|Nickname||Two-Headed Eagle of The North|
Greek Basket League|
Greek Basketball Cup
|Founded||1928 (basketball department)|
|History||PAOK BC (1928–present)|
|Arena||PAOK Sports Arena|
|Head coach||Soulis Markopoulos|
|Most recent season position||5th (quarter-finalist)|
1 Saporta Cup|
1 Korać Cup
2 Greek Championships
3 Greek Cups
PAOK B.C. (Greek: Π.Α.Ο.Κ. Κ.Α.Ε.), known in European competitions as PAOK Thessaloniki, is the professional basketball department of the major Greek multi-sports club A.C. PAOK, which was founded in 1926, and is based in Thessaloniki, Greece. The team has established a firm reputation in Greek basketball, especially for its success in European competitions. They have twice won the Greek Basket League (1958–59, 1991–92), and three times won the Greek Basketball Cup (1983–84, 1994–95, 1998–99), while they have also won two European Cups: the FIBA Saporta Cup (1990–91) and the FIBA Korać Cup (1993–94).
Well-known players that have played with the club over the years include: Peja Stojaković, John Korfas, Panagiotis Fasoulas, Nikos Stavropoulos, Nikos Boudouris, Efthimios Rentzias, Panagiotis Vasilopoulos, Scott Skiles, Rasho Nesterovič, Zoran Savić, Claudio Coldebella, Walter "The Truth" Berry, Scott Skiles, Rawle Marshall, Frankie King, Charles Shackleford, Lawrence Funderburke, Wendell Alexis, Conrad McRae, Matt Bullard, Anthony Bonner, Tracy Murray, C. J. Watson, Cliff Levingston, Damir Mulaomerović, Sergei Bazarevich, İbrahim Kutluay, Loukas Mavrokefalidis, Nestoras Kommatos, Blagota Sekulić, Matthew Nielsen, Martynas Andriuškevičius, Dejan Tomašević, Ken Barlow, and former team's captain, and stand-out on-and-off the court, Bane Prelević.
The basketball section of PAOK was created in 1928, when Alekos Alexiadis, a young member of the administration council of PAOK, took the initiative to create a basketball team. He "gave birth" to the basketball department again after World War II. After the war, Alekos Alexiadis began to organize a basketball team from the children that played at the only basketball court in Thessaloniki. The first honor for PAOK was the win of the 1959 Greek League. The team was crowned Champions of Greece, with the following players; Dapontes, Kyriakou, Oikonomou, Paschalis, Stalios, Kokkos, Theoridis, Angelidis, Stergiou, Konstantinidis, and player-coach Iraklis Klagas. Four years later, the Greek League was reconstructed into a professional National League, but PAOK was placed in the Second National Division, where they won an immediate promotion to the first division the next year. The worst season of the club to date was in 1977, when PAOK avoided relegation, with a 66–53 play-out win over Dimokritos.
PAOK met Panathinaikos in its first Greek Cup Final, in 1982. The Athenians managed to scrape through a two-point victory, despite the game being played in Alexandreio Melathron, the then PAOK home arena. In the next season, the team finished second to Aris, after being defeated in only one game by the champions.
The success of both Aris and PAOK, fueled the ongoing rivalry between their fans, that had long been established in football. In 1984, the two teams reached the Greek Cup Final. PAOK head coach, Faidon Matthaiou, in trying to boost his team's morale, ordered the players to completely shave their heads. PAOK won the Greek Cup by four points (74–70), in what is now remembered as the "final of the shaven heads".
The then 22-year-old Bane Prelević, debuted in the 1988–89 season. He became the definitive leader of PAOK, and a fan favorite. He was often compared to the great Nikos Galis, who was at the time the captain of Aris. Prelević was often quoted for his loyalty to the team. He had a number of injuries and medical emergencies because of weak legs, but he would constantly choose to take heavy dosages of painkillers, rather than missing out on important games.
The next season, PAOK reached the final of the same tournament again, but lost to Real Madrid, by a score of 63–65. The game was going to overtime, as the two teams were equal at 63 points, when Panagiotis Fasoulas lost the ball in the last 2 seconds, and the Real Madrid scored an unexpected basket. In the same year, PAOK won the Greek League championship, by beating out Aris and Olympiacos.
