Nick Galis’ Basketball Hall of Fame Enshrinement Speech

Nick Galis delivers his speech upon being enshrined to the Naismith Memorial Basketball Hall of Fame as part of the class of 2017.

An eight-time champion in the Greek Basket League, Nick Galis transformed basketball in his adopted city of Thessaloniki while becoming the superstar athlete every young player tried to emulate. During his senior season at Seton Hall, the New Jersey native ranked third in the nation with a scoring average of 27.5 points per game.

Galis, the son of Greek immigrants, signed with ARIS of Thessaloniki in 1979 after being drafted by the Boston Celtics. Then, in 1983, the five-time All-European selection helped ARIS run off seven straight league titles. The prolific scorer attacked the interior confounding the opposing team’s defense and defying the limits of his small frame. Galis led Greece to a gold medal in the European Championships in 1987 and was named MVP, solidifying his status as an icon that contributed mightily to the popularity of the game. During the opening ceremonies of the 2004 Summer Olympics in Athens, Galis was one of Greece’s final torchbearers, culminating the storied career of the greatest player in Greek history.