Eurobasket: Coach Kostas Keramidas , firstly let me congratulate you for your transfer in the Swedish league and Solna Vikings after a great season with Asteras Exarheion. How do you feel about this new market for you? Kostas Keramidas : Thanks for the wishes, I want to say that I have stress, productive stress and of course anxiety for the new to come.. I know that the conditions of the team over there are very good and as I travel over there and stayed for nearly a week with Aris Likogiannis who will be the Head Coach of the mens team of Solna Vikings, I realized that the degree of professionalism is really very good, I trained the girls of Solna Vikings 2-3 times and I also know that they are eager to play and succeed.
Eurobasket: Coach, this is your first season abroad, what do you think that you will find over there? Kostas Keramidas :Listen as I told you I have been with Likogiannis for a week and trained the girls, I know that the basketball life in Sweden and especially in my team, Solna Vikings is very focused to the sport is a 100% professional and Solna Vikings can only be compared to the best teams in the Greek league. The team has quality and the level of the Swedish girls whom I trained while I was in Solna Vikings is a bit better than the level of the Greek girls in Greece.
Eurobasket:Who will be your head coach in Solna Vikings? Kostas Keramidas :I told to the management of the team the specification of what I consider good assistant and I expect that they will find for me a nice local Coach to assist me in the team. I do not know yet who will be my assistant Coach.
Eurobasket:Have you asked any of your colleagues, i.e Coach Flevarakis about the basketball culture of the country? And the possible peculiarities you may find in front of you? Kostas Keramidas :No, I havent talked to Kostas yet but Im planning to do it as he have worked many years in the Swedish league and he is very well known in Sweden being the Head Coach of the National team of Sweden. I have been invited while I was with Likogiannis by the Greek community of Solna Vikings which is about 2.000 people, and I have realized that the people in Solna Vikings are much focused and consider very high the basketball. They know a lot of things for the Swedish basketball and of the Greek basketball and they are really very into it. By the way as I was the Head Coach of the Greek U21 team I had the chance to visit and play many times against the Swedish NT so I kind of know some basics and somehow the Basketball culture of the country, especially in the womens competition.
Eurobasket:So, do you think that there are big differences between the Greek and the Swedish league? Kostas Keramidas :Ten years ago the Greek womens basketball league was much better and much stronger that the Swedish league, the last years though the Swedish league became more competitive, with many great foreign coaches and very good bosman and American players. There are at least four teams (Solna Vikings included) that they are equivalent with the Greek all mighty team of Athinaikos. So, yes the level is getting better and better in Sweden Lets not forget the great unexpected victory of the Swedish NT against the Spanish one which is a kind of a sign for the level of the local basketball.
Eurobasket:What is your mission as a coach of Solna Vikings and what are really your expectations? Kostas Keramidas :is too early to talk about targets but a feasible one is to play good basketball, to be able to enter into the play-offs and then and on with solid basketball and god transfer to reach as far as we can. I know that Telge is a great team with great foreigners and local players and that they play together as a team for some years now so its consider untouchable but we will do our best..
Eurobasket: Thank you Coach
Kostas Keramidas : Thank you too who gave me the chance to express my thoughts through your site..
Eurobasket:Are you going to get some Greek girls in Sweden with you? Players that you know that they can play in the specific league Kostas Keramidas :Listen, in Sweden there is no restriction of Bosman players so yes I can bring Greek girls in the team but they need to be professionals and I mean they need to be dedicated on what they will do and be 100% focused, otherwise I will not do that.. You know the League in Sweden is professional so I cant bring over a semi-pro athlete..
Eurobasket:Lets go to the Greek NT, what is your opinion for the team having in mind that there were many expectations in the team and right after three weeks the team is only at the tale of the table since they lost two consecutive games and the one which was really a big disappointment took place in Athens against the Italian NT? Whats going wrong? Our National team has three crucial players off the battle as Kaltsidou, Maltsi and Kostaki are players who are really very important not only for the Greek NT but for every other European team, they are all three great players but the Greek NT doesnt have them. Against Italy we had big stress due to the previous negative result against Latvia plus the fact that the Italians travels in Athens with no stress at all. Furthermore, the Italian team is rejuvenated as there are many new faces and new players. I strongly believe that nothing is lost yet. We can win all three remaining games and qualify in the next round, the key game will the second game against the Italians in their home court where we need to get the victory and tie our in between games..
