The Russian head coach will face Greece in the quarter-finals of the EuroBasket and for one season he played in PAOK as a Greek (!) with a passport that was eventually revoked.
The 52-year old Russian head coach, Sergey Bazarevich is hoping to get past the Greek national team on Wednesday at the “Sinan Erdem Dome” and advance to the semi-finals of the 2017 EuroBasket. Eurohoops takes you back to the end of last century when Bazarevich played for PAOK as a Greek.
By that time, Bazarevich was already well known as a player. He played in the NBA, but only 10 games with the Atlanta Hawks, in the previous year he decided to join Greek club PAOK. Bazarevich was also a member of the Russian national team and has participated in many different FIBA tournaments.
However, during the 1999-2000 season in the Greek league, Sergey Bazarevich had played for PAOK as… a repatriated Greek, having acquired (and) a Greek passport. PAOK had extreme secrecy surrounding this procedure and finally, at the end of July, PAOK announced the acquisition of the Russian playmaker, as a Greek who has his origins in the city of Volos! This, however, could not bypass the Hellenic Basketball Federation, which reported this situation and tried to stop it even though they were forced to issue a registration card to the player.
Before the end of 1999, an administrative inquiry was completed. At the end of March 2000, the results came out and they were highly revealing. It was proved that Bazarevich had been granted a passport through repatriation from an application to the consulate of Neurosyscus on December 8, 1998.
The evidence showed that for many months the acquisition of him obtaining a passport had been processed. It was also proved that the application for the Greek passport was done from a person who spoke Greek fluently, so not by Bazarevich himself. He also declared Satvroupoli in Thessaloniki as a place of residence and Athens, a place of establishment.
At the end of the season, the participation of Bazarevich in the Sydney 2000 Olympics with the national team of Russia, took the passport assumption to even a longer stretch, but eventually, the passport was canceled when he finally had left Greece.