Kostas Politis, Architect of Greece’s 1987 Basketball Triumph, Dies at 76



Politis, among his players, lifts the the European Cup in 1987

Kostas Politis, the legendary Greek coach who led the national basketball team to gold medal at the EuroBasket 1987, died on Monday at his home in Athens.

Politis will always be remembered as the man who lifted the trophy along with Nikos Galis, Panagiotis Giannakis, Panagiotis Fassoulas, Fanis Christodoulou and Memos Ioannou — men who became household names to most Greeks, with their posters decorating many teenagers’ rooms.

Politis gives instruction to Nikos Galis

Before he became a coach, he played with Panathinaikos, winning three Greek League championships in 1967, 1969, and 1971. In the 1968–69 season, he was a FIBA European Cup Winners’ Cup semifinalist.

Politis also played with the senior men’s Greek national team at the EuroBasket in 1961, 1965, 1967 and at the 1967 Mediterranean Games.

His coaching career began at Panathinaikos, where he won three Greek League championships, in the years 1980, 1981, and 1982, and two Greek Cups in 1979 and 1982. He was also a two-time Greek Cup finalist, in 1989 and 1990, while coaching PAOK.