Posted: 12:17 p.m. Sunday, July 28, 2013
By Jeffrey Haley
After a strong showing with the Greek national team at the European U20 championships this summer, rumors began circulating yesterday that Ioannis Papapetrou was being pursued by two-time defending Euroleague champion Olympaicos B.C.
This morning, news broke that Olympiacos has offered a substantial sum of money to the Texas forward.
According gazzetta.gr Olympiakos offered to Papapetrou a 5-year contract with a yearly wage of 200.000€ #basketball— kostas xydias (@xydias) July 28, 2013
Olympaicos is the reigning Euroleague champion, the top league in Europe. The status of this team in European basketball is reflected in the size of the contract, which is estimated to be worth around one million Euros over its five year duration.
For his part, Papapetrou has given little indication that he will be accepting the offer. Yesterday, this tweet quoting Papapetrou circulated.
Additionally, Papapetrou reinforced this message during an interview with Greek media. While the interview is in Greek, I was told that the key quotation from Papapetrou roughly translates to:
I have already booked my ticket and my first priority is to get back to Texas. My dream is to be drafted some day, and I consider Texas the best way to make my dream true. I really want to graduate (Sports Marketing), but you can never know if I will stay for the whole 4 years in college. I am aware of Olympiakos' interest, actually they have already contacted to my family-not to me personally due to college restrictions, but I always put Texas first on the list.
Kostas Psimoulis (@Gus_bball), who was kind enough to provide that translation for me, also indicated that over the course of the interview Papapetrou, "said a lot of times that Texas is his first priority."
Kostas also stated that, "Papapetrou confirmed yesterday that Olympiakos reached out to his father expressing a real interest, but he also said that his goal is to stay in college."
Of course, Kostas also said this about the offer from Olympiacos: "The latest rumors insist that Olympiakos may offer him a 5-year deal to lure him in Greece; I imagine that it'd be hard for him to deny such a deal. We are talking about a great team."
Over the last few days over Twitter, Papapetrou has been corresponding with his teammates about when he plans to return to the States. On July 24, in response to a question from Cameron Ridley, Papapetrou indicated that he would return in August.
@cam_ctmd55 in August bro— Ioannis Papapetrou (@pap_33) July 24, 2013