Profile Nikos Galis is a Greek sporting legend and one of the best European players ever to grace a basketball court.
Nikos Galis was born in New Jersey, United States, the youngest of four children in a poor immigrant family originally from the Greek island of Rhodes. Young Nikos wanted to become a skilful boxer just like his father, but his frequent returns home from practice with his face covered in blood had his mother persuade him to take up a sport less physical. Basketball it became and a tremendous talent was uncovered. Galis attended Seton Hall University and became known as one of the better collegiate players of the nation. He was selected 68th overall by the Boston Celtics in the 1979 NBA Draft. However, Galis chose to forego a chance to play alongside the great Larry Bird and decided to return to the country of his forefathers.
In Greece, he signed with Aris Thessaloniki and his arrival provided a huge boost for his team and Greek basketball in general. He quickly emerged as the star of the national team and excelled at scoring, passing and playmaking. His finest hour was the 1987 European Championship played in front of a home crowd in Athens. Galis averaged 37.0 points a game and poured in 40 points in a 103-101 overtime victory against the Soviet Union, making him an instant national hero. Galis was voted Most Valuable Player of the tournament. Two years later, he led the Greek team to second place at Eurobasket averaging 35 points a game. During his career, Galis recorded the astronomical figures of 30.4 points a game. He is a European Basketball Hall Of Fame inductee.