We bring you another streetball basketball court in our ”Must Hoop” series. We go to a north Athens suburb for The Sport Center of Sepolia, or as many refer it to as just the “Giannis Court” for obvious reasons.
Hoopers from around the globe, welcome to Athens, the capital city of Greece, with around three million citizens. The birthplace of the Olympic Games, the place where it all started when it comes to modern sport. A place where a star was born. YES you are right Giannis Antetokounmpo. And yes there is no doubt you seen this famous court that the “Greek Freek” grew up playing on and now with amazing aerial shots you can see the extent of the stunning artwork.
Surrounded by typical Athenian buildings it gives the impression of a serious hood playground similar to those we can see in Belgrade’s blocks. It has that authentic Balkan soul, and real streetball look.
Just a few hundred meters from Sepolia Metro Station, it is easy to come to the actual court. The Sport Center of Sepolia provides people with two concrete courts, the main full court with glass backboards and concrete stands that stretch along the entire court, while the other is much smaller, with pretty low hoops, good for kids and for those who do not have good vertical. Attached to the court is childrens playground, so you can come to pick ups with your kids, and while you are playing, you don’t have to worry about them being bored. The playground is fenced with a wire fence which additionally gives him that hood look. But do not get this tall fence fool you, since the door is not locked properly, and also there is a hole in the fence, which is common for fenced courts.
The court itself has a long history of a few decades, but it has gained its fame in 2017, when it was renovated and painted with a tremendous artwork, done by local street artist ”same84”. He painted a large mural of Giannis Antetokounmpo in collaboration with Nike, which now gives this court special aura. That was the tipping point for the court, to get world fame, and is being named GIANNIS COURT.
In a conversation with some young local kids, that were playing horse on the court, we got to a conclusion, that you will hardly find open pick up games during the working days, which is not the same for the weekends, and if you are lucky enough you can play some quality ball, with local neghborhood players.
So, although this court is not a mandatory place where the hottest streetball is played in Athens, however with a little luck you may succeed in that also. It is certainly not in the top ten courts where you would like to play and show your skills. On the other hand, if you find yourself in Athens, the court is
definitely worth a visit, both for every player and for those who love the game, or if you are a fan of Giannis. Because shooting a few shots, again on the same court where the NBA Champion made his first basketball steps is no small thing.
Yes, you heard right, it was on this court that Giannis started his basketball career, and spent hours and hours until he was 14 years old. Also you can take a nice photo, or just brag to your friends about how you were on the field where Giannis started.
To summarize wheter you will play good streetball here, probably not, but whether it is worth a visit, certainly YES. And who knows if you are very lucky, you may come across the legend Greek Freek personally.
While this iconic court won’t make our top 10 basketball courts in the world, it is a must visit for hoopers living in or visiting Greece!
Note: Text and photos by Drazen Usumovic.