1 on 1 with Georgios Pilitsis

Lehigh Hoops Nation, as part of the continuing effort to get everyone prepared and ready for the ’13-’14 edition of Lehigh Basketball, was fortunate enough to chat with freshman guard Georgios Pilitsis. This Q&A should help Mountain Hawk fans get to know Georgios. Special thanks to the freshman guard from Greece for sitting down to chat.

Q.) What is your earliest basketball memory?

A.) My earliest basketball memory is making my first free throw shot. It was halftime of a men’s championship game and I just was just shooting around. When I made the shot, I looked at my father filled with amazement.

Q.) Where do the athletic genes come from?

A.) I cannot say I got any athletic genes from my family. My father played basketball only in high school, but I can say he was the one who introduced me to the sport as it was his passion.

Q.) I believe soccer is Greece’s national sport, but how did you get introduced to the game of basketball?

A.) Undoubtedly, soccer is the biggest sport in Greece. I used to play soccer for a couple of years, but then I switched to basketball. The success of the national basketball team (European champions in 2005) and my father’s passion about the sport influenced me to start playing basketball.

Q.) What were/are some of the basketball players from Greece that you’ve looked up to?

A.) As a point guard, my favorite players are Dimitris Diamantides and Vasilis Spanoulis. I also admire Theodoros Papaloukas for his court vision, play-making skills and leadership.

Q.) What was the experience like playing for your country as a part of their national team program?

A.) It was amazing. I was blessed to wear my National Team’s jersey, something I worked hard for over an extensive period of time. I cannot describe the feeling I had when I first heard Greece’s national anthem or when I heard my name called for the starting line-up. I am thankful for the opportunity given to me. Playing different national teams literally expanded my horizons and gave me a taste of international competition. Undeniably, it was one of the best experiences I ever had and I am looking forward to representing Greece in the future.

Q.) Was it always a dream of yours to come all the way from Thessaloniki, Greece to the United States to play college basketball?

A.) Absolutely. When I first visited the U.S. and had the opportunity to see a college campus, I immediately promised myself to work hard in order to get the opportunity to both study and play basketball in the U.S. United States is the only country in the world where someone can get a high quality education and play basketball at a very competitive level at the same time.

Q.) Lehigh has a pretty strong national reputation here in the US, but how did you ever hear about Lehigh from faraway Greece?

A.) Ms. Morgan Volkart, an admissions representative from Lehigh, visited my high school in Greece and thus, she presented Lehigh in a remarkable way and made me realize that Lehigh is the best place for me to flourish as an individual and at the same time, play basketball. Also, my high school’s counselor told me about Lehigh and its high quality academics.

Q.) How has the Lehigh family welcomed you to the team since your arrival on campus in August?

A.) As you said, we are not only a team, but a family. Everyone is so nice and approachable and the Lehigh Basketball family has treated me tremendously well. From the very first point when I met Coach Reed until today, everyone is helping me and I can now say that I have found my home away from home.

Q.) Can you give Lehigh fans a self scouting report on your game?

A.) I mostly play the point guard position, but I can also play shooting guard, as I like to shoot. I would say that I am a pass first point guard with descent court vision. I like to play defense, because I firmly believe that a good defense can lead to easy offence.

Q.) What “current” NBA player best describes your style of play?

A.) I cannot say that an NBA player describes my game at his point. I have to work really hard first in order to improve as a basketball player to be able to say that. However, I can say that I am working hard in order to adopt a Deron Williams style of play.

Q.) Tell us about yourself off the court?

A.) Well, I can say that I am a very relaxed person who likes to talk and have long discussions. I also value academics, so I can say that I study a lot when I am off the court. Also, I like to travel a lot and my dream is to travel all around the world in order to experience every culture and to broaden my horizons. Furthermore, I love my family and I am thankful to them for providing this opportunity to study in the U.S. and play basketball.

Thanks Georgios.

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