Fragiskos Alvertis

Fragiskos Alvertis

Infobox Euroleague Player

image_size =
caption = Alvertis #4.
league = Greek League
position = Shooting guard
Small forward
Power forward
nickname = Frankie
height_ft = 6
height_in = 9
weight_lb = 225
team = Panathinaikos BC
number = 4
nationality = Greek
birth_date = birth date and age|1974|6|11
birth_place = Athens, Greece
career_start = 1990
awards = 9-time Greek League All Star
3-time Greek League All Star Game Three-Point Shootout Champion
Acropolis Tournament MVP 2000
Greek Basketball Cup MVP 2003
Greek Championship Playoff MVP 2003
35 Greatest Euroleague Players 2008

Fragiskos Alvertis (in _el. Φραγκίσκος Αλβέρτης) (born June 11, 1974 in Athens) is a Greek professional basketball player. He is the current captain of the Panathinaikos basketball team. On February 3rd, 2008, Alvertis was chosen as one of the 50 most influential personalities to European Club Basketball over the last half-century by the Euroleague Basketball Experts Committee. [cite web|url=|title=Euroleague official website, "Experts decide European Club Basketball's 50 greatest contributors"]

One of the best pure shooters of the 1990s, Alvertis made his eighth Euroleague Final Four appearance in 2007, a record he holds exclusively. [cite web|url=|title=Euroleague official website, Fragiskos Alvertis' page]

He began his career in 1986 with Glyfada BC and he joined Panathinaikos in 1990. Since then, he has won 10 Greek Championships, 4 Euroleague Championships, 7 Greek Cups, and 1 Intercontinental Cup Championship. [cite web|url=|title=Euroleague official website]

Alvertis used to be a regular member of the Greek national team until 2004, reaching once the FIBA World Championship semifinal in 1998 and twice the Eurobasket semifinal (1995, 1997).

Early life

Alvertis began his career in 1986 from Glyfada BC. His transfer to Panathinaikos cost the waterpolo section of the Club its best player, who went to Glyfada in exchange. The Panathinaikos water polo team might have lost its leader, but the basketball team found one to last a generation - and more. [Euroleague official website, Fragiskos Alvertis' profile, [] ]

Club career

1991-1996: A star is born

A great deal had been actually accomplished for Panathinaikos (PAO) and the years to come would prove it. Alvertis was actually an amazing prospect at the time, almost four inches higher than the conventional shooting guard. His potential was proven to be great in the 1991 Cadet’s Eurobasket where Alvertis led, alongside with Panagiotis Liadelis, the Greek team to the silver medal. [FIBA Europe official website, U16 European Championship Men 1991 - Greece's roster, [,kK9s431Lyr41.season_1991.html] ] At the same time, Panathinaikos was going through a transition period during which the average team of the late 1980s strive to become a European powerhouse. Consequently, young Alvertis had to wait until the 1993-94 season to get significant playing time on a team that reached the Euroleague Final Four that year. The star of the twenty year old player shown right away, particularly in the playoff series against Limoges CSP. [FIBA Europe official website, Fragiskos Alvertis' 1993-94 Euroleague stats, [,Uz02qBnJiADOq5VntEf53.season_1994.teamID_1369.playerID_8501.html] ] Alvertis averaged 13 points, forcing Coach Božidar Maljković to declare that he already was to be counted as one of the very best players in Europe.

Panathinaikos had a status to confirm in the 1994-95 season and Alvertis helped them to do so by elevating his play to another even higher level. Using his strong shooting with a rare maturity for a player his age, he was a major contributor to his team’s march towards another Euroleague Final Four. Alvertis finished his Euroleague year averaging 12 points per game, and although the semifinal against Olympiacos was a failure, he scored a season high of 29 points in the third place game against Limoges CSP. [FIBA Europe official website, Fragiskos Alvertis' 1994-95 Euroleague stats, [,Uz02qBnJiADOq5VntEf53.season_1995.teamID_1369.playerID_8501.html] ]

In the 1995-96 season Alvertis saw NBA legend Dominique Wilkins join the team and the Euroleague title seemed closer than ever. [FIBA Europe official website, Panathinaikos' 1995-96 Euroleague roster, [,Uz02qBnJiADOq5VntEf53.season_1996.html] ] The Greek star averaged 10.8 points per game that season in the competition and he led Panathinaikos in scoring during the winning final game against FC Barcelona with 17 points. He was only 22 years old. [Euroleague official website, Fragiskos Alvertis' profile, [] ]

