Giannis Antetokounmpo is a professional basketball player and plays for the Milwaukee Bucks of the National Basketball Association. He’s called ‘Greek Freak’ as he hails from Greece and also due to his size, speed and ball-handling skills. He was named NBA’s Most Valuable Player twice and NBA’s Defensive Player of the Year in 2020. He represents Greece at the international level.
Constantine II of Greece reigned as the King of the Hellenes from 1964 until 1973 when the Greek monarchy was abolished. His reign culminated in the Greek junta and the former King of Greece was forced into exile when the countercoup against the junta failed. Constantine is also a former sailor who won an Olympic gold in the 1960 Olympics.
The daughter of former WTA player Angelikí Kanellopoúlou, Sakkari was introduced to tennis at age six. Greek tennis sensation Maria Sakkari has had a career-high ranking of number 6 in singles. Known for her aggressive style, Sakkari was born and raised in Athens but moved to Barcelona at 18 to train.
Konstantinos Mavropanos is a Greek football player who currently plays for the popular Bundesliga club VfB Stuttgart. He is also an important member of the Greece national football team. Before playing for VfB Stuttgart, Mavropanos has also played for Arsenal and FC Nürnberg.
Athina Onassis Roussel is a French-Greek heiress and equestrian. She is the granddaughter and the only surviving descendant of Greek shipping magnate Aristotle Onassis. Her parents are Aristotle's daughter Christina Onassis and her fourth husband, Thierry Roussel. She began riding horses as a child and is now a competitive showjumper. Following Christina Onassis’s death, Athina became her sole heiress.
Kurt Rambis was initially drafted by the New York Knicks, he was later waived and debuted as part of the Greek club AEK Athens instead. He later won 4 NBA championships with the LA Lakers and coached both the Lakers and the Knicks.
Greek footballer Sokratis Papastathopoulos began his career with youth teams such as AEK Athens. The dependable center-back won a Serie A with AC Milan and a German Super Cup with Borussia Dortmund, before joining Arsenal, with whom he won an FA Cup. He now plays for the Greek club Olympiacos.
Georgios Samaras is a Greek former football player who represented Manchester City in the Premier League from 2006 to 2008. He was also an important player for Celtic in the Scottish Premier League, helping his team win the Scottish league championships on four occasions. Georgios Samaras also represented his country in important tournaments like FIFA World Cups.
Greek footballer Kostas Manolas made headlines in 2021, when he rejected offers to play in Bundesliga and La Liga, to return to his previous Greek club Olympiacos. The promising center-back has also played for the Greek national team. He is the nephew of legendary Greek defender Stelios Manolas.
José Holebas is a German-Greek footballer who helped his team Olympiacos Football Club win the Greek Football Cup in 2012 and 2013. He currently represents Bayern Alzenau. Well-known for his skills as a left midfielder, José Holebas represented the Greece national team between 2011 and 2016.
Born to Greek parents in Ohio, basketball player Kosta Koufos has had a long stint of over a decade with the NBA, playing for teams such as the Sacramento Kings and the Memphis Grizzlies. The reliable center has also played for Russian and Greek clubs and is known for his towering 7-foot frame.
Giorgos Katidis is a Greek footballer who currently plays for the Super League 2 club Irodotos. A controversial player, Katidis celebrated his winning goal against Veria Football Club by giving a Nazi salute on 16 March 2013 while playing for AEK Athens. His gesture caused uproar in the media and Giorgos Katidis was banned from representing all Greek national teams.
Known to his fans as Kill Bill and V-Span, Greek basketball player Vassilis Spanoulis also turns heads with his 6’4” frame. He has spent most of his career playing for the Greek club Olympiacos and is a 3-time EuroLeague champion. He has also played for the NBA team Houston Rockets.
Greek former footballer Giorgos Karagounis began his senior career as a midfielder for the Greek club Panathinaikos and went on to play for Inter Milan, Benfica, and Fulham, too. Known for his dribbling and passing skills, he has won the European Championship with the Greek national squad.
Though born and trained in the US, Nick Calathes now plays for the national basketball team of Greece. He also plays for Barcelona. Nick began his career with Florida University, and in spite of being drafted by the NBA, he gained recognition by winning the Greek League with Panathinaikos.
