Euroleague Headlines Hellas

The “Hurricane” – Thanasis Giannakopoulos passes away

In less than 320 days, Panathinaikos lost all three Giannakopoulos members!!!

Panathinaikos OPAP is mourning the loss of one more beloved member of the Green family. A few months after he lost his brothers, Kostas and Pavlos, Thanasis Giannakopoulos passed away on Tuesday, March 19th. He was hospitalized for several months after suffering a thrombotic stroke.

Alongside his brother, Pavlos, Thanasis managed Panathinaikos for many decades. He was the president between 2002 and 2012. The family’s involvement was met with great successes in both European and domestic competitions. “We are sorry for our sport to have lost today a man who was integral in building of one of the great success stories in modern basketball, Thanassis Giannakopoulos,” Jordi Bertomeu, Euroleague Basketball’s President and CEO, said. “For generations of fans, it’s impossible to separate the success of Panathinaikos Athens from the commitment and love shown to that club by the Giannakopoulos family. Thanassis was there, side by side with his brother Pavlos, to make greatness happen on the court again and again, and in so doing, set standards for all of our clubs to live up to. Basketball will miss him.”

Thanassis Giannakopoulos’ influence stretched back to 1987 when the brothers took it upon themselves to take the club to new prominence. Their takeover of Panathinaikos coincided with the dawn of the Final Four era, and their timing couldn’t have been better. In due time, Panathinaikos would dominate that era like no other team, winning the first title in 1996, to be followed by four more, in 2000, 2002, 2007, 2009 and 2011. In 2012, the brothers stepped down from their duties as directors, but their presence in the hearts of Panathinaikos fans never waned.

Altogether, when Thanassis and Pavlos Giannakopoulos ran Panathinaikos, the club won six EuroLeague crowns, the 1996 Intercontinental Cup, 13 Greek League titles and nine Greek Cups. They established a commitment to excellence that attracted elite players and coaches from around the world and created unforgettable memories for Panathinaikos and general basketball fans alike. Their excellence as basketball executives was saluted by Euroleague Basketball in 2011 when Thanassis and Pavlos were named joint winners of the Executive of the Year award for the 2010-11 Turkish Airlines EuroLeague season.

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