1996-2004: A Great Shooter

Over the next few years, Alvertis’ performance with Panathinaikos still remained at a very high level and in spite of the fact that the team experienced some disappointments in the European competitions, it won in the 1997-98 season its first national championship since 1984. [Panathinaikos BC official website, "A lifetime of championships", [] ] A dynasty was born in Greek basketball and Alvertis would soon become its captain.After an unexpected disqualification from the Euroleague Top 8 in the 1998-99 season, Alvertis lifted one more Greek championship cup beating rival Olympiacos in the final after breaking the home court advantage and wining the fifth decisive game at Peace and Friendship Stadium. The best was yet to come, however.

In the 1999-2000 season, having missed an important part of the season due to an injury, Alvertis still came back in time. Performing great basketball, he helped Panathinaikos win its second Euroleague title in Thessaloníki as well as its third straight Greek championship, downing PAOK Thessaloníki in the final.

The next season, Alvertis co-led Panathinaikos with Dejan Bodiroga to the Euroleague Final Four in which they lost to Maccabi Tel Aviv. [FIBA Europe official website, Suproleague 2000-01 Final stats, [,Uz02qBnJiADOq5VntEf53.season_2001.roundID_2581.html] ] As for the Greek championship, the final was a challenge as Olympiakos had once again a very impressive team that year. After the series were tied at 2-2, Alvertis scored 23 points in the fifth and final game, including seven straight ones in the clutch to give Panathinaikos one more Greek championship crown. His legend, especially among the team’s fans, was still growing.

After winning everything on the club level, Alvertis was still thirsty for titles nonetheless. In the 2001-02 season he led the Panathinaikos offense with the great Dejan Bodiroga, Damir Mulaomerović and Ibrahim Kutluay, averaging 10.2 points per game; [Euroleague official website, Fragiskos Alvertis' 2001-02 page, [] ] in the final against Kinder Bologna he scored 11 points, showing great leadership throughout the game. By lifting his third Euroleague title, Alvertis proved that the sky is the limit concerning the number of his titles.

The 2002-03 season started as a very ambitious one for Alvertis and Panathinaikos. The team led its regular season Euroleague group with an 11-3 record. After averaging 12.6 points per game in the first three Top 16 Games, Alvertis’ season was cut short by an injury which caused him to miss the remaining three games. [Euroleague official website, Fragiskos Alvertis' 2002-03 page, [] ] As a result, Panathinaikos did not manage to make it to the Final Four without it’s natural leader. In the Greek championship Alvertis was there to assure PAO’s dominance, winning it’s fifth title in six seasons.

Due to the renovation of the OAKA Arena in the 2003-04 season for the 2004 Athens Olympic Games, Panathinaikos had to move to a small capacity arena. The budget of the club consequently decreased and suddenly the team became relatively less competitive than the previous year, especially after the departure of Antonis Fotsis. Despite Alvertis averaging 11.2 points per game and leading the team in as well as off the court, Panathinaikos made the Top 16 but was not able to reach further to the Final Four. [Euroleague official website, Fragiskos Alvertis' 2003-04 page, [] ] Alvertis’ sixth Greek championship title was a bitter consolation for a player whose titles were already uncountable.

2004-2008: A New Role for a Leader

The 2004-05 season was an adjustment for the captain of Panathinaikos. Unable to contribute to Coach Obradovic’s demanding systems as efficiently as before, he wasn’t starting any of the games anymore. Nevertheless, he came off the bench as a spot shooter who gave the team valuable three pointers and experience. [Euroleague official website, Fragiskos Alvertis' 2004-05 page, [] ] Along with the new stars Dimitris Diamantidis, Jaka Lakovič and Mike Batiste, PAO made it to the Euroleague Final Four in Moscow, losing to Sarunas Jasikevicius' and Anthony Parker’s Maccabi Tel Aviv. Alvertis finished the Euroleague season with an average of 8.4 points per game, the lowest since his first Euroleague season in 1994. Finally, he lifted another Greek championship cup, beating AEK Athens in the final series in which he averaged 11 points per game.

During his sixteenth season with Panathinaikos, Alvertis had the same role as the previous year. Coming off the bench he helped his team make the Euroleague Top 8 where they were upset, however, by TAU Ceramica in Athens during the decisive third game, missing the Final Four. This disappointment was overshadowed slightly by the sweep against Olympiacos in the Greek championship finals.

