The American Dream or Playing Overseas?
George Angelou of Saint Francis is writing on My Hoop Journey about his decision leaving Greece and playing in the USA.
He is the son of the former Euroleague champion, Vaggelis Angelou currently working on Greece for Promitheas; Patras. He is 22 years old and grew up in Chalkida of Greece. He played for Filathlitikos – Giannis Antetokounmpo ex-team before he managed to travel along to the States. He is now playing for Saint Francis University of Pennsylvania. He plays as a shooting guard and he is considered as a great shooter; a lost art in Greece.
Edited by Konstantinos Panas
Coming to Saint Francis and competing at a D1 level is arguably one of the best decision that my family and I made. It would be selfish on my part to say that I took the decision by myself since I was a little scared to get on a plane and travel across the ocean, to be honest. I had people around me that visualized my success at Saint Francis.
My Uncle Sotiris Angelou also played at Saint Francis back in 1997-1998, and he was the one that helped me adjust to the new way of life here in the States. Where should I begin; the people; the food; the culture and of course the style of play. You see the fast pace of NCAA is not the best environment for a “white”; not athletic; European guard.
Coming here, I had to improve other abilities like my shooting and my ball handling in order to survive! And that is why I don’t regret coming here.
Four years later, I am able to play significant minutes for my team and score the ball mainly behind the three-point line. The first two years were pretty tough due to the combination of lack of playing time and being away from family and friends. After I graduate, my plan is to come back to Europe and play for my father! This has been my dream since I was young and I was watching my dad coaching players like Spanoulis, Blakney and Fotsis.
To be honest, this is the only year that my father and I had basketball conversations on a regular basis. Before that he chose to let me be my own man and learn from my mistakes. He was the one who brought up the idea of me coming to America. He wanted me to get my education as well because as we all know in Greece, I would have to sacrifice either the athletic or the academic part of my life.
I am proud to say that in three months I will be graduating with three degrees in Business Marketing, Business Management, and Exercise Physiology, and all that is due to my family that gave me the opportunity to make my dream a reality!