The first edition of the Pangos All-Euro Camp tipped off Wednesday afternoon at the Basketaki Arena in Athens, Greece and many campers make quite a first impression on the continent of scouts in attendance, including three from the United States. The largest continent of talented prospects were the young guards.
The Pangos brand has been a strong force on the American grassroots basketball circuit for two decades now and entering its third decade, founder, owner and director Dinos Trigonis decided to branch out and host his first-ever camp across international waters in Europe. In 2018, Trigonis held a Pangos All-Canada Camp in Toronto, so it was only fitting that his first camp held in Europe be in Athens because of his Greek roots. The two-day camp has a true international flavor to it with over 55 prospects representing 16 countries and a wide range of ages. After one day of evaluation, it's safe to say the talent didn't disappoint.
The first Pangos All-Euro Camp Most Outstanding Player won't be decided until after Thursday's Cream of the Crop All-Star Game reserved for the top performers. It wouldn't surprise us if the MOP is one of the upperclass forwards in attendance.
Among the most impressive of the lot was 6-foot-5 17-year old (2024) Tomas Stankevicius of Kaunas, Lithuania. Stankevicius is a wing forward who has a nondescript aura about him with a skill set to be a big guard one day soon. He doesn't pop out on first appearance but the more you watch him, the more his impressive game stands out. Stankevicius has good offensive instincts from the triple threat or off the dribble, can see passing lanes, has good form on his jump shot and is sneaky athletic. He may not have great vertical pop, but he knows how to avoid defender's arms and body by contorting his own or hanging in the air just as long as necessary to finish the play. When you add that package to his strong frame, long arms and soft hands, you have quite the prospect.
Another one of the better all-around face-up wings in attendance was 6-foot-8 18-year old (2024) Georgios Vassilakis of Helsinki, Finland. Nobody rebounded out his area and with more authority than Vassilakis, who had double-digit rebounds in both of his camp games on Wednesday. He also had games of 18 and 14 points, which led his "Nuggets" team on both occasions.
Vassilakis (whose father is from Greece) can push the ball off the glass himself and displayed solid range on his outside stroke, including an effective mid-range pull up. He also can change direction and get his shoulders by defenders on his strong drives and has good timing as a shot blocker. He definitely has one of the nicest package of skill among all campers in attendance and is one of the handful of surefire D1 prospects
Among true post players, the biggest load inside was 6-foot-9 17-year old (2024) Stavros Karpouzis of Thessaloniki, Greece. Karpouzis definitely knows what he is (a back to the basket presence) and where his bread-and-butter lays. He punishes defenders, has workable feet and an array of interior moves that project. Karpouzis is also a terrific rebounder and has the skill set and approach to improve rapidly.
For many of the campers, the goal is to build enough exposure or attract enough attention to play NCAA basketball or finish playing high school ball in America, where the competition prepares a young prospect best for the rigors or pro basketball. One of the more mature players in attendance who could make an impact right away on the next level is 6-foot-7 18-year old (2023) Noah Penda of Paris, France. Penda has a rugged frame that translate well with an accommodating skill level. He can beat defenders off the dribble with a sneaky change of direction dribble to get downhill and is a willing and able passer. Penda, who has experience with France's 19U National Team, just needs polish up his overall offense to make himself an attractive option for a low D1, high D2 or national JUCO, as he is college eligible for 2023-24.
Among the younger forwards, Yannos Xanthopoulos arguably has the most potential. The 6-foot-8 Athens native is listed as a 2024 prospect, but he's still 16 years old and has plenty of room for growth and improvement. Xanthopoulos can run the floor well for his size, has good timing around the basket and a quality face-up game. Once he develops a more aggressive mentality and realizes he can impact games at a higher frequency by taking charge instead of playing a secondary role, the sky is the limit for this local product.
In the first installment of this camp, the group was a bit apprehensive in drills and to begin play, but picked up the intensity as the first long day wore on. The backcourt players definitely needed to take charge more and show more leadership instead of waiting for someone else or a teammate to do it. One of the reasons for that was the more talented lead guards were underclassmen. The one with the most feel and passing ability was 6-foot-3 16-year old (2026) Noel Emile-Lewis Mantock of Novi Sad, Serbia.
Mantock's passing ability is top-notch and in addition to making the right reads at the right time, he can execute tough passes without over-extending. He threaded the needle on a 40-foot bounce pass against the grain that would have made plenty of D1 college guards envious by the ease in which he did it. Mantock, whose father is Jamaican, has a nice array of offensive moves off the dribble and a quality first step.
Below are some of the other young guards (by age or class) who turned heads on the first day of the Pangos All-Euro Camp:
Angelos Bratakos, Athens (Greece) 6-2 (2024) 16
Quality ball-handler that knows how to get square to the rim.
Neo Anker Allarp Dengaky, Copenhagen (Denmark) 6-1 (2028) 14
Talented with blow by ability, and is working on not getting in the air to make a play.
Themistoklis Donakis, Thessaloniki (Greece) 6-0 (2026) 14
A deft ball-handler who can see the game.
Orestis Koutras, Psihiko (Greece) 6-0 (2025) 15
Knows how to play with pace and can really shoot the piss out of it.
Bilal Raymond Pedersen, Copenhagen (Denmark) 6-2 (2026) 17
Can sprint with the ball and has a nice pull-up game.