The 2006-07 season was a great one for Panathinaikos which won the 2007 Euroleague Final Four in Athens, Greece, as well as the Greek Championship and Cup. [Euroleague official website, Fragiskos Alvertis' profile, [] ] Alvertis’ contribution has not been anything special on the court, but the captain of the Greens is ready to serve his team whenever they are going to need him. The 2007-08 season confirmed that, Alvertis being the soul of the Greens who won both the Greek Championship and the Greek Cup, even though his contribution on the court was again limited.

International career

1995-1998: The First Steps

As one of the best European prospects from the age of 17, Alvertis was selected very early for the Greek men’s national team. The first great tournament in which he participated was the 1995 Eurobasket where Greece made the semifinals, finishing fourth. Alvertis did not start any of the games nor get very significant playing time, but he was helping the team with his shooting coming off the bench. He finished the tournament averaging 4.9 points per game. [Basket Stats website, Fragiskos Alvertis' Eurobasket 1995 statistics, [] ]

The following year, Alvertis was already a permanent member of the Greek team and he participated in the 1996 Olympic Games in Atlanta, Georgia. Even though he still wasn’t starting the games his contribution rose to 8.6 points per game as Greece finished fifth. [Basket Stats website, Fragiskos Alvertis' Olympic Games 1996 statistics, [] ] It was obvious, however, that the departure from the team of legendary playmaker Panagiotis Giannakis and the imminent one of Fanis Christodoulou would increase Alvertis’ responsibilities.

In the 1997 Eurobasket, Greece started the tournament once again with very high ambitions and a victory against title contender Russia in the qualifying group raised even higher their hopes. Alvertis’ role in the team was as important as the previous year and he remained a secondary but significant option in offense, averaging 6.9 points. [Basket Stats website, Fragiskos Alvertis' Eurobasket 1997 statistics, [] ] Greece fell to the future champion Yugoslavia in the semifinal, losing 80-88. The disappointment in the Greek team was huge and they finished once again fourth, beaten in the bronze medal game by Russia with 98-78.

1998-2001: Leader of the National Team

In order to confirm that it was among the four or five best teams in the world, Greece had to reach at least the semifinals in the FIBA World Championship it hosted in 1998. Coach Panagiotis Giannakis was confident that the Greek team would fulfill its mission and he put Alvertis alongside his Panathinaikos teammate Nikos Ekonomou in charge of the team’s offense. Alvertis averaged 13.2 points and a surprisingly high 6.2 rebounds per game, being a major contributor to Greece’s fourth place. [Basket Stats website, Fragiskos Alvertis' World Championship 1998 statistics, [] ] His leading role was now indisputable, especially since the great Panagiotis Fassoulas decided to retire from the national team after the end of the championship.

In the 1999 Eurobasket, Alvertis seemed ready to lead Greece to its first medal since 1989. After leading the team in offense with 18.1 points in the qualifying round everything seemed to announce a great Eurobasket for the Greek star. [FIBA Europe official website, Fragiskos Alvertis' Participations in FIBA Europe competitions, [,Uz02qBnJiADOq5VntEf53.season_2001.roundID_203.teamID_1369.playerID_8501.html] ] Nevertheless, misfortune is part of the game of basketball. A few days before the tournament, Alvertis suffered a severe injury during practice. This injury made him not only miss the Eurobasket but also the major part of the Panathinaikos 1999-2000 season. Without its offensive leader but also without Nikos Ekonomou and Efthimios Rentzias, also injured, Greece finished in an embarrassing sixteenth and last position. Failing to qualify for the 2000 Olympics of course, Greece was doomed to two years of exclusion from every major tournament.

Greece had to wait for the 2001 Eurobasket in order to make its comeback to the international scene. The team obviously was in the middle of a transition period during which young stars Theodoros Papaloukas, Antonis Fotsis, and Lazaros Papadopoulos were unable to build a highly competitive team right away. Alvertis, coming from a great year with Panathinaikos, and Giorgos Sigalas had to show to the young generation the road to success. The first game against Italy, the reigning champion, proved that Alvertis was decided to fulfill his role. A buzzer-beater three pointer gave Greece a very impressive 83-82 win. The team, however, had not reached the level of a medal contender yet. The loss of 105-82 against Russia in the next game confirmed that. Consequently, in order to reach the quarter finals Greece’s game against rising power Germany appeared to be a risky mission. After leading the game by 22 the Greek team actually collapsed against superstar Dirk Nowitzki and his team mates, offering them a win with 80-75. Alvertis averaged 16 points in the tournament but Greece ended up in ninth place. [Basket Stats website, Fragiskos Alvertis' Eurobasket 2001 statistics, [] ] It was his last opportunity to reach success with the national team as its leader, especially since it had not qualified for the 2002 FIBA World Championship. The transition period for the young generation was soon going to be over.

