OTE Basketball An Overview of the Top-Tier Greek League

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The Greek Basket League, commonly known as OTE Basketball due to its title sponsorship with Greek telecommunications company OTE, is the premier professional basketball league in Greece. Established in 1963, OTE Basketball has witnessed legendary players, iconic teams, and unforgettable championship battles. This article provides an in-depth overview of the league, including its history, structure, teams, and notable figures.


OTE Basketball emerged from the ashes of the Greek National Basketball Championships, which ran from 1927 to 1963. In 1963, the Hellenic Basketball Federation (EOK) decided to create a professional league to elevate the sport in Greece. The inaugural season featured eight teams, and AEK Athens emerged as the first champion.

Over the years, OTE Basketball has undergone several changes in its format and regulations. In 1992, the league expanded to 14 teams, and in 2000, it introduced a play-off system to determine the champion. The league has also welcomed international players, enriching its level of competition.


OTE Basketball currently comprises 14 teams that compete in a regular season and a play-off. The regular season runs from September to May, with each team playing 26 games against the other teams. The top eight teams qualify for the play-offs, which are a single-elimination tournament leading to the championship game.


The current teams in OTE Basketball are:

  • AEK Athens
  • Apollon Patras
  • Aris Thessaloniki
  • Doxa Lefkadas
  • Iraklis Thessaloniki
  • Ionikos Nikaias
  • Kolossos Rhodes
  • Lavrio
  • Larisa
  • Olympiacos Piraeus
  • Panathinaikos Athens
  • Peristeri
  • Promitheas Patras
  • Rethymno Cretan Kings

Notable Figures

OTE Basketball has produced some of the greatest basketball players in Greek history. Some of the most notable figures include:

  • Nikos Galis: The legendary shooting guard is considered one of the greatest European players of all time. He led Aris Thessaloniki to multiple championships and was a driving force behind Greece’s success in international competitions.
  • Theodoros Papaloukas: A skilled point guard known for his leadership and court vision. He won EuroLeague championships with CSKA Moscow and was a key member of the Greek national team that won the 2005 European Championship.
  • Dimitris Diamantidis: Another outstanding point guard, known for his defense and uncanny ability to anticipate plays. He won EuroLeague championships with Panathinaikos and was named EuroLeague MVP three times.
  • Giannis Antetokounmpo: The reigning NBA Finals MVP and two-time league MVP, Antetokounmpo began his professional career with Filathlitikos in OTE Basketball before moving to the NBA.

Current Champions

Olympiacos Piraeus are the reigning champions of OTE Basketball, having won the 2021-22 title. They defeated Panathinaikos Athens in a thrilling five-game final series to claim their 13th league championship.

International Success

Greek teams have achieved significant success in European competitions. Panathinaikos, Olympiacos, and AEK Athens have all won the EuroLeague, the most prestigious club basketball competition in Europe. Greek players have also been instrumental in Greece’s success in international competitions, winning the European Championship twice and the World Championship once.

Impact on Greek Basketball

OTE Basketball has had a profound impact on Greek basketball. It has provided a platform for Greek players to showcase their talent, while also attracting international stars to the league. The league has helped develop a strong basketball culture in Greece, inspiring young players to pursue careers in the sport.


OTE Basketball is the pinnacle of professional basketball in Greece. With its rich history, top-tier teams, and legendary players, the league has captivated fans across the country and beyond. OTE Basketball continues to evolve and entertain, remaining one of the most competitive and exciting basketball leagues in Europe.

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