Giorgos Bogris, Aris BSA 2003
|With a lot of new players before the start of the season, it took Aris BSA 2003 some time to get together as a team. Even with that, Aris made it to the Eurocup Last 16 and still has slim chances to reach the Quarterfinals. One of its main pillars has been big man George Bogris, who had limited playing time with Panathinaikos on its way to win the Turkish Airlines Euroleague last season. Bogris is stepping on court much more often now, averaging almost 20 minutes per night. He has averaged 4.8 points and 4 rebounds in all 10 Eurocup games until now, helping Aris to lead the competition in blocked shots. Bogris, who turned 23 this week, is having a good time in Thessaloniki and enjoying the experience of playing for Aris, as he told us in this Eurocupbasketball.com interview. "I love the atmosphere here in Thessaloniki. I always wanted to live in other cities, even other countries so I am glad that I am here," Bogris told Eurocupbasketball.com. "I always wanted to play basketball in this city for some years, so I am really happy for this. I like it very much."
Hello George. How has been your first Eurocup season until now?
"It has been nice, a really good experience for me. The games were tough and there are teams like Khimki which are at Euroleague level. As a team, we had good and bad games and overall, the experience of playing the Eurocup has been great so far."
You are getting much more playing time in Aris. How is it helping you to become a better player?
"Of course, because I think that playing time is very important for a young player to improve. I worked really hard with Panathinaikos in the last two years and now it is time to show what I learnt on the court. It was very important for me to keep practicing a lot but also play more, too. I think that being in Aris has helped me very much."
How comfortable do you feel playing for Aris?
"It is amazing, really. Because of its history, Aris has really good basketball fans mostly, unlike most other teams, that have football fans that come to watch basketball. Aris has been a great basketball club for many years and its fans are really warm - they love the team so much! They are happy with us and I really hope to keep playing for this club."
How did practicing for do-or-die game with Panathinaikos helped you to prepare this game against Khimki?
"Well, I learnt a lot on how to be focused before games like this, but it is my coach who will prepare us to play against Khimki and I will do everything he asks me to do. I think that Panathinaikos is the best team in history when it comes to prepare a game, because I was there and it was amazing. I have a lot of faith in Vangelis Alexandris, Sotiris Manolopoulos and all of our coaching staff. We know that the game against Khimki is very important and will prepare it really well."
You played against Khimki already. What do you like about them and what do you have to do to beat them?
"I think it is the best team in the competition. I would be surprised if Khimki doesn't win the Eurocup this season. It is a Euroleague-level team. I like their coach and the way they play. He coached me in the European summer camp in Treviso and it was a nice experience. Playing with a point guard like Zoran Planinic has to be amazing. What I want to say is that the players, coach and team are at Euroleague level and this is what I like about them. If we want to beat them, we have to be focused for all 40 minutes, follow everything our coaches say and if we do that, we will have a chance to win the game."
After a couple of years with coach Zeljko Obradovic, what is the biggest piece of advice he gave you?
"It is difficult, but I would say it is the mentality to beat teams and win titles. If you want to be a basketball player, you have to think about basketball 24 hours a day. You cannot let yourself be loose. You cannot just want to win a game, you have to prepare to win. He is the best at this. He taught how to prepare myself, at all levels, on how to approach a game. Zeljko Obradovic and his assistant Dimitris Itoudis are an amazing coaching team."
After a whole life in Athens, you are now in Thessaloniki. How is life in your new city?
"Thessaloniki is a very nice city. Athens has five million people living there and I didn't play much in Panathinaikos, so I could go unnoticed. I have playing time here and if I go out to grab some food or something like that, people will always talk to you. I love the atmosphere here in Thessaloniki. I always wanted to live in other cities, even other countries so I am glad that I am here. I always wanted to play basketball in this city for some years, so I am really happy for this. I like it very much."
What would you consider a good season for you and your team?
"In general, I think we had good games in the Eurocup but I think it will be difficult for us to qualify. We will try, of course, but it doesn't depend on us only. We will give 100% in the next two games and whatever happens, it happens. It was difficult in the beginning because this is a new team that had to learn how to play together, but we are OK now. We will try to finish third in the Greek League. That will give us a sure chance to play the Eurocup next season and who knows, maybe be able to get to the Euroleague Qualifying Rounds. For me, personally, I have playing time and want to keep improving. Not only I want to get better, but also and most important, to help Aris to reach its goals and get what we deserve."
Monday, February 20, 2012