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HEBA A1 National
ESAKE A1 Ethniki
Current season or competition:
A1 Ethniki 2009-10
Esake Logo.jpg
A1
Sport Basketball
Founded 1927
Commissioner Vassilis Economidis
No. of teams 14
Country(ies) Greece Greece
Continent European Union FIBA Europe (Europe)
Most recent champion(s) Panathinaikos
(30th title)
Most championships Panathinaikos
(30 titles)
TV partner(s) ERT
Nova
Skai
Official website Esake.gr (Greek)
Basket.gr (Greek)

The A1 Ethniki (Greek: A1 Εθνική Κατηγορία), which means literally A1 National in English, commonly referred to as either the A1 Basket (Greek: A1 Μπάσκετ), the Greek League, or the Greek Championship is the highest professional club basketball league in Greece. It is run by HEBA, which is called ΕΣΑΚΕ in Greek. It is ranked as one of the 3 "A" level national domestic leagues in European basketball by the ULEB League Rankings System. It consists of 14 teams and runs from October to June, with teams playing 26 games each during the regular season. The first official Greek Championship was held in the 1927-28 season, although the first unofficial one started in the year 1925. The league's main sponsors are OPAP, which is the league's name sponsor and the Greek National Tourism Organization.

Contents

History

Official Greek League English version logo.

Basketball first came to Greece in the year 1910. By the year 1925 the first unofficial Greek championship had begun and in 1927 the first official championship began. There are three different official championship periods. The first one lasted from 1927 to 1963, when there wasn't a national championship and the champions of every district played at a later stage to define the Greek Champion. The second era started in the 1963-64 season when the Greek First Division (A Ethniki) was founded. In 1969, the EOK took over the duties of overseeing the competition and did so until the year 1992. The third era has existed since the 1986-87 season, when the A1 division (with regular season and playoffs) and the A2 division (called the A2 Ethniki or Greek A2 League) were formed.

The Greek League has been one of the most competitive basketball leagues in Europe through the years and it was widely regarded as the second best national league in the world after only the NBA in the 1990s decade. It currently ranks among the best national domestic leagues in the world (excluding the NBA), such as Liga ACB in Spain and Lega A in Italy. It is considered one of the 3 European "A" level leagues under the ULEB League Rankings System. The league has several great powers which belong to the most traditional European basketball clubs, especially the Euroleague giants Panathinaikos and Olympiacos. Other teams that have made significant success throughout the long history of Greek basketball are Aris and AEK Athens. These teams along with PAOK are considered the most successful Greek teams.

Despite the championship being contested 69 times, only nine teams have won so far. The dominating team of the league has been Panathinaikos, having earned the championship 30 times. Only three teams have participated in every championship since the foundation of the first division in 1964: Panathinaikos, AEK Athens and Aris.

Promotion and relegation

A Ethniki, in its current form, has been organized since the 1992-93 season by the Greek Basketball Clubs Association (HEBA, in English, "Hellenic Basketball Clubs Association"). 30 pro Greek basketball teams are split into two different divisions. The first division championship, which is called the "A1", in which 14 teams compete for the Greek National Championship and the second level championship, which is called the "A2", in which 16 teams compete for the second division crown. The bottom two place finishing teams each year in the A1 division standings are relegated to the A2 Ethniki due to poor performance, while the top 2 teams each year from the A2 division are promoted to the A1 Ethniki due to good performance.

Arena standards

Currently, Greek clubs must play their home games in arenas that seat at least 1,000 people in order to play Greek domestic league matches. Starting with the 2012-13 season, clubs must play their home Greek League matches in arenas that seat at least 3,500 people. Several Greek clubs have two arenas that they primarily use. One for domestic Greek League matches, and one for European-wide matches.

Greek clubs that play in the Euroleague or the Eurocup, must play their home games in those leagues in arenas that fit the arena standards of those leagues. Currently, a 5,000 seat arena minimum for the Euroleague, and a 2,500 seat arena minimum for the Eurocup. Starting with the 2011-12 season, the minimum arena seating capacity to compete in the Euroleague will be 10,000, and the minimum arena seating capacity to compete in the Eurocup will be 5,000.

