A Legendary Tribute: Nikos Galis Honored by Greek Basketball Federation

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The majority of the 13,000-strong crowd arrived at the OAKA Arena slightly late on Friday afternoon, but it was still in time for the first of two major events scheduled for the venue.

Unlike the previous year's EuroBasket games, this time Giannis Antetokounmpo wasn't present to steal the spotlight for the home team. However, that didn't mean the local fans were devoid of excitement.

The Greek Basketball Federation seized the opportunity of the friendly preparation game between Greece and Slovenia to honor the country's ultimate basketball icon, Nikos Galis. As the lights dimmed and the legendary retired player made his entrance, the fans illuminated the arena with the lights from their mobile phones, creating a unique atmosphere.

Galis was visibly moved, his eyes welling up with tears as the entire arena chanted his name. Before his number 4 jersey was raised to the rafters, he made his way to greet players from both teams, receiving warm embraces from Luka Doncic and the entire Slovenian bench.

Among the rest of the audience, the Hall of Famer watched a video highlighting some of his remarkable achievements. When he attempted to express his gratitude, his emotions overwhelmed him, rendering him momentarily speechless.

"I'm incredibly excited; it's a momentous occasion," he finally managed to convey.

The final segment of the ceremony featured FIBA Secretary General Andreas Zagklis and Greek Federation President Vangelis Liolios presenting Galis with two frames containing a collage of his iconic moments.

Both team captains, Kostas Papanikolaou and Luka Doncic, took turns paying tribute to the honoree before Galis posed for a photoshoot with both squads.

Copyright Greekcitytimes 2024