Loukas Mavrokefalidis

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Loukas Mavrokefalidis (alternate spelling: Loukas Mavrokefalides) (Greek: Λουκάς Μαυροκεφαλίδης; born July 25, 1984 in Jeseník, Czechoslovakia) is a Greek professional basketball player.

Pro career

Mavrokefalidis started his professional career at PAOK, moving to Thessaloniki from Kilkis, where his parents come from. From the first days of his professional career, PAOK coach Bane Prelevic took advantage of his height and decided to play him at the center position which, as it was proved later in his career, fit him very well.

A 2.10 m forward-center, Mavrokefalidis played for PAOK in the Greek League during the 2005-06 season, averaging 16.7 points and 8.4 rebounds per game. He played in the Greek All-Star Game and he won the Greek League's Most Improved Player Award that year.[1] After many months of hard work, Mavrokefalidis was almost always a member of the starting five in PAOK, creating havoc to the opposition's defense with his ability to get to the rim and make easy buckets or exciting dunks. He also became a defensive force, chasing down rebounds relentlessly, something that can be shown by the 8.4 rebounds per game that he averaged during the 2005-06 season.

During the summer of 2006, Mavrokefalidis was signed by Virtus Roma of the Italian League but he was not established as a key member of the team, averaging just 2 points and 1 rebound per game. In February 2007, he was traded from Roma to Pamesa Valencia of the Spanish ACB League in exchange for Roberto Chiacig and Jon Stefánsson. On July 12, 2007, Mavrokefalidis joined Olympiakos Piraeus.[2][3] In 2008, Mavrokefalidis moved to Maroussi.[4] In 2009, he re-signed with Olympiakos through the 2010-11 season.[5] In 2011, Mavrokefalidis was signed by the Russian League club Spartak Saint Petersburg[6] to a 2 year contract worth €2.4 million euros net income.[7]

Greek national team

Mavrokefalidis helped Greece win the bronze medal at the 2003 FIBA Under-19 World Championship. He also played at the 2004 FIBA Europe Under-20 Championship. In 2005, Mavrokefalidis' contribution during the FIBA Under-21 World Championship was very significant, as he greatly helped the Under-21 Greek National Basketball Team win the silver medal, after losing to Lithuania by just two points in the gold medal game.

A year later, in 2006, the senior men's Greek national basketball team coach Panagiotis Giannakis became impressed by the young center's abilities and called him to participate in the Greek basketball senior men's training camp, one month before the 2006 FIBA World Championship took place in Japan. However, as he was selected in the 2006 NBA Draft by the Minnesota Timberwolves, Mavrokefalidis informed the coach shortly before the outset of the World Championship that he decided to go to Minnesota and participate in performance improvement training camps, and thus he lost the team's 12th man roster place to Sofoklis Schortsianitis. In 2011, Mavrokefalidis was given a 2 month suspension from all competitions by the Greek Basketball Federation, for refusing to play for Greece's national team for the second consecutive summer.[8]

Awards and accomplishments

  • FIBA Under-19 World Championship: Bronze Medal (2003)
  • FIBA Under-21 World Championship: Silver Medal (2005)
  • 3x Greek All Star Game: (2006, 2009, 2011)
  • Greek League: Most Improved Player (2006)
  • Won 2 Greek Cups: (2010, 2011)


External links

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