Legendary basketball coach, Giannis Ioannidis, passed away at the age of 78 on Wednesday. Fans loved to call the former basketball player and professional coach “The Blond.”
Ioannidis had been suffering from dementia for the last four years, according to media reports.
He was generally considered to be the best Greek professional basketball club head coach of all-time, since he was the one with the most top-tier level major Greek national club titles won (19 in total, 14 with Aris, and 5 with Olympiacos).
Having conquered 12 championships and six cup titles, Ioannidis was one of the figures most closely associated with the golden age of Greek basketball in the 1980s and 90s, taking Aris and Olympiacos to some of their greatest heights.
He also held the record for the most championship titles, beating the also-legendary Zeljko Obradovic by one, and wins, with 418 victories.
Ioannidis was also involved in politics, representing Thessaloniki’s First Constituency with New Democracy from 2004 toi 2015, and also serving as sports minister under prime ministers Kostas Karamanlis and Antonis Samaras.
Giannis Ioannidis was born in Thessaloniki, and studied Agriculture in the Faculty of Geotechnical Sciences at the Aristotle University of Thessaloniki.
He is survived by his wife and daughter.