NBA, but when you have quality human beings around you, it makes it that much easier. Papagiannis lucked out because he has a solid group of veterans that are willing to show him the ropes in this league. He also acknowledges that having a great relationship with his teammates is key for his success.
“All of them help me out everyday,” Papagiannis said. “I really want to thank them all for that.”
By having these great relationships, chemistry on the court should begin to show a little more as the season comes to an end.
Apart from the rest of his teammates, Kosta Koufos has had the biggest impact on him due to the fact that he is also Greek.
“It’s easy for us to communicate better because we speak the same language,” Papagiannis said.
On the court, Koufos wants Papagiannis to be aware that playing hard every possession should be taken seriously.
“He knows what the opponent is going to do,” Papagiannis said. “He teaches how to set good screens and roll, and go and get the ball.”
The “Greek Freak” Giannis Antetokounmpo had an impressive outing against the Kings last night and finished with 32 points, 13 rebounds and six assists. He had some encouraging things to say about Papagiannis.
“He’s a big body, he’s going to learn the game and I can’t wait to play with him during the summer,” Antetokounmpo said about his fellow Greek teammate.
One thing is certain—the Greek connection in Sacramento is brewing and Kings fans are beginning to see the bright future this team has with its young core of players.
The interview with Papagiannis was conducted by Leo Beas, the Managing Editor of Cowbell Kingdom.
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