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Bulgarian Basketball Players in the NBA

The sport basketball is not that popular in Bulgaria because most of the Bulgarians focus their attention to their favourite sports; football, volleyball and wrestling.

Although basketball is not a huge hit in their country, some of the Bulgarian basketball players do not make it as a hindrance; instead they strive hard to achieve their goals.

Some of the Bulgarian basketball players who had the courage to play basketball in spite of the lack of support are Georgi Glouchkov and Priest Lauderdale. These two professional basketball players had the chance to play in the National Basketball Association.

Georgi Glouchkov

Georgi Nikolov Glouchkov was born on January 10, 1960 in Tryavna. He is 6 ft. and 8 in. tall and is a former professional basketball player in Bulgaria that was given a chance to play in the NBA. When he was just 17 years old, he became one of the youngest players in the Bulgarian National Basketball Men’s team.

When he was with the Bulgarian National Men’s Basketball team, the team participated in four European Championships; specifically in the year 1979, 1985, 1989, and lastly in the year 1991. He also played for the team Akademik Varna, and after several years he became one of Europe’s top five players.

He even led his team, the Akademik Varna, to win the national championships in the season 1984 to 1985 with his scoring and great rebounding skills, of course with the advantage of his height. Georgi Glouchkov became popular all over Europe, and he attracted the attention of the Phoenix Suns of the NBA. So, the Phoenix Suns picked him in the 1985 NBA Drafts as the 148th pick in the seventh round in the said NBA Drafts.

He was a great help to the Phoenix suns, especially in rebounding, and because of that he became part of the team’s regular rotation. However, in the latter part of the season, the team noticed that Glouchkov began gaining a lot of weight which greatly affected his performance.

The season 1985-1986 ended and the summer league started, and his performance was not that good, thus the team decided to let Glouchkov go back to Europe. Although his NBA career ended, his professional career didn’t. He continued playing in the European leagues, and even led the Italian team Phonola Caserta to win the European Winner’s Cup Finals in 1989.

Priest Lauderdale

Priest Lauderdale was born on August 31, 1973 in Chicago, Illinois. He is 7 ft. 4 in. tall and is a former professional basketball player. He played college basketball at the Central State University and started playing professionally for the Peristeri Nikas of the Greek League.

He was picked by the Atlanta Hawks of the NBA in the 1996 NBA Drafts as the 28th pick overall in the NBA Drafts. Just after one season with the Atlanta Hawks, he was drafted to the Denver Nuggets in the year 1997, and played for the Denver Nuggets for just one season. After 2001, he played professional basketball for the team Lukoil Academic, which is a Bulgarian team. After three years of playing for the said team, Priest Lauderdale received his Bulgarian citizenship.



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