View Full Version : Kosta Koufos Says "No" to Greece

06-30-2008, 03:29 PM
FIBA (http://www.fiba.com/pages/eng/fc/news/lateNews/p/newsid/26268/arti.html)

SALT LAKE CITY (FIBA Olympic Qualifying Tournament) - If all of Athens had hoped to see seven-footer Kostas Koufos with their own eyes, they’ll have to wait a while following the American-born player’s decision to spend this summer with the Utah Jazz instead of playing at the FIBA Olympic Qualifying Tournament.

Panagiotis Yannakis had included the MVP of last year’s U18 European Championship in Madrid in his squad but Koufos, selected 23rd by the Jazz last week in the draft, will remain in the United States to prepare for his rookie season.

"For me, the priority's NBA," Koufos said in the Salt Lake Tribune.

"Always will be. Whatever the staff needs me to do to excel on the NBA level, I'm willing to do."

Had Koufos joined Yannakis’ preliminary squad and made the team, he would have played in front of sold-out arenas in Athens where the Greeks will take on Brazil and Lebanon in Group A.

Three places are up for grabs for the Beijing Games.

06-30-2008, 03:41 PM
FIBAEurope (http://www.fibaeurope.com/coid_u9Fosat7Jck15i8oSpoAv2.container_frontpage.ar ticleMode_on.html)

American-born Kostas Koufos raised eyebrows in Greece last year by leading the country to a silver medal at the U18 European Championship in Madrid.

His budding international career will have to wait, however, after the youngster's decision to pass on the national team this summer and instead focus on his NBA career with the Utah Jazz - the team that selected him 23rd in the first round of last week's draft.

Koufos, who turned professional after his freshman year at Ohio State, was included in Panagiotis Yannakis' preliminary squad for the FIBA Olympic Qualifying Tournament but has revealed he will spend his summer with the Jazz getting ready for his rookie season.

06-30-2008, 05:17 PM
Wow, I'm actually surprised. Does he plan to represent Greece in the future?

07-01-2008, 12:48 AM
someone asked me thru AIM whether this was his own choice or is Utah not letting him go. This article from EuroBasket.com indicates that it was joint decision between the Jazz and Koufos, but mainly by the Utah team.

The Salt Lake City team is following the same tactic as with all its European members and will not give the permission to the Greek International center to participate in the Pre-Olympic tournament which will take place in Athens. According to the Greek site cotra.gr, the international Greek-American center stated 'Ill do my best to succeed in NBA. My top priority, right now, is to become the best player, which means that Ill do what Utah wants me to. Playing with the Hellenic National team is still my dream, but for the moment, my efforts to prove myself to Utah are more important for me. Its clear enough that pragmatism prevailed over the national team.

According to the newspaper 'Salt lake tribune', Utah Jazz included Kostas Koufos (213-F/C-89)s in the Utah Jazz roster for the Rocky Mountain Revue which means that between 18th-25th July the Greek-American center will be playing at the Redwood Campus and not at OAKA

Wow, I'm actually surprised. Does he plan to represent Greece in the future?
so to answer your question, unless Greece automatically makes it to the next olympics, he probably wont play in pre-Olympic. however, I dont know if this eliminates the chances of seeing him in FIBA's EuroBasket tourney

07-01-2008, 12:06 PM
Kosta has said repeatedly that playing in Greece's national team was his childhood dream. I can understand him wanting to work on his game and status in Utah right now but there is no doubt in my mind that he will play for our national team in future tournaments.