KXAN (AP) - Texas sophomore to be Ioannis Papapetrou has signed a to a five-year contract Olympiacos, a professional team in his home country of Greece, and will not return to the Longhorn program.
The move caught Texas off guard after having every reason to believe he was returning to school for his sophomore season.
“We need to be happy for Papi and his family, and all of us wish him the best, " said head coach Rick Barnes. "There’s no question that Papi wanted to be here at The University of Texas, and it was going to take something very significant for him not to be here. And that’s exactly what happened.
The professional team in Greece approached Papi and his family again this week before he was set to leave to come back to campus, and the team basically created a contract that catered exactly to his needs and the wishes of his family. In the end, the contract was too much for him and his family to say ‘no’ to in their situation.
We will obviously miss him a lot, not only as a basketball player but more as a person. For me personally, I love the guy and the type of person he has become.”
Papapetrou is an Athens native who would have been Texas' top returning scorer next season. He recently played for the Greece national team in the under-20 European championships.
Losing Papapetrou means Texas would be without its top four scorers from last season's team that finished 16-18, the program's first losing season in 15 years. The 6-foot-8 forward averaged 8.3 points for the Longhorns as a freshman.
With Papapetrou's departure, sophomore Jevan Felix is UT's top returning scorer, he averaged 6.8 points per game. In all, Texas has lost two thirds of its offense from last year.
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