Elena Tsineke: The "female Antetokounmpo" was drafted in the WNBA

Elena Tsineke

Making history on the other side of the Atlantic, and following in the steps of Giannis Antetokounmpo, is Elena Tsineke.

The 23-year-old basketball player, who was born in Thessaloniki and has been a member of the Greek National Team for years, was selected in the No. 20 pick of the WNBA draft by the Washington Mystics and is ready to live her dream in the world's top league.

The international athlete graduated from South Florida averaging 17.9 points, 3.8 rebounds and 3.1 assists in 33 appearances in her final season.

Everything indicates that the athlete from Thessaloniki will become the fifth Greek woman to compete in the WNBA after Anastasia Kostaki, Evina Maltsi, Zoi Dimitrakou and Jacki Gemelos.

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Elena, together with her twin sister, Katerina, play basketball at a top level. They were born in 1999 in Thessaloniki to a Nigerian father and a Greek mother, Rena Ketzejiadou. The family has four children who were born and raised in Evosmos.

Elena started playing basketball with her sister at Aianas Evosmos Academies. In 2013 she played in Aris Thessaloniki and then in Niki Lefkada. In fact, in 2016, together with her sister, Katerina, they played together in Aris and promoted it to A1.

Tsineke graduated from the Hellenic College of Thessaloniki. In 2019, she traveled to the US to study psychology at the University of South Florida while playing college basketball with the South Florida Bulls.

She is an international player with the National Girls and Juniors teams, while in 2018 she was also invited to the Women's team with which she participated in the final phase of Eurobasket in 2021.

Because of her origin from Nigeria and her love for basketball in the US, they call her the "female Antetokounmpo". She declares herself a big fan of Giannis Antetokounmpo and would of course like to follow his path.

"When they called us the 'female Antetokounmpo' it was beautiful, it sounds so beautiful. But Tsineke sisters is better, I prefer it. Don't get me wrong, what the Antetokounmpo brothers have achieved is unreal, we are very honoured," she had said in an interview with the Gazzetta.

"We have something in common with them, we are Greeks of Nigerian origin, but I prefer the Tsineke sisters," Tsineke added.

Her sister, who also plays in college, has followed her to America.

Her big dream is to play in the WNBA. In the USA she has been impressed by the organisation as well as the food. There she ate chicken wings for the first time, but she says she doesn't like meat that much and wants to become a vegetarian.=

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She has previously stated that she was the victim of racism at school.

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