Bizoukas Receives International Invitation

DePaul freshman point guard Mike Bizoukas has received an invitation to try out for the FIBA U-20 Greek National Basketball team in Athens, Greece this summer.

Michael Bizoukas is among a number of Greek-Americans who have been invited to spend time this summer in Greece trying out for the national team. Also invited are Florida Gators freshman guard Nick Calathes and Ohio State seven footer Kosta Koufos.

Bizoukas is 50% Greek. Both of his paternal grandparents were born in Greece making him eligible for the team. In just one year Mike has gone from the Indiana state high school All-Star team to playing basketball on the international stage.

"Any chance to represent your heritage is a great honor," Bizoukas said. "I was surprised. I wondered how they had heard about me. Obviously I'm blessed with that honor."

Mike's first challenge will be to learn some of the language before heading to Athens. "I couldn't tell you two words in Greek," Bizoukas said. "My grandparents are going to try to prepare me for that going into the summer, so I know a few words going in."

Bizoukas was diagnosed with mononucleosis shortly after arriving at DePaul in the fall. Mike attempted to come back from the illness and appeared in five games for the Blue Demons before suffering a relapse in December. At that point Mike shut down his basketball activity to focus on his recovery. Bizoukas will seek a medical redshirt from the NCAA for this season.

Mike is happy to report that his recovery is going well as he works with Bryce Karasiak, DePaul's new strength and conditioning director. "Our new trainer has been working with me," Bizoukas said. "I'm just trying to work hard and just go from there. I'm starting to feel back to normal, so that's good. By June, I feel I'll be 100% again."

Bizoukas, who lost weight during his illness, has gained back 10 pounds and plans on putting on 15 more pounds before next season. He has returned to practicing with the Demons and has been playing point guard on the second team opposite senior Cliff Clinkscales.

Along with the returning Mac Koshwal and Darquavis Tucker, Bizoukas hopes to be part of the youth movement at DePaul that will turn things around for coach Jerry Wainwright. "Obviously we have great players here now," Bizoukas said. "We just want to try to turn this into a winning program. It's going to take a lot of work. You just don't turn something into a winning program overnight. Obviously this summer is going to be huge for us. Every day has got to count, we've got to prepare ourselves for next season."

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