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A memorable year for former Warrior Lojeski in Greece

Matt Lojeski is proof that you don’t have to be in the NBA to be considered a successful professional basketball player.

The recently completed 2014-15 season was the latest in what has become a long-running and successful basketball career in Europe for Lojeski, who played for the University of Hawai’i from 2005-07.

LojoEuro

Lojeski, a 6-foot-6 guard, helped lead Olympiacos to the Greek Basketball League championship, and a runner-up finish in the Euroleague Championship playoffs. In short, Lojeski was the second-leading scorer on a team that dominated in Greece and was No. 2 in all of Europe.

“Getting to the finals of Euroleague was an awesome experience,” Lojeski said. “We obviously fell short to a very good Real Madrid team on their home court, so that was tough getting so close to being the Kings of Europe!”

Lojeski was a second-team All-Greek League selection after averaging 11.3 points, 3.5 rebounds, 1.8 assists and 1.2 steals per game. Olympiacos finished with a 25-1 record in the Greek League, and 22-8 in Euroleague play.

Lojeski started his professional basketball career in Belgium, but has played the last two seasons for Olympiacos.

“The biggest key for me was to be on good teams with the right role,” he said of his success in Europe. “Early in my career being able to be the man and prove myself was key. Moving up to one of the biggest teams in Europe, I have been more of a very good role player who is super-efficient, which has always been my biggest strength.”

Carl English, another former UH star, also played in the Greek League during the 2014-15 season. He averaged 14.6 points, 3.8 rebounds and 2.7 assists per game for AEK Athens, which finished in fifth place in the 14-team Greek League.

“Carl and I played against each other a few times,” Lojeski said. “For some of the games, we guarded each other, which was fun. Our team beat his twice, so got to rub it in a little bit.”

Lojeski said he still follows the progress of the UH basketball program, and will so even more intently now because Eran Ganot is the new head coach. Ganot was the Director of Basketball Operations at UH during Lojeski’s senior season with the Warriors.

“I couldn’t be happier for Eran and his family, and UH,” said Lojeski, who spends his off-seasons in his home state of Wisconsin. “The biggest thing is I know Eran will do it the right way and with hard work and recruiting. Really looking forward to seeing the program get better each season under him.”

For Lojeski and his family, 2015 will be memorable for more than just basketball. He and his wife, Elise, are expected their third child later this month.

“My oldest is 5 (Matthew Jr.); my younger child is 3 (Mason),” he said. “And can’t wait to meet the next boy coming in following weeks.”

If all goes well again next season, Lojeski said he would like to visit Hawai’i.

“Hope everyone is good back in Hawai’i, and I will definitely try to get back and see the team and Eran next summer,” he said. “Go ‘Bows!”

(Photo courtesy Matt and Elise Lojeski)

Here are some Lojeski highlights from the 2013-14 season:

16 Comments

  1. Nice to see Lojeski excelling in one of the top European Leagues. Maybe he’ll get a shot at a NBA roster to be an outside shooter.

  2. I think Lojeski had chance for invite , workout with NBA team last few years ago, made decision to stick in Europe more guaranteed. Lojeski, is a really good athlete with BB IQ smarts. A very good player.
    I think he, And eventually Fotu, might make it to the NBA.. there are a lot of guys in the NBA, the 10-15 guys, who are Role guys, rebounders, scorers, hustlers, defenders, facilitators,.. yes, Lojo could if he had good deal, play in the NBA..UH could have used Lojo last few years !!

  3. Glad to hear of all the success our players have had in Europe. Would be nice if Jojo found some good Greek prospects for Eran.

  4. He could fill the new trendy 3 and D role in the NBA.

  5. Since the discussion is on European basketball, the USA 19 and under team was fortunate to get to overtime (missed freethrow by Croatia at the end of regulation). The USA team got hot in O/T and pulled out the win. Interesting sidenote: Croatia’s point guard was named “Filopovich” – any relation to UH’s Niko?

  6. UH roster bio says Niko has one younger sister. He was born in Torrance, CA .

  7. For those few people that wanted to raise doubt regarding Fleming returning:

    ” Isaac Fleming ‏@Ballaslife410 1h1 hour ago

    Honolulu Hawaii next stop finally on my last plane “

  8. Good to see Flemings coming back. I really think Ganot will take his game to the next level.

  9. Islandman – thanks for the update on Fleming. Best news in a long time!

  10. Isaac Fleming ‏@Ballaslife410 1h1 hour ago

    Back in paradise it feels good!

  11. Don’t forget the potential Hawaii ballers in Matt Jr, Mason, and yet to be born son (Michael?). Ah the future Lojeski dynasty.

  12. Welcome back Agent Zero, work hard, listen to coaches and mature
    Chris Gaines good 4 year player from freshman year with Frank Arnold as head coach
    Bobbitt, Q, Zero, Canda, Niko, Dyrbe, Zach, Brocke ,lot of depth at guard..
    talent to win BWC..

  13. First Three, maybe four (Canda and Filipovic probably minutes, but Not Proven Able to WIN @ D-1 Level – even Q has Not Taken Charge of a D-1 Game) —

    So ONLY Bobbitt and Fleming have Proven they can Produce No Matter Who the Opponent may be…
    Maybe Valde’s counts as a guard, but so far he’s more of a three;

    The Loss of G, NWC and Jawato (even injured) are Huge…
    MUCH Less Deeper than Last Year
    (The Ones Playing should be more mature)

  14. Valdes, Fleming and Brocke are playing tonight, per Brian M.

  15. I kind of wish Sai Tummala was playing. I would very much like to see what kind of game the dude have. Since he haven’t played much at ASU or Michigan, he could have benefited from playing against more experienced players. He looked good at SLCC but that’s JC.

    Dude only has one to play one so he should have taken advantage of the opportunity to get PT and work on his game. He will already be behind since he not enrolled in SS and not participating in any team activities.

  16. islandman:

    Hey bro, still Jovanovich, Niko, Q, Bobbitt, Jankovich, Valdes, Zach, Dyrbe, Valdes, MT, Fleming, ALL OF THEM ARE GIB/BENJY RECRUITS… they have great year, or make it to NIT or NCAA, Thanks to Gib and Benjy Taylor,
    Recruiting wise, wait until year 3, then All Eran guys, maybe..
    Hope , .. well I am cheering for Gib and Benjy’s recruits..
    They are the guys who can win BWC.. if they stay together..

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