Legendary Greek basketball player Nikos Galis, or The Basketball Gangster, led Greece to the 1987 Eurobasket Championship victory. Galis also made it to FIBA’s 50 Greatest Players list in 1991. He was one of the rare players to be named to the Basketball Hall of Fame without representing the NBA.
Tyler Dorsey is a Greek-American basketball player who usually takes the shooting guard position, thanks to his height of 1.96 m. In 2020 and 2021, he helped his team Maccabi Tel Aviv win the Israeli Basketball Premier League. In 2022, he was part of Olympiacos B.C., a team that won the prestigious Greek Basketball Cup.
Georgios Papagiannis is a Greek basketball player who has played for popular NBA teams like Sacramento Kings and Portland Trail Blazers. A superstar in Greek basketball leagues, Papagiannis is a four-time Greek Cup winner and two-time Greek League champion. Georgios Papagiannis is also an important player for his national team.
Angelos Charisteas is a former football player who scored 25 goals in 88 games for Greece. An important player for his national team, Charisteas helped Greece win the UEFA Euro 2004 by scoring thrice; he also scored the winning goal against Portugal in the finals. After retiring, he began his career as a sporting director of Aris Thessaloniki in 2019.
Konstantinos Mitroglou is a football player whose goal-scoring abilities have earned him such nicknames as Pistolero and Mitrogoal by fans. He created a club record in 2013 when he was transferred to the English Premier League club Fulham for £12 million. Also an important player for the Greece national team, Mitroglou has played in important tournaments like FIFA World Cup.
Known as The Running God and The Golden Greek, Yiannis Kouros was the greatest ultramarathon runner from Greece. Born into poverty, he was forced into manual labor at age five and decided to run professionally at age 16 only. Often compared to Pheidippides, he later played the character in a movie.
Alexi Pappas is a Greek-American runner, actor, writer, and filmmaker. In 2016, she set the national record for 10,000m at the Rio Olympics where she represented Greece. As a filmmaker, Alexi Pappas is credited with bankrolling and writing Olympic Dreams, the first fictional film to be shot in an Olympic village.
Pyrros Dimas is a Greek politician who represented the Panhellenic Socialist Movement between 2012 and 2015. A former weightlifter, Dimas is counted among the greatest weightlifters of all time. Having won three gold medals in Olympic Games, Pyrros Dimas is the most successful Greek athlete in the history of the Olympics. He also won three gold medals in World Championships.
Mike Zambidis is a Greek martial artist and kickboxer. A four-time national kickboxing champion, Zambidis has also trained in other forms of martial arts like Shotokan, Boxing, Wrestling, Muay Thai, sanshou, and Pankration. Mike Zambidis has won several championships, including SUPERKOMBAT Middleweight Championship and W.O.K.A Super Welterweight World Championship.
Kostas Papanikolaou has previously been part of the NBA teams Houston Rockets and Denver Nuggets. Now a small forward for the Greek club Olympiacos, he has won 2 Euro League and 2 Greek League championships with the team. His 6’8” frame has also been a great advantage.
Retired footballer Theodoros Zagorakis captained the Greek national team to their 2004 UEFA European Football Championship victory and was also the competition’s MVP. He has also been the president of PAOK FC. He was Greece’s longest-serving captain and later became a Member of the European Parliament.
Starting his senior career with Panachaiki, Andreas Samaris later won the Greek Super League with Olympiacos and multiple titles with the Portuguese club Benfica. He was also part of the Greek squad that played at the 2014 FIFA World Cup. A central midfielder, he can play both attacking and defending roles.
Kyriakos Papadopoulos is a Greek football player who has made a name for himself despite suffering a series of injuries over several seasons. During the 2007–08 and 2008–09 seasons, Papadopoulos won two Superleague Greece titles, two Greek Cups, and one Greek Super Cup for Olympiacos. Kyriakos Papadopoulos is also an important member of the Greece national team.
Kostas Fortounis is a Greek footballer who has established himself as an important player for Super League club Olympiacos as well as the Greece national team. A superstar in the Super League scene, Fortounis has won two Super League Greece Player of the Year awards so far. Fortounis is known for his speed which creates goal-scoring opportunities.
