By Eurohoops team/ email@example.com
The 2022 Basketball Champions League Final Four is approaching and some of the players who are expected to shine in Bilbao, Spain during the upcoming tournament (6/5 – 8/5) were in a for a treat when they saw former teammates and coaches sending them messages of love, support and wishes to return home with the trophy of the champion in their bags.
Hapoel Holon guard Adam Smith received a particularly pleasant surprise when he saw a former coach and three of his former teammates sending him their best wishes ahead of the Final Four.
“Win the Final Four,” Go get it,” were some of the messages that Smith received from Ionikos Nikaia coach Aggelos Tsikliras, plus players Muhaymin Mustafa and Giorgos Chatzikiriakos. Kolossos Rhodes veteran Vangelis Margaritis, who played with Smith in PAOK also wished good luck to the American player.
Smith was rather moved and got excited to hear from the guys he used to share a locker room with. “This video brings to my mind some beautiful memories,” he said. “Both in PAOK Thessaloniki and Ionikos Nikaias where I had a great time. Two great years during which I was blessed to play with amazing teammates. These are two stations that were crucial in me being here now with Hapoel.”
Smith, one of the stars of the 2021-22 Basketball Champions League, averaged 13.3 points over 12 games to lead Holon to the Final Four. The Israeli side Lenovo Tenerife for a spot in the championship game.
Apart from Smith, another Holon player heard from his old comrades in Greece. Hapoel’s high-flying forward Michale Kyser got his good luck wishes from his coach in Kymi Giannis Kastritis (now with Aris Thessaloniki) and Panathinaikos guard Lefteris Bochorides who was his teammate at Aris.
“Come back with the trophy,” Bochorides said. “Good luck Kye, all the best,” Kastritis told his former player.
This will be the second appearance for Holon in the Final Four, same as MHP Riesen Ludwigsburg. The German side had also made the tournament of Athens in 2018, finishing fourth and now aims to carry the illustrious silverware back to Ludwigsburg.
Riesen guard James Woodard appreciated the participation but he’ll be fully satisfied only with the trophy in his hands. “Being in the Final Four means a lot for me. The support we had from the rest of the German teams, and of course, the fans, since we represent Germany is stunning. It means a lot and gives us huge motivation. The only thing that remains is to win the whole thing.”
Terrell Petteway, who played with Woodard for Peristeri Athens, wants to see his former teammate and forever brother becoming champion Sunday (8/5). “James my brother congrats man. I wish you guys the best. Hopefully, you guys can bring home the championship man.”