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Konstantine Demetrios "Kosta" Koufos (in Greek: or , born on February 24, 1989 in Cantonmarker, Ohiomarker, United Statesmarker) is a Greek-American professional basketball player. He was selected by the Utah Jazz with the 23rd overall pick in the 2008 NBA Draft. Koufos played college basketball for Ohio State Universitymarker's team the Ohio State Buckeyes for one year before declaring for the 2008 NBA Draft. Koufos holds dual citizenship of both the United States and Greece, but he has chosen to play for the Greek national basketball team.

High school career

Koufos attended GlenOak High School in Cantonmarker, Ohiomarker. He was a McDonald's All-American as a senior, and he was ranked the #3 center of the 2007 high school class by Rivals.com. He also played for the AAU team sponsored by LeBron James.

In 2007, Koufos finished second to Buckeye teammate Jon Diebler in the Mr. Ohio Basketball voting. During his senior season with GlenOak, Koufos was named the Division I player of the year and was also named First-Team All-State. He also earned First-Team Northeast Inland All-District honors.

The 2007 McDonald's and EA Sports All-American, Koufos averaged 25.9 points per game, 15.4 rebounds per game and 5.2 blocked shots per game. He was instrumental in GlenOak snapping Canton McKinley's 41-game win streak in January 2007, when he posted 32 points, 19 rebounds and 10 blocks to help the Golden Eagles edge the Bulldogs, 56–55, in overtime. The next day, Koufos recorded 32 points, 15 rebounds and seven blocks against Detroit Country Daymarker, to lead GlenOak to its ninth consecutive victory.

As a junior, Koufos averaged 24 points per game, 11.1 rebounds per game, and four blocked shots per game and he was named Second-Team All-State. In April 2007, Koufos was a member of the Royal team in the Jordan All-American Classic at Madison Square Gardenmarker.

College career

In 2007, Koufos joined the Ohio State Buckeyes, where he replaced Greg Oden at center. He was named the MVP of the 2008 National Invitation Tournament (NIT) after leading the Buckeyes to the championship by defeating the UMass Minutemen by a score of 92–85.

Over the course of his year at Ohio State, Koufos averaged 14.4 points per game, 6.7 rebounds per game, and 1.8 blocked shots per game.

Pro career

On April 21, 2008, Koufos declared himself eligible for the 2008 NBA Draft, but initially chose not to hire an agent; this would have allowed him to return to Ohio Statemarker if he withdrew from the draft on or before the June 16 withdrawal deadline. However, at the same time, it was speculated that he would leave the Buckeyes anyway to sign a professional contract in Greece. On May 8, the Canton Repository reported that Koufos signed with Cleveland-based agent Mark Termini, thereby ending his college eligibility.

Koufos was selected by the NBA team Utah Jazz with the 23rd overall pick in the 2008 NBA Draft. In March 2009, the Jazz assigned him to the NBA D-League club the Utah Flash. However, after the Flash's first playoff game, the Jazz recalled him from the D-League in time for the playoffs due to an injury to Jazz starting center Mehmet Okur.

2008–09
Utah
48 7 11.8 .508 .000 .706 2.9 .4 .2 .6 4.7
Career
48 7 11.8 .508 .000 .706 2.9 .4 .2 .6 4.7

Greek national team

Koufos was a member of the junior Greek national under-18 team at the 2007 FIBA Europe Under-18 Championship in Spain. He led his team to the final game and although Greece lost to Serbia, Koufos won the tournament's MVP award after leading the competition in points, rebounds and blocked shots. Koufos is considered to be the top Greek basketball center talent since Efthimios Rentzias, who was named the MVP of the 1995 FIBA Under-19 World Championship.

In 2009, he debuted with the senior Greek national basketball team and competed at the 2009 FIBA European Championship, where he won a bronze medal.

Awards and accomplishments



Personal

Koufos is the son of Katerina and the late Alex Koufos. He has one brother, Vasilios, and a sister, Maria.

References

  1. Rivals.com 2007 center ranking.
  2. SportingNews: Koufos is Ohio State's Oden encore.
  3. Koufos hires Cleveland-based agent.
  4. Jazz Assigns Koufos to D-League.
  5. Utah Jazz: With Okur's status uncertain, Jazz recall Koufos. April 18, 2009.
  6. FIBA Europe: Koufos Named MVP.


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