According to Eurohoops, a trade is brewing the might send James Gist (205 cm, Maryland’08) to Panathinaikos (Greece-A1) and bring Andy Panko (205 cm, Lebanon Valley’99) to Unicaja Malaga (Spain-ACB) before the Euroleague trade deadline of Dec. 27th (before Top 16 play commences). Gist has publically (Facebook) commented that he wants out of the Unicaja colors.
“Tonight’s game is probably my last in the shirt of Unicaja, leaving for Panathinaikos, the coach does not want me, and therefore I do not want to stay and warm up the bench”.
Unicaja’s sideline leader, Jasmin Repesa, hasn’t been pleased with Gist’s shooting performance and feels that the American is underperforming, especially compared to his other big men. Argyris Pedoulakis, Panathinaikos coach, feels that Andy Panko hasn’t lived up to the hype that followed Panko’s 2011-12 MVP season in the Spain ACB.
Big name teams with big name players underperforming… The solution? Dump them to the other guy, who not-so-secretly wanted them in the first place. The players come with similar paychecks, are the same size, playing the same positions, so it’s an easy move for both squads and with a little over a week to go before the door closes in on any further trades, the time is right to make the move.
Gist played for Fenerbahce Ulker (Turkey-TBL) last season, averaging 7.4ppg in 16 Euroleague contests and 9.1ppg in 31 Turkish League games. He was drafted in the 2nd round (57th overall) by the San Antonio Spurs in the 2008 NBA draft, but was released before the season started and headed to Italy to start his professional career with Angelico Biella in the SerieA. He played four years for Maryland in the ACC, leaving with a career scoring average of 10.9 (15.9 his senior year).
Panko played for Lagu Aro Gipuzkoa BC (Spain-ACB) for three seasons and led the league in scoring with 18.6 points per game in 2011-12, earning the Spain ACB MVP award. He played four years of collegiate ball at NCAA Division III school Lebanon Valley where he tallied monster seasons for the Flying Dutchmen and still holds the school record with 2,515 career points and is second in career rebounds with 827. He was a three-year NABC first team All-American, two-time Division III Player of the year and was a finalist for the 1999 Jostens Trophy award, which is presented to the NCAA Division III Basketball player (men and women) based on basketball ability, academic performance and community service.