Richard Rellford: The bomber… Greece-Cyprus

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We had a chance to speak with the 52 year old Richard Rellford, the man who graced us with his presence in Greece and Cyprus. Richard Rellford was a mean scoring machine and a nightmare to play against him. He played in AEK Athens, Dafni, Pagrati and Iraklio in Greece and in AEL Limassol and Omonoia Nicosia in Cyprus.

Cyprusbasket.net tracked down Richard in West Palm Beach Florida where he now works and lives with his family. He was really happy to answer all of our questions and we thank him for that.

Initially, we asked him about his experience in Cyprus and what he remembers most from that time: “I loved playing basketball in Cyprus! Really those were wonderful days, both team I played for had really good players in their rosters and I remember we did well with both teams.”

Our next question was whether or not he intends to visit Cyprus again anytime soon: “Certainly! I plan to. I want to visit both Cyprus and Greece. Now I think I about it I never went back there after I came back home. I miss Cyprus and Greece and I look forward in visiting my old friends.

We asked him what is the first thought that comes to his mind when he hears the word Greece: «Beautiful! I think about how beautiful Greece is! It’s my number 1 destination to visit for holidays even though i it’s been a long time. Really I can’t wait to back there.
What do you miss the most from Greece? “Everything! I miss all the people I met in Greece, my teammates, but also the cities where I lived. “

Do you still keep contact with anyone? “Yes, certainly. Achilleas Demenagas is still a very close friend of mine. We played together with Daphney Club. “I know whats going on with your league. George Andrews still informs me of what is going down over there. (Andrew is a sports agent and lawyer. He is known for representing athletes like Magic Johnson, Isiah Thomas and Reggie Theus). From what I learn Olympiakos and Panathinaikos still compete at a high level. I remember those teams very well. Very good teams, both of them.

Who gave you most trouble in offence? That’s easy. Phanis Christodoulou of Panionios was the best defender back in the day. I couldn’t easily get pass him. He really was tough.

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What is the most memorable moment you had in Greece?
“The victory over Olympiakos. That year they won the championship. Very big game, the world has gone mad when it was over!”

Zarκo Paspalj had 54 points that game but the MVP was Rellford with 30 points
10/16 FG and 8 rebounds.

Another incident that Richard Rellford will remember forever was when Nicos Galis called him to congratulate him for winning the top scorer award in A1 with a total 726 points behind the unbelievable 57% in field goals.
“I always liked fighting against Nick! It was really a pleasure to see him on the court. I remember I was surprised when he called me and congratulated me. He said Well-done man, you did a good job!”

Funnily when we asked him about Diamantides and Spanoulis, Richard didn’t know anything. He kindly apologized but he gave us a lot of intel about the Greek freak Giannis Antetokoumpo.
“What advice would you give him if you saw him? I would say to continue to work hard and leave out of his life anything that might distract him. To stay focused and continue to do what you do”

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Then we changed our conversation and spoke a little bit about the greatest win Greece ever made in the Mundobasket of 2006 against the Unites States of America and all the NBA legends which included Lebron, Carmelo and Dawne. “Honestly i didn’t think it was a huge surprise. Greece had quality players and were the best team in Europe that time.”

The discussion continued and our next topic was Roy Tarpley another legend that passed through Greece and Cyprus. Richard and Roy were roommates in the college of Michigan, where he studied for four years. “Roy is one of the greatest people I’ve had the honor and pleasure to know. We had a beautiful college experience together and I can say he was a great roommate. In my opinion he had the potential to become one of the 50 greatest players of all time. I will never forget him. He was like a brother to me”.

There was a moment of uncomfortable silence but I quickly tried to change the topic. We talked about another weakness Rellford had and that is Greek food. “Souvlaki maaan.. I miss Souvlaki and Mbouzzouki… I liked to go to mboozooki at night. Especially when I played for Aek, I used to go out a lot” Richard said with a smile on his face.

We thank Richard Rellford for his time and hopefully we will have the chance to see him in Cyprus!