By Eurohoops team / firstname.lastname@example.org
The Greek national team has started preparing for the upcoming 2023 FIBA World Cup at OAKA Arena, but they are without three important players at the very beginning.
Star player Giannis Antetokounmpo, along with his brothers Kostas and Thanasis, were absent, with the latter expected to join the national team tomorrow.
“We have the absence of Giannis Antetokounmpo, at least from the first call, because he has had an operation which will take time. We’ll obviously be watching his recovery with the Bucks, where he belongs, to see how he does. Undoubtedly, his will is to help the National team, he has proven it in practice. Kostas Antetokounmpo also had an operation and we believe that in 10 days we will have a clearer picture. Thanasis Antetokounmpo is in free agency, he will be with us from tomorrow and we will see what his path will be,” Greek national team coach, Dimitris Itoudis, said.
The Milwaukee Bucks‘ NBA superstar had knee surgery after the end of the season, but he will do everything in his power to recover in time to help Greece.
Along with the Antetokounmpo brothers, these are the players Itoudis called for the first gathering before the World Cup: Kostas Papanikolaou, Giannoulis Larentzakis, Ioannis Papapetrou, Dimitris Agravanis, George Papagiannis, Michalis Lountzis, Dinos Mitoglou, Lefteris Bochorides, Panagiotis Kalaitzakis, Nikos Rogkavopoulos, Dimitris Moraitis, Nikos Chougkaz, George Tsalmpoyris, Vassilis Toliopoulos, Dimitris Flionis, Manos Chatzidakis, Lefteris Mantzoukas, Thomas Walkup, and Vangelis Zougris.
Greece’s preparation games commence in Ljubljana on 2nd August against Slovenia, followed by a match in Athens on 4th August with a ceremony honoring Greek legend Nick Galis. Before the World Cup, they will compete in Dubai on 18th and 19th August against Team USA and Germany.
During the World Cup, Greece has been placed in Group C, where they will face the USA, Jordan, and New Zealand, with the top two teams earning advancement to the next round.