2001-2004: The Last Years

Prior to the 2003 Eurobasket, Alvertis was a player whose leadership and experience with Panathinaikos and the national team were priceless. Consequently, although his role within the team was secondary on the playground, it was still a leading one off the court. He was in charge of transmitting to the new generation of Greek stars values such as commitment, partnership, and ambition. After finishing fifth in both the Eurobasket and the 2004 Olympics, the veteran star announced his retirement from the Greek National Team. He kept his word even though Coach Giannakis thought about including him in the Greek team that would win the gold in the 2005 Eurobasket. He knew already that the future of the team was in good hands.

Player profile

Alvertis has been regarded for a long time as one of the best perimeter shooters in Europe. ["Sportline" website, Fragiskos Alvertis presentation before the 2001 Eurobasket, [] ] His shooting style combined with his height make him very hard to defend. His lack of athleticism does not allow him to show great regularity; nevertheless, he never is afraid to take clutch shots and is very often successful. He is also an above-average defender. He played sometimes the power forward position in Panathinaikos over the last 5 years due to his height and size, although his all-around skills are quite average.

Finally and above all, Alvertis is for Panathinaikos a real leader in and especially off the court, keeping his teammates focused on the team's success. Coach Zelimir Obradovic himself once said, "Alvertis is the best captain I ever had," paying tribute to the leadership skills of his star. ["Myworld" website, Zelimir Obradovic' interview, [] ]

Personal life

As well as the most-crowned player of his generation in Europe, Alvertis at 33 years old is a family man, a father of one son, Carolos, and husband to Anta, a former water polo player whom he sat next to in high school. [Euroleague official website, Fragiskos Alvertis' profile, [] ] Off the court, Frankie loves hunting and fishing, likes to play with his dogs and birds, and enjoys a night out with good food in a traditional Greek tavern. He drinks a glass of red wine before performing his favorite zeibekiko, a traditional Greek dance for men, to the folkloric music of the bouzouki. To relax, he prefers a good book, such as "The Old Man and the Sea" by Ernest Hemingway, one of his favorites. [Euroleague official website, Fragiskos Alvertis' profile, [] ]

"I just love playing basketball, every single moment of it: a shot, a rebound, fighting for good position," Alvertis says. "And I really feel rich in emotions. I am happy to be part of Panathinaikos. I have spent half of my life here." [Euroleague official website, Fragiskos Alvertis' profile, [] ]

Awards and accomplishments

* All 1998 FIBA World Championship Third Team. [Eurobasket website about Basketball, [] ]
* 3 consecutive times winner of the HEBA Greek League All Star Game Three-Point Shootout Contest. ["Sportime" article about HEBA All Star, [] ]
* 9 times Greek Championship All Star. [Euroleague Official Website, Fragiskos Alvertis' page, [] ]
* Acropolis Tournament MVP 2000
* Greek Championship Playoff MVP 2003
* Greek Basketball Cup MVP 2003
* 155 appearances with the Greek National Basketball Team, averaging 10.32 points per game. [Hellenic Basketball Federation official website, [] ]
* In his pro club career with Panathinaikos he has won a total of 22 championships.
* Selected to the Euroleague 50th anniversary 50 Greatest Euroleague Contributors list as one of the Euroleague's 35 greatest all time players in 2008.

Euroleague statistics

[Euroleague official website, Fragiskos Alvertis' page, [] ] [FIBA Europe official website, Fragiskos Alvertis' history, [,Uz02qBnJiADOq5VntEf53.season_2001.roundID_203.teamID_1369.playerID_8501.html] ]

Video highlights

* [ Alvertis Tribute]

External links

* [ Profile]
* [ Official Panathinaikos Profile]
* [ Career]


* FIBA Europe official website, []
* FIBA official website, []
* Euroleague official website, [] , []
* Eurobasket website about Basketball, []
* Hellenic Basketball Federation official website, []
* "Sportime" official website, []
* "Sportline" official website, []
* "Myworld" website, []
* "Basket Stats" website, []
* Panathinaikos BC official website, []


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