By Gotsopoulos Nickolaos & Andrikopoulos Vassilis
Promitheas Patras B.C is a Greek professional basketball club that is based in Patras, Greece. It is a part of the Greek multi-sports club A.S. Promitheas Patras. The club’s full name can be rendered as either A.S.P. Promitheas B.C. or A.S. Promitheas Patras B.C. The club is named after Prometheus, one of the most well-knows Greek mythological Titans, and the flame representing the fire knowledge he gave to people is the club’s emblem (logo). The club is owned by Vangelis Liolios, who is also the owner of the Greek coffee company, Coffee Island, and managed by the coach Makis Giatras.
As a club, Promitheas makes a point of emphasizing the importance of their NOUS programme and more to the point, their willingness to give opportunities to young players from their NOUS program. The project that coach Giatras describes sounds similar in its holistic nature to that of the famed La Masia at Barcelona FC.
Giatras: «Certainly, it is very important for us to have players from the Academy that will also play a role in the men’s team. Players coming from our academy, beyond their talent, will have a character that suits the identity of the club. We have the will for these kids to join the team and to be counted as valuable members. We house them and (privately) educate them. We just built a state-of-the-art training center. All of this, is to provide the best possible conditions to develop them as athletes but also as people.»
The focus on youth development certainly seems to be paying off. Promitheas are serial winners at the U16 and U18 level in Greece and when you look through the list of professionals on the roster, you also see names like Sandramanis (2000), Karaiskos (2001), Lanaras (2001) all given the confidence by the club and coaching staff to contribute at the senior level. Without question however, the name that jumps off the page when it comes to Promitheas’ young stars, is Lefteris Mantzoukas. At fourteen years of age, he was the youngest player ever to score in the top tier of Greek basketball last season and he did so against Olympiacos no less. Now fifteen and standing 6’6” (2.01m), Mantzoukas could be one the most fascinating stories to follow in the Basketball Champions League this season.
No matter which schemes coach Giatras and his staff choose to put on the floor, Promitheas BC in the Basketball Champions League, with their trusted core, athletic recruits and crop of young stars, are already promising to be one of the must-follow stories of this young season. When you consider this is a season that sees their countrymen AEK, return as champions and the likes of Brose Bamberg, Hapoel Jerusalem and Virtus Bologna also join for the first time, stealing headlines already, is a good start.