The clubs for the 2009-10 season

Club Position
2008-09
Greek League Arenas Capacity European Cups Arenas* Capacity
AEK
9th
Helliniko Olympic Arena, Athens
15,000[1]
OAKA Indoor Hall, Athens
19,250
Aris
4th
Alexandrio Melathron, Thessaloniki
5,500[2]
Alexandrio Melathron, Thessaloniki
5,500
Colossus
8th
Venetoklio Indoor Hall, Rhodes
1,300[3]
Ilisiakos
2nd (A2)
Ilissia Indoor Hall, Athens
1,700[4]
Kavala
10th
Kalamitsa Sports Center, Kavala
1,700[5]
Maroussi
3rd
Maroussi Indoor Hall, Athens
1,700[6]
OAKA Indoor Hall, Athens
19,250
Olympia
11th
Larissa Neapolis Arena, Larissa
5,500[7]
Larissa Neapolis Arena, Larissa
5,500
Olympiacos
2nd
Peace and Friendship Stadium, Athens
14,905[8]
Peace and Friendship Stadium, Athens
14,905
Panathinaikos
1st
OAKA Indoor Hall, Athens
19,250[9]
OAKA Indoor Hall, Athens
19,250
Panellinios
5th
Panellinios Indoor Hall, Athens
1,700[10]
Helliniko Olympic Arena, Athens
15,000
Panionios
6th
Glyfada Indoor Hall, Athens
5,000
Helliniko Olympic Arena, Athens
15,000
PAOK
7th
PAOK Sports Arena, Thessaloniki
8,500[11]
PAOK Sports Arena, Thessaloniki
8,500
Peristeri
1st (A2)
Peristeri Arena, Athens
4,000[12]
Trikala
12th
Trikala Indoor Hall, Trikala
2,500[13]
  • *Arenas that meet ULEB European arena requirements, and where the clubs play their home games at if they are competing in the Euroleague or the Eurocup.

Champions

  • 1927-28 to 1962-63: Panhellenic Championship
  • 1963-64 to 1985-86: A Ethniki
  • 1986-87 to present: A1 Ethniki
Season Team
1927–28
Iraklis
1928–29
Panellinios
1929–30
Aris
1930–31
not held
1931–32
1932–33
1933–34
1934–35
Iraklis
1935–36
Near East
1936–37
Athens University
1937–38
not held
1938–39
Panellinios
1939–40
Panellinios
1940–41
not held due to World War II
1941–42
1942–43
1943–44
1944–45
1945–46
Panathinaikos
1946–47
Panathinaikos
1947–48
not held
1948–49
Olympiacos
1949–50
Panathinaikos
1950–51
Panathinaikos
1951–52
not held
1952–53
Panellinios
1953–54
Panathinaikos
1954–55
Panellinios
Season Team
1955–56
not held
1956–57
Panellinios
1957–58
AEK Athens
1958–59
PAOK
1959–60
Olympiacos
1960–61
Panathinaikos
1961–62
Panathinaikos
1962–63
AEK Athens
1963–64
AEK Athens
1964–65
AEK Athens
1965–66
AEK Athens
1966–67
Panathinaikos
1967–68
AEK Athens
1968–69
Panathinaikos
1969–70
AEK Athens
1970–71
Panathinaikos
1971–72
Panathinaikos
1972–73
Panathinaikos
1973–74
Panathinaikos
1974–75
Panathinaikos
1975–76
Olympiacos
1976–77
Panathinaikos
1977–78
Olympiacos
1978–79
Aris
1979–80
Panathinaikos
1980–81
Panathinaikos
1981–82
Panathinaikos
1982–83
Aris
Season Team
1983–84
Panathinaikos
1984–85
Aris
1985–86
Aris
1986–87
Aris
1987–88
Aris
1988–89
Aris
1989–90
Aris
1990–91
Aris
1991–92
PAOK
1992–93
Olympiacos
1993–94
Olympiacos
1994–95
Olympiacos
1995–96
Olympiacos
1996–97
Olympiacos
1997–98
Panathinaikos
1998–99
Panathinaikos
1999–00
Panathinaikos
2000–01
Panathinaikos
2001–02
AEK Athens
2002–03
Panathinaikos
2003–04
Panathinaikos
2004–05
Panathinaikos
2005–06
Panathinaikos
2006–07
Panathinaikos
2007–08
Panathinaikos
2008–09
Panathinaikos
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Performance by club

Club Champions Winning years
Panathinaikos
30
1946, 1947, 1950, 1951, 1954, 1961, 1962, 1967, 1969, 1971, 1972, 1973, 1974, 1975, 1977, 1980, 1981, 1982, 1984, 1998, 1999, 2000, 2001, 2003, 2004, 2005, 2006, 2007, 2008, 2009
Aris
10
1930, 1979, 1983, 1985, 1986, 1987, 1988, 1989, 1990, 1991
Olympiacos
9
1949, 1960, 1976, 1978, 1993, 1994, 1995, 1996, 1997
AEK Athens
8
1958, 1963, 1964, 1965, 1966, 1968, 1970, 2002
Panellinios
6
1929, 1939, 1940, 1953, 1955, 1957
PAOK
2
1959, 1992
Iraklis
2
1928, 1935
Near East
1
1936
Athens University
1
1937

