Mimis Stefanidis: The legend of Greek basketball talks about his huge career

A delightful television conversation, full of… basketball memories! Vasilis Skountis welcomed in his show the “Coir” of Greek basketball and his legend , . The unethical “Doll” of Greek and European basketball, Mimis Stefanidis found himself a guest in yesterday (02.04.2024) “Pick N’ Roll” by Cosmote TV and talked about his huge career. The legendary team of Panhellenios, the nickname “Cokylos”, the story with Freddy German, Milan, and the headlines of the time, through the eyes of the legend of Greek basketball. In comment on being one of the last living legends of Greek basketball, Mimis Stefanidis stressed: “This one pleases me, but on the other it saddens me, knowing that all my friends have “gone” and that I have been left alone.” “You have a nice family, you have your health, you are a chicken,” said Vassilis Skountis, continuing the interview with Tatiana’s father Stefanidis. From the golden five of Panhellenic, whose “chamos” has “charred” you more? Who were you closer to? “The one who carved me was Panos Manias. Because it was the way he died (S.S. had been found dead at Votsalia Beach in Piraeus). You called me and I was crying and I told you this was a great situation. It was all because of his surroundings. He had chosen the worst he could.” For the nickname “Doll” that followed him in his career: “It’s not just beauty. This was stuck in Egypt. Some French newspaper. It was a time when we went almost every three months. One Mediterranean, one with teams (friendly tournaments that teams took and the best players of the other teams). ‘ Vassilis Skountis described Mimi Stefanidis as one of the biggest players the country gave birth to, stressing that “to take you at that time as the first foreigner in its history Armani Milan, was a priceless title: “I didn’t even think about it. I went crazy there and I was a soldier. I had to play there Saturday and got fired Wednesday. I had to get a passport and a Major had come to sign all the paperwork needed to the services (ed. to be sacked) and on Thursday late I took the plane, arrived in Italy and received me at the airport by a Greek journalist and took me to the team. The next day I went to practice and people came. As if Bill Russell had come!” Born November 25, 1931 in Kipseli, Mimis Stefanidis said: “We ended up when I started basketball in a house that was in an alley between Chania and Kefalonia. That was sixth grade. Then, after years there I met my wife. I stayed there until I left for Italy.” He was a member of the “Golden Pendas”. He won 3 Greek championships (1953, 1955, 1957 ) Yes, that of 1955 won it without defeat. At the same time he won many international and domestic tournaments of the time against powerful European teams of the time, but without playing in the European Cups. “There were no such things then. In the first Cup of Champions the Panhellenic played first, when most had left,” he said of the “great” team he played. In what “magnetized” him in basketball at the time, in the late 40s: “We were a group in the Hive. Sakellarakis and Manias went to Panhellenios and “they ate me to go. I used to say “Come on with the basketball that’s hand-held”. I played basketball. We played all day on Tinos Street. We had a kid there who became a big name in journalism. He was Freddy German, but we couldn’t put him up because he was a kid. Pick up the ball. We spent two or three years. He was coming to me. There were some people who wanted to catch the ball and forbid it for Freddy to catch it. Then I slowly went to the national, did my first training, and I liked it. And then we got stuck. But we got so stuck we were all day with the ball in our hands. ‘ In a comment about the first Greek… Dream Team, Panhellenios’ “gold Pentada” (with Aristides Roubani, Dino Papadima, Themi Holeva, Mimi Stefanidis and Panos Manias) stressed: “This was a little unfair to the others who were sidelined. Some players came out who were very good but had the misfortune to fall on the “Golden Pentada”, watch the games from the bench and play some three minutes when we weren’t all playing. For the impressive basketball style played by Panhellenios: “We learned to play so fast. We had a great trump, Aristides Roubanis, who was at the time champion of acupuncture, shooting. He was the bulldozer. Under the basket no one could take his ball. He took it and gave it to you in the surprise.” With the position of today’s 3rd, the Italians of Milan saw him, interested in knowing when he would be fired and prepared the… territory. “When I went in 1955, the first game we played was against the invincible Virtus. By that point we had given 4 games, with a win and a tie. Within a few months, I learned Italian. Because of the Latins from school, I… I got them. We got the game and the newspapers were writing the line of Julius Caesar. “I have come and I have conquered.” And from there, who catches Stephen! Then slowly came the defeats. You went away and they beat the crap out of you. We’re talking punches, not jokes. I stayed one season, went to Venice and came back, but I played in the team tournaments. ‘ Vasilis Skountis then showed him various headlines of Greek newspapers. “Mimis Stefanidis, the “cool” of basketball. Only 17 years old in the first team of Panhellenios. A very capable footballer and tennis player. In football he is a Olympiacos fan and in women’s basketball a Panathinaikos fan” said one of them, with the legend of Greek basketball commenting that “this was because he had a girlfriend in the “trifl”. In the line that Panhellenic learned the Greek basketball: “This is selfish for me to accept. In an interview with Nikos Ratsiatos from then general basketball secretary of Yugoslavia, Neboisa Nikolic was asked about how they have progressed and answered that “Did you come to ask us? We copied you.” ‘ In fact, as reported, in the early 50s there were film crews from Belgrade training and they were filming training and playing games. “I have no defeat with Yugoslavs and Croats” he stressed.