Eurobasket: Coach Kostas Keramidas , firstly let me congratulate you for your transfer in the Swedish league and Solna Vikings after a great season with Asteras Exarheion. How do you feel about this new market for you? Kostas Keramidas : Thanks for the wishes, I want to say that I have stress, productive stress and of course anxiety for the new to come.. I know that the conditions of the team over there are very good and as I travel over there and stayed for nearly a week with Aris Likogiannis who will be the Head Coach of the mens team of Solna Vikings, I realized that the degree of professionalism is really very good, I trained the girls of Solna Vikings 2-3 times and I also know that they are eager to play and succeed.
Eurobasket: Coach, this is your first season abroad, what do you think that you will find over there? Kostas Keramidas :Listen as I told you I have been with Likogiannis for a week and trained the girls, I know that the basketball life in Sweden and especially in my team, Solna Vikings is very focused to the sport is a 100% professional and Solna Vikings can only be compared to the best teams in the Greek league. The team has quality and the level of the Swedish girls whom I trained while I was in Solna Vikings is a bit better than the level of the Greek girls in Greece.
Eurobasket:Who will be your head coach in Solna Vikings? Kostas Keramidas :I told to the management of the team the specification of what I consider good assistant and I expect that they will find for me a nice local Coach to assist me in the team. I do not know yet who will be my assistant Coach.
Eurobasket:Have you asked any of your colleagues, i.e Coach Flevarakis about the basketball culture of the country? And the possible peculiarities you may find in front of you? Kostas Keramidas :No, I havent talked to Kostas yet but Im planning to do it as he have worked many years in the Swedish league and he is very well known in Sweden being the Head Coach of the National team of Sweden. I have been invited while I was with Likogiannis by the Greek community of Solna Vikings which is about 2.000 people, and I have realized that the people in Solna Vikings are much focused and consider very high the basketball. They know a lot of things for the Swedish basketball and of the Greek basketball and they are really very into it. By the way as I was the Head Coach of the Greek U21 team I had the chance to visit and play many times against the Swedish NT so I kind of know some basics and somehow the Basketball culture of the country, especially in the womens competition.
Eurobasket:So, do you think that there are big differences between the Greek and the Swedish league? Kostas Keramidas :Ten years ago the Greek womens basketball league was much better and much stronger that the Swedish league, the last years though the Swedish league became more competitive, with many great foreign coaches and very good bosman and American players. There are at least four teams (Solna Vikings included) that they are equivalent with the Greek all mighty team of Athinaikos. So, yes the level is getting better and better in Sweden Lets not forget the great unexpected victory of the Swedish NT against the Spanish one which is a kind of a sign for the level of the local basketball.
Eurobasket:What is your mission as a coach of Solna Vikings and what are really your expectations? Kostas Keramidas :is too early to talk about targets but a feasible one is to play good basketball, to be able to enter into the play-offs and then and on with solid basketball and god transfer to reach as far as we can. I know that Telge is a great team with great foreigners and local players and that they play together as a team for some years now so its consider untouchable but we will do our best..
Eurobasket: Thank you Coach
Kostas Keramidas : Thank you too who gave me the chance to express my thoughts through your site..
Eurobasket:Are you going to get some Greek girls in Sweden with you? Players that you know that they can play in the specific league Kostas Keramidas :Listen, in Sweden there is no restriction of Bosman players so yes I can bring Greek girls in the team but they need to be professionals and I mean they need to be dedicated on what they will do and be 100% focused, otherwise I will not do that.. You know the League in Sweden is professional so I cant bring over a semi-pro athlete..
Eurobasket:Lets go to the Greek NT, what is your opinion for the team having in mind that there were many expectations in the team and right after three weeks the team is only at the tale of the table since they lost two consecutive games and the one which was really a big disappointment took place in Athens against the Italian NT? Whats going wrong? Our National team has three crucial players off the battle as Kaltsidou, Maltsi and Kostaki are players who are really very important not only for the Greek NT but for every other European team, they are all three great players but the Greek NT doesnt have them. Against Italy we had big stress due to the previous negative result against Latvia plus the fact that the Italians travels in Athens with no stress at all. Furthermore, the Italian team is rejuvenated as there are many new faces and new players. I strongly believe that nothing is lost yet. We can win all three remaining games and qualify in the next round, the key game will the second game against the Italians in their home court where we need to get the victory and tie our in between games..
Eurobasket:Would you liked to return to the Greek NT, either as a Coach or as a member of the NTs team? Kostas Keramidas :Yes!! Of course, it will be my honor as any other coachs honor to be called by his countrys NT.
Eurobasket:During the last year we can see a big wave of Greek head coaches leaving their country to go and work abroad. What do you think is the main reason? Kostas Keramidas :Listen, the main reason like 80% of the times the reason is totally financial and the remaining 20% is the lack of organization that the Greek teams have, or actually do not have, is the small things that make a Head Coach happy in his/her team organization wise. My decision though is a bit different as my mission was to work abroad since I will move in any case in a couple of years since my wife is a diplomat and soon will be transfer out of the country, so we will reallocate In any case as a family in the next few years or so..
What are your personal targets in the years to come.? Kostas Keramidas :Well, I strongly believe that my experience from the Swedish league will assist me to further develop my career moves in other European leagues. Basketball is my profession and I want to develop it as much as i can.
