By Johnny Askounis/ firstname.lastname@example.org
Olympiacos presented the jersey retirement ceremony celebrating the career of Vassilis Spanoulis on Sunday evening.
After thanking every single person involved in his career, Spanoulis was joined by his family on the court and became emotional as the jersey no. 7 was set on the rafters.
“I will never forget this night. This is the biggest night of my career, besides the championships,” he addressed the fans closing the ceremony.
A career packed with multiple team and individual accolades was the theme in the Peace and Friendship Stadium. Sasha Vezenkov, Dejan Bodiroga, Nikos Zisis, Nick Calathes, Sofoklis Schortsanitis, Pero Antic, Dimitris Itoudis, and Giannis Sfairopoulos attended. Former teammates and opponents over the years, even fans of his career and achievements such as Nikola Jokic shared messages for Spanoulis via video, including Luka Doncic.
“Many believe that Spanoulis changed the path of Olympiacos, but I did not. The presidents initiated the process, giving the opportunity to display my talents. They trusted me,” explained Spanoulis in the press conference referring to presidents Panagiotis and Giorgos Angelopoulos.
“An organization retiring your jersey does not feel like one single game, but encloses a long period of 11 years,” he added, “A lot went through my mind these days. I have the utmost respect for Olympiacos. It is a big honor and a blessing for this event based on my jersey.”
Spanoulis, 41, spent the majority of his playing days with the Reds. From joining the storied club in 2010 up to his decision to retire in 2021. He is currently the head coach of Peristeri bwin.
The all-time leading scorer of the Turkish Airlines EuroLeague is a three-time champion of Europe’s premier club continental competition, including back-to-back titles with Olympiacos in 2012 and 2013. His contributions, leadership, buzzer-beaters, and more added to multiple titles in Greece as well.
Olympiacos intends to retire the jersey of Giorgos Printezis
The jersey no. 7 firmly placed on the rafters of SEF will be the first out of two tributes to players with extensive presence in the modern era of Olympiacos. Up next is retiring the jersey of Giorgos Printezis as well.
Printezis, 38, succeeded Spanoulis as the team captain in the final part of his long stay with the team, before himself calling it a day. He was a member of the Reds from 2001 to 2009 and from 2011 to the conclusion of his playing days in 2022.