Nick Galis. A European basketball legend
Nick Galis (born July 23, 1957 in New Jersey) is a retired Greek basketball player, a member of the FIBA Hall of Fame and regarded as one of Europe’s all-time greats in the sport. With his unbelievable performances in court and his rare professionalism, Galis grown into a living legend in Greece and is considered by many Greeks the biggest athlete the country has ever known.
His return to the country helped Greek basketball reach heights never imagined before, leading the national team to the Eurobasket 1st place in 1987 with 37.0 ppg (MVP, 40 points in the final against the Soviet Union, 103-101) and 2nd place in 1989 , averaging 35.6 points. Galis participated in one World Championship in 1986, where he again led all players in scoring with 33 ppg, and had a 53-point outburst against Panama. Aside from the 1987 final against the Soviet Union, Galis is also remembered for a stunning effort against the same team in the 1989 Eurobasket semi-finals, when he scored 45 out of his team’s 81 points in a dramatic, last-gasp 81-80 victory.
Since his retirement (September 29, 1995) he is the owner of a summer basketball camp in Halkidiki, Greece, a business listed at the Athens Stock Exchange.
As a token of appreciation for his contribution to Greek sport, Galis was chosen to be the first torchbearer in the final round of the Olympic Flame for the Athens 2004 Olympics: he entered the stadium at the conclusion of the Opening Ceremony and set off the procession of the Flame to the altar.
Nick was one of the last European basketball legends. After the middle ’90s the European basketball had a lot of great players, but with is a lack of legends.
At the following video you can clearly see why Nick Galis is a legend, admiring his unique style and scoring abilities.
His infamous move at the 1987 Eurobasket final against USSR, changing 3 times his body position in the air.
Against Tracer Milan he scored 50 points having 21/28 fg. After the game he awarded by the Italian sports newspaper “Gazzeta Dello Sport” as Europes best basketball player for 1987.
Against Barcelona he scored 45 points leading his team Aris of Thessaloniki in a victory. This victory was a miracle. His supernatural buzzer beater from center court was also a miracle!
The fact that Nick Galis was great at passing, was overshadowed by his endless scoring, even by the times he played the game. Today, almost 15 years later, nobody remembers Nick’s amazing assists, which is rather unfair for him.
Don’t say I’m calling Nick Galis a legend because I’m Greek (it counts anyway for my point view) but also Spanish agree with me at this video called “Nostalgia por Galis”.