Paul Tsapatolis is a young player to be reckoned with. With a career advancing at a steady pace, he continues to be a part of the teams selected to represent Australia on the youth level. His most recent accomplishment was a call-up for the Oceania games that will take place between 19-24 August.
Speaking to Neos Kosmos, the Keilor Thunder player can’t help but reveal his optimism regarding the upcoming tournament.
“Traditionally, all Australian teams that participate in the competition have done great,” he said. “It’s usually between us and New Zealand. So, without wanting to sound overconfident, I fell like our chances are pretty good and if we win it we’ll get to go to the Asian Championships,” Tsapatolis said.
At the same time, it appears his accomplishments have not gone unnoticed from the Greek clubs and while the initial proposal from Olympiacos didn’t move forward due to an injury, it seems the time is rapidly approaching for him to take the next step in his career.
“AEK and PAOK have recently expressed an interest to sign me,” he said.
“They both told my agent they would like me to acquire my Greek passport as soon as possible.”
Young Paul would like nothing more than to be able to play in Greece, as he has a lot of family in the country and they would all be happy to go to the games and support him.
As Paul goes on to confess, even though the NBA is a dream for all athletes, he feels that a move to Europe would be the correct decision in order to improve his style of play at this point in time.
“It’s more of a team sport and less solitary (there), plus I feel fans in Europe are more passionate about it,” he said. “Fans in the NBA are just spectators, they don’t participate in the game like the Europeans do. I’ll understand the game better if I play in Europe.”
In closing, the enthusiastic power forward doesn’t neglect to mention his idol, Giannis Antetokounmpo.
“If there’s someone I admire, it would be him. Just because of where he came from,” he said.
“He literally had nothing. He had trouble even getting his family to watch him on his first season at the NBA cause they couldn’t get visas. Whoever saw his acceptance speech for the MVP award realises how passionate he is about his culture, his family and his determination to work hard. Even know he’s created his own sports centre in Greece. It’s incredible, what he’s done”.
The Greek Freak may have already put himself in the record books, but Paul has the future ahead with dreams of success and the opportunity to write his own page in the history of Greek-Australian basketball. It’s all up to him.