Covering High School Sports in America
Photo courtesy of FIBA Europe/Ciamillo-Castoria

Georgios Papagiannis was a force at last summer's U16 European Championship in Ukraine.

According to the Italian basketball news site, 7-foot-1 center prospect Georgios Papagiannis will return to his native Greece after signing a professional contract with the club Panathinaikos.

Papagiannis played last year as a junior at Westtown School (Pa.) outside of Philadelphia. He grabbed the attention of scouts and analysts, climbing to No. 38 in the 247Sports Composite rankings for the Class of 2015.

"I think he's the best player I will ever coach until I'm 80 years old; he has a legitimate chance to be a top five pick in the 2016 NBA Draft," Westtown head coach Seth Berger said of the Greek center last October. "George is a one-and-done for sure. He's that once-in-a-lifetime kind of player."

Maryland was considered a key player in the big man's recruitment and he took an unofficial visit to Penn State earlier this month.

Papagiannis made his first big splash on the international basketball scene at the 2013 U16 European Championship, averaging 14.3 points and 10.4 rebounds per game while leading Greece to a third-place finish.

Panathinaikos is royalty in Greek basketball, winning 34 league titles and six Euroleague crowns. NBA greats Dominique Wilkins and Byron Scott both spent time with the club. Former Maryland standout James Gist was a key contributor last season.