Odysseas Vlachodimos is a German-born Greek football player and one of the main goalkeepers of the current Greece national team. Vlachodimos is best known for his association with the Portuguese club Benfica; he helped the club win the Primeira Liga as well as the Supertaça Cândido de Oliveira in 2019.
Zach Auguste is a Greek-American basketball player who has won two Greek League titles so far. He also won a Greek Cup as well as a Slovenian Cup in 2021 and 2022, respectively. He currently plays for the Slovenia club, Cedevita Olimpija.
Apostolos Giannou is a Greek-Australian football player who currently represents the Australia men's national soccer team. He has also played for various clubs, including AEK Larnaca with which he won the Cypriot Cup during the 2017–18 season.
Dimitris Diamantidis is a Greek retired basketball player known for his association with Panathinaikos Athens where he spent the last 12 seasons of his illustrious EuroLeague career. A three-time EuroLeague champion, Diamantidis was named EuroLeague MVP in 2011 and holds the record for the highest number of steals in EuroLeague history. Dimitris Diamantidis is counted among the greatest European basketball players.
Starting his youth career with Xanthi, Greek footballer Vasilis Torosidis also made his senior debut with them and later played for clubs such as Olympiacos, Roma, and Bologna. The right-back has recorded 6 Greek Super League wins with Olympiacos and has also been named the Greek Football Player of the Year once.
Sofoklis Schortsanitis is a Greek former basketball player who helped the Maccabi Tel Aviv Basketball Club win the 2014 EuroLeague title. He was also an important member of Greek national team and represented his country in the 2006 FIBA World Championship where he helped Greece win the silver medal. Sofoklis Schortsanitis is also a two-time Greek Cup winner.
Canadian shooting guard/point guard Naz Mitrou-Long is best known for his stint with the Italian Lega Basket Serie A team Germani Brescia. Once named the 7th-best Canadian player, he has also played for the Sacramento Kings. The son of a Trinidadian father and a Greek-Canadian mother, he also has a basketball player brother.
Apostolos Vellios is a Greek football player who has represented popular clubs like Everton, Nottingham Forest, and Ascoli. Standing at 6 ft 3 in, Vellios is an effective striker and is known for his aggressive style of play. He currently plays for Lamia Football Club which competes in Super League.
Georgios Printezis is a basketball player and the current captain for Olympiacos. He won two consecutive EuroLeague titles with the team in 2012 and 2013. Printezis' game-winning shot in the 2012 EuroLeague Final is considered one of the best moments in EuroLeague history. An important player for Greece, Printezis helped his team win the bronze medal at the 2009 EuroBasket.
Sotirios Kyrgiakos is a Greek former footballer who served as a key player for Greece from 2002 to 2010. At club level, he had success with Rangers; he helped the club win the Scottish Premier League in 2005. Sotirios Kyrgiakos is also known for his time with Panathinaikos, winning Alpha Ethniki and the Greek Cup during the 2003–04 season.
Dimitrios Konstantopoulos is a Greek former football player and goalkeeper. He is best known for his association with Hartlepool United Football Club for which he made 117 league appearances. After retiring as a player, Dimitrios Konstantopoulos started his career as a goalkeeper coach for Hartlepool United in August 2021.
Kostas Sloukas is a Greek basketball player who has participated in six EuroLeague Finals out of which he has won three titles. He is also a two-time Greek League Champion and two-time Greek Cup Winner with the popular Greek club Olympiacos. Sloukas has also played for the Turkish club Fenerbahçe for which he has won three Turkish Super League titles.
Once touted as Greece’s next big football star, Sotiris Ninis has had a lukewarm career. Starting his senior career with the Greek club Panathinaikos, he later played for Italian, Belgian, and Israeli clubs, and now plays as a midfielder for the Greek Super League team Volos.
Spiridon Louis was a Greek water carrier-turned-national hero. Louis achieved widespread popularity after becoming the first person to win the modern-day Olympic marathon at the 1896 Olympics in Athens. A former soldier, Louis is an example of an early rags-to-riches story where he wins the Olympic medal at a crucial moment and later becomes a police officer.