A1 Finals

Season Home court advantage Result Home court disadvantage 1st of Regular Season Record
1992–93
Panathinaikos
1–3
Olympiacos PAOK
22–4
1993–94
Olympiacos
3–2
PAOK Olympiacos
22–4
1994–95
Olympiacos
3–2
Panathinaikos Olympiacos
24–2
1995–96
Olympiacos
3–2
Panathinaikos Olympiacos
24–2
1996–97
Olympiacos
3–1
AEK Athens Olympiacos
21–5
1997–98
Panathinaikos
3–0
PAOK Olympiacos
21–5
1998–99
Olympiacos
2–3
Panathinaikos Olympiacos
21–5
1999–00
Panathinaikos
3–0
PAOK Olympiacos
21–5
2000–01
Panathinaikos
3–2
Olympiacos Panathinaikos
22–4
2001–02
AEK Athens
3–2
Olympiacos AEK Athens
23–3
2002–03
Panathinaikos
3–1
AEK Athens Panathinaikos
21–5
2003–04
Panathinaikos
3–0
Maroussi Panathinaikos
22–4
2004–05
Panathinaikos
3–1
AEK Athens Panathinaikos
22–4
2005–06
Panathinaikos
3–0
Olympiacos Panathinaikos
24–2
2006–07
Panathinaikos
3–2
Olympiacos Panathinaikos
24–2
2007–08
Panathinaikos
3–2
Olympiacos Panathinaikos
23–3
2008–09
Olympiacos
1–3
Panathinaikos Olympiacos
25–1

By Club

Club W L Total
Panathinaikos
11
3
14
Olympiacos Piraeus
5
7
12
AEK Athens
1
3
4
PAOK
0
3
3
Maroussi
0
1
1

Number of seasons in the A National and A1 National by club (1963-64 - 2009-10)

The number of times that clubs participated in the top Greek A National League, while it existed from the 1963-64 season to the 1985-86 season. As well as the number of times that clubs have participated in the top Greek A1 National League, since it began with the 1986-87 season. Only three clubs, Panathinaikos, Aris, and AEK Athens have played in the top division every year since its formation.

Club Times
Panathinaikos
47
Aris
47
AEK Athens
47
PAOK
46
Olympiacos Piraeus
44
Iraklis
40
Panionios
39
Sporting
31
Panellinios
29
Apollon Patras
27
Maroussi
22
Peristeri
19
Pagrati
17
Larissa
16
XANO
12
Ionikos Nikaias
12
Dimokritos
9
Dafni
8
Irakleio
8
Near East
7
Club Times
Papagou
7
Esperos
6
Makedonikos
6
Olympia
6
BAO
5
Triton
4
Amyntas
4
Ionikos NF
4
Colossus
4
Ilisiakos
4
Egaleo
3
Aetos
3
Anatolia
2
HAN Nikaias
2
Apollon Kalamarias
2
Niki Volou
2
Philippos
2
Milonas
2
Ambelokipi
2
Peiraikos
2
Club Times
Olympiada Patras
2
Kavala
2
Trikala
2
Pierikos
1
Serron
1
MENT
1
KAOD
1
Rethymno
1

Greek League Awards

MVP Award

Season MVP Team
1987-88 United States-Greece Nikos Galis Aris Thessaloniki
1988-89 United States-Greece Nikos Galis Aris Thessaloniki
1989-90 United States-Greece Nikos Galis Aris Thessaloniki
1990-91 United States-Greece Nikos Galis Aris Thessaloniki
1991-92 Greece Giorgos Sigalas Olympiacos Piraeus
1992-93 Greece Giorgos Sigalas Olympiacos Piraeus
1993-94 Greece Giorgos Sigalas Olympiacos Piraeus
1994-95 Greece Giorgos Sigalas Olympiacos Piraeus
1995-96 Greece Giorgos Sigalas Olympiacos Piraeus
1996-97 United States David Rivers Olympiacos Piraeus
1997-98 Croatia Dino Radja Panathinaikos
1998-99 Federal Republic of Yugoslavia Dejan Bodiroga Panathinaikos
1999-00 Federal Republic of Yugoslavia Dejan Bodiroga Panathinaikos
2000-01 United States Alphonso Ford Peristeri
2001-02 Greece Dimos Dikoudis AEK Athens
2002-03 Slovenia Jaka Lakovič Panathinaikos
2003-04 Greece Dimitris Diamantidis Iraklis
2004-05 Slovenia Jaka Lakovič Panathinaikos
2005-06 Greece Dimitris Diamantidis Panathinaikos
2006-07 Greece Dimitris Diamantidis Panathinaikos
2007-08 Greece Dimitris Diamantidis Panathinaikos
2008-09 Greece Vassilis Spanoulis Panathinaikos

Best Young Player

Coach of the Year

Greek League all-time and season by season stats leaders

See also

NBA players that have played in the Greek League

The following is a list of players that have played in both the NBA and the Greek League. Player nationalities are listed as the players are registered in the league (through 2009-10 season). List may be incomplete.

(Non-EU Players - United States USA):

(Non-EU Players):

European Union Bosman Players:

Greece Domestic Players:

Unsigned NBA Draft picks that have played in the Greek League

The following is a list of unsigned NBA Draft picks that have played in the Greek League. Player nationalities are listed as the players are registered in the league (through 2009-10 season). List may be incomplete.

Other notable players that have played in the Greek League

The following is a list of some other notable players that have played in the Greek League. Player nationalities are listed as the players were registered in the league at the time they played in Greece (through 2009-10 season). This does not necessarily reflect changes of nationality after the named player left the Greek League—for example, J. R. Holden now has Russian nationality along with American. List may be incomplete.

Sponsors

Notes

External links


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