Eurobasket:Would you liked to return to the Greek NT, either as a Coach or as a member of the NTs team? Kostas Keramidas :Yes!! Of course, it will be my honor as any other coachs honor to be called by his countrys NT.
Eurobasket:During the last year we can see a big wave of Greek head coaches leaving their country to go and work abroad. What do you think is the main reason? Kostas Keramidas :Listen, the main reason like 80% of the times the reason is totally financial and the remaining 20% is the lack of organization that the Greek teams have, or actually do not have, is the small things that make a Head Coach happy in his/her team organization wise. My decision though is a bit different as my mission was to work abroad since I will move in any case in a couple of years since my wife is a diplomat and soon will be transfer out of the country, so we will reallocate In any case as a family in the next few years or so..
What are your personal targets in the years to come.? Kostas Keramidas :Well, I strongly believe that my experience from the Swedish league will assist me to further develop my career moves in other European leagues. Basketball is my profession and I want to develop it as much as i can.
Eurobasket:Lets go to the chapter Asteras Exarheion. Tell me your opinion? Kostas Keramidas :With Asteras Exarheon and with the Mazarakis Family who owns the team I have very good relations. I can easily say that Im sentimentally attached to the team. I have worked many years in the team and I will never forget our European tour in the Top8 of Ronchetti Cup few years ago. The team is marvelous and the culture is so different than all the other teams I have worked. There is no stress in winning the basketball is a sport and everybody loves it as a sport far and away from hooliganism. The Asteras fans are the most focused fans I ever saw; they are following their team in all the edges of the country and abroad. Im so touched even today as they are calling me to persuade me to stay in the team, Asteras fans are honestly gentlemen with all the meaning of the word, they never fight with anybody and they are always warm and clapping for their opponents too , lose or win. Im so sad that I have to leave the team, but I wish them all the best and I want to say a very big thank you to Mazarakis family and the team for all they have given me and of course I tried my best to give them back.. Something else also that you need to know is the fact that most of the players in A1 either coming from Asteras or they have spent at least a season there and they never said a bad word for the team..
Eurobasket:Something to end this interview please tell me do you have a message to give to the Solna Vikings fans who reads this interview? Kostas Keramidas :Yes I want to assure them that I will give the 101% of my self to accomplish their wishes to see their team to the highest level. I wish them at the end to celebrate all together the trophy.
A1 Round 1 of Finals. Olympiacos inch closer to title - 1 day ago
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FINAL Olympiacos - Athinaikos 67-54 Olympiacos are now one step away from the title after they rallied past Athinaikos in the opener. Bosnian-American center Lynetta Kizer (193-90, college: Maryland) stepped up and scored 22 points and 8 rebounds for the winners and the former international forward Evanthia Maltsi (180-78, agency: ProDep Management) chipped in 22 points and 6 rebounds. Olympiacos' coach Eleni Kapogianni allowed to play the deep bench players saving starting five for nex... [read more]
Olympiacos are now one step away from the title after they rallied past Athinaikos in the opener. Bosnian-American center Lynetta Kizer (193-90, college: Maryland) stepped up and scored 22 points and 8 rebounds for the winners and the former international forward Evanthia Maltsi (180-78, agency: ProDep Management) chipped in 22 points and 6 rebounds. Olympiacos' coach Eleni Kapogianni allowed to play the deep bench players saving starting five for next games. At the losing side American guard Keani Albanez (178, college: Gonzaga) responded with 16 points and 7 rebounds and guard Anthoula Balta (174-87) scored 10 points, 5 rebounds and 6 assists. Top scorers: Olympiacos: E.Maltsi 22+6reb+2ast, L.Kizer 22+8reb+1ast, S.Kaltsidou 8+5reb+2ast, L.Johnson 6+10reb+1ast, N.Gotzi 4+2reb+6ast, E.Stamati 3+3reb+1ast Athinaikos: K.Albanez 16+7reb, K.Williams 10+10reb, A.Balta 10+5reb+6ast, V.Daskalopoulou 9+1reb+1ast, A.Kalogirou 5+1reb+3ast, T.Panteli 4+8reb
