The veteran basketball player and coach Agis Kynigopoulos passed away today, December 13, at the age of 89 in Thessaloniki, after a rapid demonstration of his health due to a recent car accident.
THE death plunges him into heavy mourning, not only his family, not only the society of Thessaloniki where he was especially loved, but also the whole of Greece.
This is because with his duration, dynamic and multidimensional contribution, Agis Kynigopoulos has been for a number of decades a protagonist in a series of events and public life in our country.
Who was Agis Kynigopoulos?
Coming himself from the sports field, as he had been a player and coach of his basketball team Irakli Thessaloniki, Agis Kynigopoulos put his knowledge, experience but mainly his unpaid will for progress, first in the service of Greek sports. In the 1980s his physiognomy was identified with the effort to promote and disseminate basketball in Greece.
Agi Kynigopoulos’s contribution in the field of basketball was bigger and more substantial. Having served as an international referee during the period 1955-1960, he served as its commissioner FIBA from 1988 to 1995.
Thanks to his crucial handling, Agis Kynigopoulos played a key role in the creation of the great Greek National Basketball Team. Agis Kynigopoulos would become known as “the man who paved the way for Nikos Gali”, solving a series of formal and bureaucratic problems for the internationalization of the later legendary Greek-American athlete. Highlight: Its conquest High Championship in 1987. With this landmark triumph, Agi’s dream of becoming one of the most powerful forces in world basketball came true.
He served for a long time Leader of the Greek National Basketball Teams while he founded the Association of Basketball Clubs of Thessaloniki, which he did for a decade (1975-1985). Around the same time he was also Vice President of the Hellenic Basketball Federation (1980-1985). Under the leadership of Agis Kynigopoulos, Thessaloniki emerged and established itself as dominant in Greek basketball. He even wrote the book “The History of Sports in Thessaloniki”, for which he was honored by the Association of Football Clubs of Macedonia.
Agis Kynigopoulos was also the highest manager in sports clubs, professional and sports associations, and a municipal councilor of Thessaloniki – among many other positions for the categories he occasionally held.
In the professional field of his life, in addition to communication and public relations consultant, he was a distinguished sports journalist in the print and electronic press. It started from National Radio Foundation (E.I.R.) and then collaborated as an editor with a number of newspapers, such as Eleftheros Typos, Makedonia, Ellinikos Vorras, Thessaloniki etc.
He was awarded by the Association of Radio and Journalists of Northern Greece for his years of service as a pioneer radio announcer, especially in the sports five minutes. In 2006 he was also awarded the “Alkis Steas” award for his contribution to Greek Radio. And in 2009 he was honored by the Association of Advertising and Communication Companies of Northern Greece for his many years of contribution in the field of media and communication.
Along with the sport to which he devoted, always with admirable willingness and utter selflessness, a great deal of his time and energy, Agis Kynigopoulos participated in a number of charitable initiatives and organizations. Among many others, for a number of years he was President of the Alumni Association of the Papafio Orphanage “O Meliteus” (and later Honorary President of the historic Orphanage), member of the Board and President of the Physical Education & Sports Department of the Christian Brotherhood.
In 2010 Agis Kynigopoulos was honored by Metropolitan of Thessaloniki His Holiness Mr. Anthimos, for his contribution to Orthodoxy and for his efforts in the perspective of the ideals of our homeland.