Eurobasket:Lets go to the chapter Asteras Exarheion. Tell me your opinion? Kostas Keramidas :With Asteras Exarheon and with the Mazarakis Family who owns the team I have very good relations. I can easily say that Im sentimentally attached to the team. I have worked many years in the team and I will never forget our European tour in the Top8 of Ronchetti Cup few years ago. The team is marvelous and the culture is so different than all the other teams I have worked. There is no stress in winning the basketball is a sport and everybody loves it as a sport far and away from hooliganism. The Asteras fans are the most focused fans I ever saw; they are following their team in all the edges of the country and abroad. Im so touched even today as they are calling me to persuade me to stay in the team, Asteras fans are honestly gentlemen with all the meaning of the word, they never fight with anybody and they are always warm and clapping for their opponents too , lose or win. Im so sad that I have to leave the team, but I wish them all the best and I want to say a very big thank you to Mazarakis family and the team for all they have given me and of course I tried my best to give them back.. Something else also that you need to know is the fact that most of the players in A1 either coming from Asteras or they have spent at least a season there and they never said a bad word for the team..
Eurobasket:Something to end this interview please tell me do you have a message to give to the Solna Vikings fans who reads this interview? Kostas Keramidas :Yes I want to assure them that I will give the 101% of my self to accomplish their wishes to see their team to the highest level. I wish them at the end to celebrate all together the trophy.
Kelsey Barlow (ex Lille) agreed terms with Trikalla - 1 day ago
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Aries Trikalla BC (A1) strengthened their roster with addition of 25-year old American guard Kelsey Barlow (196-91kg-91, college: Ill.-Chicago). He played most recently at Lille Metropole Basket in French ProB. In 11 games he recorded 11.7ppg, 4.7rpg, 2.2apg and 1.0spg last season. Barlow also played that season for another team Drive in U.S. semi-pro league D-League where in 47 games he averaged 12.5ppg, 4.7rpg, 2.1apg and 1.0spg. Two years ago he was drafted by Grand Rapids Drive (D-Lea... [read more]
Aries Trikalla BC (A1) strengthened their roster with addition of 25-year old American guard Kelsey Barlow (196-91kg-91, college: Ill.-Chicago). He played most recently at Lille Metropole Basket in French ProB. In 11 games he recorded 11.7ppg, 4.7rpg, 2.2apg and 1.0spg last season. Barlow also played that season for another team Drive in U.S. semi-pro league D-League where in 47 games he averaged 12.5ppg, 4.7rpg, 2.1apg and 1.0spg. Two years ago he was drafted by Grand Rapids Drive (D-League) in fifth round (77th overall). Barlow attended University of Illinois-Chicago until 2014 and it will be his third season in pro basketball. He has tried to make it to the NBA and played in the NBA Pro Summer League in 2015. Among other achievements Barlow's team made it to the D-League Showcase Cup final in 2015. He received also Big Ten All-Freshman Team award back in 2010 at his college time.
Ionikos Nikaias (B) agreed terms with 25-year old power forward Adrianos Perdikaris (203-91, college: Franklin Pierce). He was about to sign at Psyhiko in the A2. B will be definitely a better match and he can see more playing time. The most of last season Perdikaris spent at Doukas (A1) where in 17 games he had 6.8ppg, 4 [read more]
Ionikos Nikaias (B) agreed terms with 25-year old power forward Adrianos Perdikaris (203-91, college: Franklin Pierce). He was about to sign at Psyhiko in the A2. B will be definitely a better match and he can see more playing time. The most of last season Perdikaris spent at Doukas (A1) where in 17 games he had 6.8ppg, 4.1rpg and 1.1apg. He also spent pre-season at GS Lavrio (A1) earlier that year. Perdikaris played in the final of Northeast-10 Tournament in 2013. He has played previously for Ilysiakos. Perdikaris attended Franklin Pierce University until 2014 and it is his third season as a professional player.
C newcomer Diagoras Dryopideon added to their roster 30-year old center Giorgos Galiotos (213-86, agency: Interperformances). He played most recently at Peristeri GS Athens in the A2, but left the team in Nov.'15. In three games he recorded just 2.7ppg and 4.7rpg last season. C will be definitely a better match and he can see more playing time. The previous (14-15) season Galiotos played at ASA Koroivos Amaliadas (A1). A2 was a little too high level for him, where in 21 games he averaged... [read more]
C newcomer Diagoras Dryopideon added to their roster 30-year old center Giorgos Galiotos (213-86, agency: Interperformances). He played most recently at Peristeri GS Athens in the A2, but left the team in Nov.'15. In three games he recorded just 2.7ppg and 4.7rpg last season. C will be definitely a better match and he can see more playing time. The previous (14-15) season Galiotos played at ASA Koroivos Amaliadas (A1). A2 was a little too high level for him, where in 21 games he averaged only 1.7ppg and 2.2rpg. The list of the past achievements is quite long as among others he was voted Eurobasket.com All-Greek B League Co-Most Improved Player of the Year and Eurobasket.com All-Greek B League 2nd Team back in 2009. Galiotos represented Greece at the World University Games in Belgrade (Serbia) seven years ago. His stats at that event were 4 games: 2.8ppg, 3.0rpg. Galiotos has played previously professionally also in Bulgaria (Cherno More) and Greece (Panellinios, Ilysiakos, Alimos, Doukas and A.G.O Rethymno Aegean).
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