Panathinaikos stepped closer to the Bronze medals after they held off Dafni Agioy. Worth to mention a great performance of American center Shamela Hampton (191-87, college: UNLV) who helped to win the game recording a double-double by scoring 22 points and 10 rebounds. Naturalized American guard Niki Avery (168-86, college: E.Kentucky, agency: Interperformances) contributed with 16 points for the winners. Four Panathinaikos players scored in double figures. Canadian swingman Cassandra Brown (188-92, college: Portland) answered with a double-double by scoring 18 points and 10 rebounds and American center Shelby Cheslek (196-92, college: Gonzaga) added 22 points and 6 rebounds in the effort for Dafni Agioy. Top scorers: Panathinaikos: S.Hampton 22+10reb, N.Avery 16+3reb+3ast, C.Adams 12+2reb+4ast, R.Mouli 11+2reb+1ast, A.Slouka 5+2reb+1ast, I.Diella 4+6reb+4ast Dafni Agioy: S.Cheslek 22+6reb+1ast, C.Brown 18+10reb+2ast, E.Vlani 9+1reb+3ast, M.Manoli 2+3ast, Z.Giabani 2+6reb+1ast, M.Axiopoulou 1+1reb+5ast
A1 Round 1 of Semi-Finals. Olympiacos and Athinaikos to clash for title - 8 days ago
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Olympiacos - Dafni Agioy 102-50 Olympiacos prevailed against Dafni Agioy to sweep the semifinal series. Olympiacos made 21-of-24 charity shots (87.5 percent) during the game. They also forced 24 Dafni Agioy turnovers and outrebounded them 41-21 including a 14-3 advantage in offensive rebounds. Olympiacos players were unselfish on offense dishing 33 assists comparing to just 15 passes made by Dafni Agioy's players. The former international forward Evanthia Maltsi (180-78, agency: ProDep M... [read more]
Olympiacos prevailed against Dafni Agioy to sweep the semifinal series. Olympiacos made 21-of-24 charity shots (87.5 percent) during the game. They also forced 24 Dafni Agioy turnovers and outrebounded them 41-21 including a 14-3 advantage in offensive rebounds. Olympiacos players were unselfish on offense dishing 33 assists comparing to just 15 passes made by Dafni Agioy's players. The former international forward Evanthia Maltsi (180-78, agency: ProDep Management) stepped up with a double-double by scoring 22 points, 10 assists and 4 steals for the winners and the former international forward Styliani Kaltsidou (188-83, agency: ProDep Management) chipped in 20 points and 5 assists. Four Olympiacos players scored in double figures. At the losing side forward Marianna Axiopoulou (180-84) responded with 10 points and center Maria Tetene (192-90) scored 8 points and 5 rebounds. The winner was already known earlier in the game, so both coaches allowed to play the bench players saving starting five for next games. Top scorers: Olympiacos: E.Maltsi 22+4reb+10ast, L.Kizer 20+5reb, S.Kaltsidou 20+4reb+5ast, L.Johnson 16+9reb+1ast, E.Stamati 8+2reb+4ast, N.Gotzi 5+1reb+9ast Dafni Agioy: M.Axiopoulou 10+2reb+2ast, S.Cheslek 9+5reb, M.Tetene 8+5reb+1ast, M.Manoli 7+1ast, E.Vlani 6+1ast, C.Brown 4+4reb+3ast
Athinaikos held off Panathinaikos and advanced into Finals. Worth to mention a great performance of swingman Vassiliki Daskalopoulou (178-84) who helped to win the game recording 15 points and 8 rebounds. Guard Anthoula Balta (174-87) contributed with 15 points and 4 assists for the winners. Four Athinaikos players scored in double figures. American center Shamela Hampton (191-87, college: UNLV) answered with 28 points and 9 rebounds and the other American import guard Corin Adams (174-88, college: Morgan St., agency: Two Points) added 11 points and 4 assists in the effort for Panathinaikos. Top scorers: Athinaikos: A.Balta 15+3reb+4ast, V.Daskalopoulou 15+8reb+1ast, K.Albanez 12+7reb+1ast, K.Williams 10+11reb+1ast, T.Panteli 4+8reb, A.Kalogirou 4+1reb Panathinaikos: S.Hampton 28+9reb+2ast, C.Adams 11+4reb+4ast, R.Mouli 8+5reb+4ast, A.Slouka 2+6reb+2ast, N.Avery 2+4reb+2ast, C.Ezedja 0
