NICOSIA, 29 May 2009 –
The end of a 20-year career as a player was written for
George Thyrotos, at the II Games of the Small states of
Europe, in Monaco in 1987.
He was captain of the
Cyprus Basketball National team at the first appearance
of the country's National Team at the GSSE. In Monaco
1987 Thyrotos played the last three matches of his
international career, which had begun in 1970.
An astute playmaker,
with great perception of the game and leadership skills,
Thyrotos joined the men's team of AEL Limassol at the
age of 14. At 15 he was on the starting lineup and a
year later he was called to the National Team. He had
been present during the "hard years" of Basketball in
Cyprus but remained to see the sport pull through.
Thyrotos had been the
captain of the Cyprus National Team from 1970 until his
retirement in 1987. He was a leader in the first
appearances of Cyprus at the qualifying rounds of the
European Championship and won a gold medal at the 1985
GSSE. No one present at the Awards Ceremony can ever
forget the tears in his eyes as he accepted the medal.
As a player and later player/coach of AEL, Thyrotos has
won everything between 1970 and 1980.
He had also served as
National Team coach and continued his successes leading
the women's National Team to its first medals.
A major figure for
Basketball in Cyprus, Thyrotos was betrayed by his heart
in January 2001, at the age of 47. But he lives on, in
the memories of the people who consider themselves lucky
to have met him. The street running in front of AEL's
stadium is named in honor of his memory and his no 15
shirt hangs in a prominent position inside.