PAOK participated in the 1992–93 European Champion's Cup (now called EuroLeague), which was their first appearance in the top-tier level European league, and managed to reach the Athens Final Four. PAOK lost in the semifinal game to Benetton Treviso, which was led by superstar Toni Kukoč, by a score of 77–79.
In 1994, PAOK returned to European success, by winning the European 3rd-tier level Korać Cup, in a two-leg final against Stefanel Trieste, winning both at home and away, by 9 points. The following year, PAOK won the Greek Cup, in a 19-point victory against Chipita Panionios, 72–53. In 1999, PAOK again won the Greek Cup, by defeating AEK, by a score of 71–54.
The new home of PAOK, the PAOK Sports Arena, able to hold 8,740 fans (with temporary seating), was inaugurated on 17 March 2000. That marked the end of a long period of time of sharing the home court of Alexandreio Melathron with Aris. Branislav Prelević returned to PAOK, after quick spells at Kinder Bologna and AEK, and then quit basketball at the end of the season. He later returned to PAOK in the 2001–02 season, as an assistant coach.
A month after the start of the 2006–07 Greek League season, Prelević was replaced as head coach by Kostas Pilafidis, and he then assumed a non-technical position, as the General Manager of the team. During a game that year, PAOK and Aris put on a spectacular show that PAOK ended up winning, after two overtime periods.
Note: Flags indicate national team eligibility at FIBA sanctioned events. Players may hold other non-FIBA nationality not displayed.
|PAOK B.C. roster|
|Pos.||Starting 5||Bench 1||Bench 2||Bench 3|
|C||Keith Clanton||Andreas Glyniadakis|
|PF||Linos Chrysikopoulos||Brandon Taylor||Vangelis Margaritis|
|SF||Žanis Peiners||Jordan Sibert||Nikos Kamaras|
|SG||Darryl Bryant||Antonis Koniaris||Dimitris Karamanolis|
|PG||Nenad Miljenović||Apollon Tsochlas|
- Winners (2): 1958–59, 1991–92
- Runners-up (8): 1959–60, 1987–88, 1988–89, 1989–90, 1990–91, 1993–94, 1997–98, 1999–00
- Winners (3): 1983–84, 1994–95, 1998–99
- Runners-up (4): 1981–82, 1988–89, 1989–90, 1990–91
- 3rd place (1): 1992–93
- Winners (1): 1993–94
- Peja Stojaković (1997–98)
- Rawle Marshall (2010–11)
- Panagiotis Fasoulas (1986–87)
|1992–93||Final Four||3rd place in Athens, lost to Benetton Treviso 77–79 in the semi-final, defeated Real Madrid 76–70 in the 3rd place game|
|1984–85||Quarter-finals||4th place in a group with Žalgiris, CAI Zaragoza and UBCS Landis & Gyr Wienna|
|1989–90||Semi-finals||eliminated by Knorr Bologna 57–77 (L) in Bologna and 100-94 (W) in Thessaloniki|
|1990–91||Champions||defeated CAI Zaragoza 76–72 in the final of European Cup Winner's Cup in Geneva|
|1991–92||Final||lost to Real Madrid 63–65 in the final (Nantes)|
|1995–96||Final||lost to Taugrés 81–88 in the final (Vitoria)|
|1993–94||Champions||defeated Stefanel Trieste, 75–66 (W) in Thessaloniki and 100-91 (W) in Trieste in the double finals of Korać Cup|
|2004–05||Quarter-finals||eliminated by Lietuvos Rytas, 74–71 (W) in Thessaloniki and 65-76 (L) in Vilnius|
The road to the European Cup victories
1990–91 FIBA European Cup Winner's Cup
1993–94 FIBA Korać Cup
- Scroll down to see more.
This is a list of PAOK B.C. coaches since the 1981–82 season:
|Wikimedia Commons has media related to PAOK BC.|
- PAOK B.C. Official Website (Greek) and (English)
- PAOK Thessaloniki History - PAOK Thessaloniki History Provided On Behalf Of Melbourne Club PAOK
- PAOKworld- Most informative PAOK Thessaloniki Forum (Greek) and (English)
- PAOKmania - PAOK Thessaloniki Supporters Downloads, Radio and News (Greek)
- PAOK24 (Greek)