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Greek Basketballer Elena Tsineke Selected for WNBA Draft

Elena Tsineke wnba draft
“Even against some of the best on-ball defenders in the game, Tsineke is elite.” Credit: Twitter/Washington Mystics

Greek female basketball player, Elena Tsineke, was drafted by the Washington Mystics on Tuesday and will now play in the WNBA – the top women’s basketball league in the world.

Born in Thessaloniki, Greece, Tsineke was selected out of the University of South Florida (USF) with the 20th pick in the 2023 WNBA Draft.

Together with her twin sister, Katerina, Tsineke plays basketball at a top level. They were born in 1999 in Evosmos, Thessaloniki to a Nigerian father and a Greek mother, Rena Ketzejiadou. A Greek basketball player with Nigerian roots: like Giannis Antetokounmpo of course!

Tsineke, who has been a member of the Greek National Team, came to the United States in 2019 when she was recruited by USF. Tsineke immediately made an impact, scoring 12.3 points and dishing out almost two assists per game as a freshman.

She gradually improved her scoring impact over her four years at USF until she broke out in 2022-23 and averaged 17.9 points per game as a senior.

Elena Tsineke hopes to make WNBA debut after the draft

Tsineke’s greatest asset is her efficiency. As a senior, she shot 42.5% from the field and 38.3% from three, although she struggled a bit with free throws, making just 79.4% of them.

She is also a decent rebounder and passer — she grabbed 3.8 rebounds and dished out 3.1 assists per game as a senior, says Marco Gacina writing in Bulletsforever.

Mark Schindler wrote in the WNBA official site that Tsineke is one of his favorite potential late first-round picks.

“Her senior season was a breakout one, honing her efficiency inside and outside the arc with cleaned-up jumper mechanics, opening up the rest of her game.

“Tsineke’s game is primarily rooted in what she can do creating out-of-ball screens, thriving on a pick-and-roll heavy diet,” the basketball pundit says.

She’s not particularly explosive – he adds – but wins and creates advantageous scoring chances with a polished and creative handle and some of the best footwork in basketball.

“Even against some of the best on-ball defenders in the game, Tsineke is elite at using their momentum against them, attacking hips and angles incredibly well. She doesn’t create space often with her first step, but through ball fakes, head fakes, and an elite ability to set defenders up into screens and re-screens.

“Her finishing package of high glass finishes, lofty floaters, off-hand layups, and an incredible step-through allows her to attack over and through size even without being all that vertical around the rim.

“Tsineke is a solid playmaker but more of a scoring or combo guard, which makes her continued jumper development essential,” Schindler notes.

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