Aris forward Alexandros Vezenkov is only 19 years old but he has managed to make the headlines with his performances especially this season. Particularly in the derby against PAOK, Vezenkov scored 29 points leading Aris to a great win.
His tremendous form has fueled talk over a potential NBA move. “When I was a kid I could never imagine that we would talk over an NBA move. NBA is a target for the long-term future though. I'm still lacking a lot of things in order to be able to compete at this level. Such as power, spark, jumping. I haven't signed with any agent despite the rumours. The fact that NBA scouts have visited Salonica to watch me playing does not make me anxious. I always learn it after the games. At the time being I'm only focused on Aris and I want to achieve great things as a team this season,” Vezenkov told sdna.gr.
His parents come from Bulgaria but he was raised up in Cyprus where he started playing basketball. “I started playing basketball from 6 years old and until I was 15 I have been playing at APOEL. When I was 11 years of age I quit basketball for a year because I had to study a lot. But my father wanted to see me playing basketball so much and a year later I returned,” Vezenkov says.
When he became 15 years old Vezenkov took the decision to move to Salonica to play for Aris. “I wanted to go there and play for Aris under-18 team. But despite our wish, Aris did not pick me. Finally Aris president Giannis Damianidis phoned my father and told him that I can sign. So, my career at Aris started under this way,” Vezenkov underlines.
Vezenkov's early days at Aris were difficult as he didn't get much playing time. But a game against KAOD in December the 15th changed Vaggelis Alexandris's view on him. “I managed to score 5 points, to collect 5 rebounds and to give 2 assist within 20 minutes. Although we lost, from that day onwards I started to have a key role in the team,” Vezenkov recalls.
Panathinaikos were heavily linked with a move for him in the past but Vezenkov turned down the offer. Many said that he took that decision as he was coming from a wealthy family but the 19-year-old forward denies that. “I didn't go to Panathinaikos because I wasn't ready to make the next step. But my choice was right as I'm playing regular at Aris and I'm happy there.”