Kosta Koufos

Kosta Koufos

Infobox NBA Player
name = Kosta Koufos
Κώστας Κουφός

position = Center
height_ft = 7
height_in = 1
weight_lb = 265
league = NBA
team = Utah Jazz
number = 41
birth_date = birth date and age|1989|2|24
birth_place = Canton, Ohio, U.S.
nationality = American
nationality_2 = Greek
highschool = GlenOak, Canton
college = Ohio State
draft = 23rd overall
draft_year = 2008
draft_team = Utah Jazz
career_start = 2008
career_highlights = Y
awards = 2007 FIBA Europe Under-18 Championship MVP
2008 National Invitation Tournament MVP

Konstantine Demetrios “Kosta” Koufos (in Greek: _el. Κώστας Κουφός or " _el. Kóstas Koufós", born on February 24, 1989 in Canton, Ohio, U.S.) 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 basketball for Ohio State University for one year before declaring for the 2008 NBA Draft. Koufos holds dual citizenship of both the United States and Greece, but has chosen to play for the Greek national team.

High school career

Koufos attended GlenOak High School in Canton, Ohio. He was a McDonald's All-American as a senior, and ranked #3 center of the 2007 high school class by "Rivals.com". [ [http://rivalshoops.rivals.com/viewrank.asp?ra_key=1437 Rivals.com 2007 center ranking] ] 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 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, 15.4 rebounds and 5.2 blocks 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 Day, the No. 2 team in the state of Michigan, to lead GlenOak to its ninth-consecutive victory.

As a junior, Koufos averaged 24 points, 11.1 rebounds and four blocks per game and was named second-team all-state.

In April 2007, Koufos was a member of the Royal team in the Jordan All-American Classic in Madison Square Garden.

College career

In 2007, Koufos joined the Ohio State Buckeyes, where he replaced Greg Oden at center. He also turned down a multi-million dollar offer by Olympiacos BC, a Greek League basketball club. [ [http://www.sportingnews.com/yourturn/viewtopic.php?t=285793 SportingNews: Koufos is Ohio State's Oden encore] ] He was named MVP of the 2008 NIT after leading the Buckeyes to the championship by defeating UMass 92-85.

At the conclusion of his freshman year at Ohio State, Koufos averaged 14.4 points, 6.7 rebounds, and 1.8 blocks per game. He scored a total of 534 points, 66 of them coming from behind the arc.

NBA 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 State 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. [cite news|url=http://msn.foxsports.com/cbk/story/8056224/Buckeyes'-Koufos-will-declare,-won't-hire-agent |title=Buckeyes' Koufos will declare, won't hire agent |first=Jeff |last=Goodman |publisher="FoxSports.com" |date=2008-04-21 |accessdate=2008-04-22] On May 8, the "Canton Repository" reported that Koufos signed with Cleveland-based agent Mark Termini, thereby ending his college eligibility. [ [http://www.cantonrep.com/index.php?Category=17&ID=411404&subCategoryID=30 Koufos hires Cleveland-based agent] ]

Koufos was selected by the NBA team the Utah Jazz with the 23rd overall pick in the 2008 NBA Draft.

International career

Koufos was a member of the Greek junior national 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. [ [http://www.fibaeurope-u18men.com/en/default.asp?coid={E86B7310-B1A7-41B0-BD1E-4BB884CF96EA}&articleMode=on FIBA Europe: Koufos Named MVP] ] Koufos is considered the top Greek basketball talent since Efthimios Rentzias, who was named the MVP of the 1995 FIBA Under-21 World Championship.


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


External links

*youtube|q1PoFEVY4zo|Koufos' highlights from 2007 Under-18 Euro
* [http://www.nba.com/draft2008/profiles/KostaKoufos.html NBA.com draft 2008 profile]

NAME = Koufos, Kosta
SHORT DESCRIPTION = Greek American basketball player
DATE OF BIRTH = February 24, 1989
PLACE OF BIRTH = Canton, Ohio

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