San Diego State Forward Malik Pope Is Going To PAOK BC In Greece
Malik Pope will play next season in Greece.
San Diego State forward Malik Pope is going pro in Greece
Former San Diego State forward Malik Pope has signed with PAOK BC in Greece. Located in Thessaloniki, Greece, PAOK plays in the Greek Basket League.
Pope came to San Diego State from Elk Grove, California, rated a five-star prospect. Each year that Pope was in college he improved his scoring and rebounding. As a freshman at San Diego State, he averaged 5.1 points and 2.7 rebounds in 31 games. In his senior season, Pope averaged 12.8 points and 6.8 rebounds per game.
After the season Pope declared for the NBA draft and went undrafted. He found his way onto the Los Angeles Lakers for the summer league, however, he did not see much time on the team. In five games Pope played only 2.2 minutes per game and was subsequently let go.
Pope is expected to play power forward and center for PAOK. The Greek league is a good fit for him and will allow him to play at one of the highest levels in Europe. PAOK has played the last two years in the FIBA Champions League. Last season PAOK finished third after beating Prometheus in the third place series 3-0.
The Greek Basket League has been dominated by two teams Olympiacos and Panathinaikos over the last 16 years. Olympiacos has won three and Panathinaikos has won 13 titles over that time. Getting to the finals will be tough, however, Pope will be called on to take PAOK to the next level.
Pope is ready for the challenge. When talking to PAOK’s official website he mentioned that he was ready to make the jump from college to the pros.
“I know very well that playing professional basketball is not easy. Nevertheless, I believe that I will be able to cope with and help my team with all my might,” Pope said.
Pope’s first season will be a challenging one and I expect him to meet this challenge head on. He has a great opportunity playing in Greece that could lead to a fruitful career. If he plays well and grows his game then this is just the step in an upward route to something bigger. Either way Aztec Nation will be behind him on this journey.