Panathinaikos Athens and its longest-tenured player, three-time Euroleague champion Kostas Tsartsaris, will make it 11 years together after they agreed on a contract for the 2012-13 season. Tsartsaris (2.09 meters, 32 years old) has been a key figure in the team’s golden era under Coach Zeljko Obradovic. In his decade with the Greens, he has been to five Euroleague Final Fours, celebrated nine Greek League titles and lifted seven Greek Cup trophies. Last season he averaged 4.2 points and 2.7 rebounds in 14 minutes over 17 Turkish Airlines Euroleague games off the bench. Tsartsaris enters the season fourth in competition history with 211 games played and eighth in defensive rebounds (576). Before joining Panathinaikos in the summer of 2002, Tsartsaris played for Grindavik in Iceland, as well as for Near East and Peristeri in Greece. He has also been a member of the Greek national team, with whom he won the gold medal at EuroBasket 2005, reached the 2006 FIBA World Championships title game and took part in the Olympic Games in 2004 and 2008.
“This is was what I wanted. For me, it was purely a procedural matter. I am happy to remain part of the Panathinaikos Athens family,” Tsartsaris said in a statement released by the team. “There is a new beginning in the team; I wanted to be part of this effort and my goal is to help the team as best I can. Things have changed with the presence of Dimitris Giannakopoulos at the helm. After so many years under Zeljko Obradovic, now Argyris Pedoulakis is on the bench. I know him personally, I know they will do their best for the team and I have absolute confidence. We all aim to maintain a strong Panathinaikos. This is something that does not change.”