|Signature Star: Kostas Sloukas, Fenerbahce Istanbul
When Kostas Sloukas takes the floor at Sinan Erdem Dome, he will be returning to the place where he helped produce one of the greatest title-game finishes in basketball history and also continuing his own his magical Final Four run. Sloukas won the first of his back-to-back EuroLeague crowns in Istanbul, with Olympiacos Piraeus in 2012. He has now reached the Final Four for the fifth time in six seasons. In his previous four trips to the event, he made it to the championship game each time, never losing a semifinal.
One of the leaders of a golden era of Greek youth national teams that won four medals in five years, Sloukas superbly translated that success to the sport's elite level. Only one summer separated Sloukas winning his last youth medal from winning his first precious EuroLeague title. In both championship seasons with the Reds, Sloukas used his role off the bench to groom his game and become a playmaking force.
Seemingly always cool and collected, Sloukas never flinches with the game on the line. His basketball IQ allows him to shine in the toughest of situations and on the biggest of stages, such as the EuroLeague Final Four. Last season Sloukas etched a place in the hearts of millions of Fenerbahce fans for his role in a Final Four semifinal rally against Laboral Kutxa Vitoria Gasteiz by scoring key baskets late in the fourth quarter and overtime to propel Fenerbahce to the championship game for the first time ever.
This season, at age 27, Sloukas set career highs in points, assists and three-point shooting despite missing six late-season games due to a knee injury. Fenerbahce went 2-4 without Sloukas, but the gutsy guard recovered just in time for Fenerbahce to win all four games since his return, sweeping through the playoffs. Now they are back to the Final Four, where they aim to celebrate once and for all.