VILNIUS, (Eurobasket) – Throughout this tournament, Greek Head Coach Ilias Zouros has continually reiterated that his team is one for the future. And perhaps no one player epitomizes that better than Nick Calathes.
At just 22 years of age, Eurobasket this year is already Calathes’ third major FIBA tournament with the Greece senior team and as starting point guard in Lithuania, the American born Calathes is quickly developing himself as a future leader of the team.
To date Calathes has been posting some impressive numbers in Lithuania, picking up 9.4 points and a shade under four assists in an average playing time of 24.2 minutes in his five group play games.
He would not feature as much his side’s Group F victory over Slovenia but would still manage to pick up seven points, shooting three-from-four from the floor; showing suggestions of a player who knows when to pick his shot.
His talent has not gone unnoticed, having already been drafted to the Dallas Mavericks, as well as having two seasons of Euroleague basketball under his belt playing for Greek powerhouse Panathinaikos.
Rumors had been abound that had it not been for the lockout, the Mavericks wanted to see Calathes play in the NBA summer league this year with the aim of bringing him into their team in the near future but for Calathes there was never any doubt about where he wanted to be spending his summer.
“I was always going to come here [to Lithuania] no matter what. I wanted to come here and try and qualify for the Olympics and that is definitely a dream of mine so I was always coming here this summer to play for the national team.”
Despite growing up and being educated in the United States, it is the blue and white of Greece that Calathes wants to be wearing should he realize his dream.
“Growing up my grandfather was always talking about Greece and I always wanted to and represent Greece. I am here now and it has been a great last few years.”
Calathes believes that should Greece continue to go from strength to strength in the manner that they have following their loss to F.Y.R. of Macedonia, that dream may just come true next summer in London.
Discussing the F.R.Y. of Macedonia match, Calathes told fiba.com that, “we didn’t play well in that game but since then we have come together and chemistry is good. Right now if we win our next two games we should be first in the group. We just need to keep getting better as a team each and every game. That’s the main thing.”
Greece is currently positioned second in the group on five points. In their two remaining second round games they face Russia on Saturday and Georgia on Monday.