Geelong reportedly win race to sign Australian basketball ‘Greek Freak’ Paul Tsapatolis
A basketball prodigy dubbed ‘the Greek Freak’ is set to join former teammate and WA rising star Luke Jackson in the AFL.
Paul Tsapatolis will reportedly sign a two-year Category B rookie deal with Geelong, and follow in Jackson’s footsteps.
Jackson, a Bullcreek Leeming junior and last year’s number three pick in the AFL Draft, turned his back on a basketball career to play AFL after representing Australia on the world stage.
Like Jackson, Tsapatolis is ready to do the same after interest from a string of clubs including Adelaide, Sydney, Essendon, North Melbourne and Melbourne – who Jackson just re-signed with.
The 202cm talent will provide some much-needed ruck support for Geelong, who had their sights set on Tsapatolis for more than a year.
With Mark Blicavs seemingly headed into defence to replace Harry Taylor, the Cats have just Rhys Stanley and Darcy Fort as ruck options, along with Esava Ratugolea.
Tsapatolis’ impending signature is just more good news for the Cats after star big man Tom Hawkins put pen to paper to extend his deal yesterday.
Hawkins’ new two-year deal means he now has the chance to reach the magical 300-game AFL milestone.
The 32-year-old, who debuted for the Cats in 2007, has booted 603 goals — the third most in club history in his 277 games.
Only four other players in Geelong’s history have made it to 300 games and Hawkins is on track to become the fifth.
“Tom’s form line is ascending and we believe he will continue to improve as a player,” Geelong’s general manager of football Simon Lloyd said.
“Tom is a team-first player who looks to bring his teammates into the game and create opportunities for others as well as himself.
“He is a leader both on and off the field and cares deeply about his teammates and all at the club.”
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