A1 Ethniki


A1 Ethniki

Infobox sports league
title=Greek A1 League
A1 Ethniki
current_season=A1 Ethniki 2008-09
logo=Α1ethniki.jpg
pixels=180px
caption=A1 Ethniki
sport=Basketball
founded=1928
folded=
fame=
motto =
teams=14
continent=flagicon|EU Europe
country=flagicon|Greece Greece
champion =Panathinaikos
website= [http://www.esake.gr Esake.gr] [http://www.basket.gr Basket.gr]
ceo =
TV=ANT1, ERT, Nova Sports,

The A1 Ethniki (often referred to as Greek League or Greek Championship) is the highest professional basketball competition among pro clubs in Greece. The first Greek Championship was held in 1928 by the Greek Basketball Federation which organized all the championships until 1992.

History

There are three different Championship periods. The first one lasted from 1928 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. Since the 1986-87 season, the A1 division (with regular season and playoffs) and the A2 division (called the A2 Ethniki or Greek A2 League) have existed.

The Greek League has been one of the most competitive basketball leagues in Europe through the years, and it currently ranks among the best national domestic leagues in the world (excluding the NBA), such as the Spanish League, the Italian League and the Russian League. 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 67 times, only nine teams have won so far. The dominating team of the league has been Panathinaikos, having earned the championship 28 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"). 32 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 18 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.

Teams

The clubs for the 2008-09 season are:

valign="top" width=33%

By Club

Greek League MVP Awards

Best Young Player

2006-07: flagicon|GRE Giorgos Printezis (Olympia Larissas BC)

2007-08: flagicon|GRE Ian Vouyoukas (Rethymno BC)

Coach of the Year

2006-07: flagicon|SRB Zeljko Obradovic (Panathinaikos BC)

2007-08: flagicon|GRE Soulis Markopoulos (Maroussi BC)

Other Competitions

*Greek Basketball Cup
*Greek A2 League

External links

* [http://www.esake.gr/ Official HEBA Site]
* [http://www.basket.gr/ Official Hellenic Basketball Federation Site]
* [http://www.sportime.gr/basket_category.asp?article_id=11 A1 League at Sportime magazine (Greek)]
* [http://www.galanissportsdata.com/basketball/mena1/season2007_08/a1teamallrs.asp Galanis Sports Data]


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