Chinasa-Cynthia Ezedja claims Greek A1 weekly honour - 14 days ago
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Experienced Chinasa-Cynthia Ezedja (188-F/C) put on an amazing game in the last round for Panathinaikos and that's her to receive a Eurobasket.com Player of the Week award for round 22. The power forward had a double-double of 26 points and seventeen rebounds, while her team outclassed Terpsithea (#12, 1-21) with 76-point margin 106-30. Panathinaikos maintains the 3rd position in Greek A1. They would have been even better if they hadn't lost a few games earlier this season. Panathinaikos... [read more]
Experienced Chinasa-Cynthia Ezedja (188-F/C) put on an amazing game in the last round for Panathinaikos and that's her to receive a Eurobasket.com Player of the Week award for round 22. The power forward had a double-double of 26 points and seventeen rebounds, while her team outclassed Terpsithea (#12, 1-21) with 76-point margin 106-30. Panathinaikos maintains the 3rd position in Greek A1. They would have been even better if they hadn't lost a few games earlier this season. Panathinaikos will need more victories to improve their 14-8 record. It was one of impressive evenings for Ezedja as usually she does not deliver so high stats. Chinasa-Cynthia Ezedja averages this season 3.8ppg.
The second most remarkable performance in last round's games was 23-year old American power forward Khadijah Shumpert (188-F/C-93) of Panathlitikos. Shumpert impressed basketball fans with a double-double of 29 points and 18 rebounds. Of course she led Panathlitikos to another comfortable win 72-59 over the lower-ranked Kronos AD (#11, 3-19) being unquestionably team leader. Panathlitikos' 7th position in the standings has not changed. Her team lost some distance to top teams. But 12-10 record is not bad and everything may still change. Shumpert is a newcomer at Panathlitikos and it seems she did not have too much trouble to become one of team's leaders. She belongs to the best scorers in the league with 20.2ppg (#1). She also registered 9.7 boards per game.
The third best performed player last round was American Korinne Campbell (184-F-88) of PAOK (#8). Campbell scored 22 points and grabbed fifteen rebounds (!!!). She was a key player of PAOK, leading her team to a 59-55 win against slightly lower-ranked Panionios (#9, 7-15). PAOK needs these victories very badly if they think about getting closer to top teams. Their record at this point is 12 victories and 10 lost games. Campbell has a great season in Greece. After 22 games, she made it on the list of the league's leaders in points with 17.5ppg (4th best) and rebounds with 11.7rpg (3rd best).
Other top performing players last week: 4. Stephany Skrba (188-F-87) of Proteas - 22 points and 14 rebounds 5. Sheila Boykin (188-F) of Panathlitikos - 18 points, 15 rebounds and 5 assists 6. Michaela Stara (175-G-90) of Niki Lefkadas - 24 points and 2 rebounds 7. Roula Mouli (178-G-85) of Panathinaikos - 15 points, 5 rebounds and 4 assists 8. Evanthia Maltsi (180-F-78) of Olympiacos - 20 points, 3 rebounds and 4 assists 9. Olga Chatzinikolaou (181-F/G-81) of Olympiacos - 13 points, 8 rebounds and 5 assists 10. Aikaterini Spatharou (172-G-83) of Kronos AD - 25 points, 5 rebounds and 5 assists
The Player of the week is chosen based on efficiency calculation, but also including game result, importance of the game, if played recorded double-double/triple-double, etc. The efficiency formula is a combination of various formulas used by different basketball organizations/leagues. We got involved many basketball scouts and journalists to assure it's accuracy. The formula: 1.5*PTS + 3* (REB+AST+ST+BL-TO) - 2*BSAG - 4*PF + 3*PFRV + 4* (2FGPM+3FGPM) + 1.5*FTM - 3* (2FGPA-2FGPM) - 3* (3FGPA-3FGPM) - (FTA-FTM)
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