Vassilis Spanoulis


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1982 (36 years old)

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Vassilis Spanoulis (Greek: Βασίλης Σπανούλης) (born August 7, 1982) is a Greek professional basketball player for Olympiacos Piraeus of the Greek Basket League and the Euroleague. A 6 ft 4 in (1.93 m) tall combo guard, he is nicknamed Kill Bill, V-Span, and MVP ("Most Vassilis Player"). Spanoulis was named the Balkan Athlete of the Year in 2009, the All-Europe Player of the Year in 2012 and 2013, and the Euroleague MVP in 2013. He has earned six All-Euroleague Team selections.

Spanoulis first played for Gymnastikos S. Larissa, and enjoyed a highly successful career start, winning the Greek Basket League's Best Young Player award in 2002. His skill-set earned him a transfer to Athens and Maroussi. Following an impressive 2004–05 season, during which he helped to lead Maroussi to the Greek Basket League Finals, and the Eurocup quarterfinals, he moved to Panathinaikos, where he became one of European basketball's major stars.

In the 2005–06 Euroleague season, Spanoulis made his debut in impressive fashion, earning his first All-Euroleague Team selection as a rookie in the competition. After a stint in the NBA with the Houston Rockets during the 2006–07 season, he returned to Panathinaikos and helped to lead them to a Euroleague title in 2009, being voted as the Euroleague Final Four MVP. Spanoulis' transfer to Olympiacos, in the summer of 2010, marked a new step in his career. Within a young and rebuilding team, Spanoulis not only led a Euroleague title run in 2012, but went on to achieve a historical repeat in 2013. In the process he gained another two Euroleague Final Four MVP awards, thus joining Toni Kukoč as the only players to achieve that distinction on three occasions.

Spanoulis played an instrumental role on the Greek national team's FIBA EuroBasket 2005 gold medal team. Most importantly, he was one of the main stars of Greece's 2006 FIBA World Championship silver medal team, scoring 22 points in the victory over Team USA in the tournament's semifinals. It was however, Greece's bronze medal at the FIBA EuroBasket 2009, that emphasized Spanoulis' leadership within an injury-plagued Greek national team, consequently earning an All-EuroBasket Team honor.

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