TORONTO, ON - Slan Sports Management is pleased to announce that former Acadia Axeman Owen Klassen has signed a one-year contract with PAOK Thessaloniki in Basketball Champions League and the Greek A1 League.
Klassen will be the first Canadian to play for PAOK Thessaloniki in the club's 91 year history. Notable player's to suit up for PAOK over the years include the likes of Peja Stojakovic, Dell Demps, Scott Skiles and Cliff Levingston.
Klassen, a 6'10'' power forward/center, spent the first half of the 2016-2017 season with German Basketball Bundesliga (BBL) club, Phoenix Hagen. There, he averaged 13.2 points on 64.7% shooting from two-point field goal range while pulling down a league-best 7.8 rebounds per game. Unfortunately, Phoenix Hagen pulled out of the BBL for the remainder of the season due to financial problems. In December, Klassen signed with KK Buducnost Voli Podgorica in Euro Cup and Adriatic Basketball League (ABA) for the remainder of the year. In the ABA, Klassen averaged 9.2 points on 61.0% shooting from two-point range, and grabbed 6.0 rebounds per contest. Klassen's play helped Buducnost capture the Montenegrin Cup and reach the Adriatic League semifinals. In his one game in Euro Cup play, Klassen contributed 4 points and 7 rebounds.
A Kingston, Ontario native, Klassen graduated from Bayridge Secondary School prior to playing his collegiate basketball at Acadia University in Canadian Interuniversity Sport (CIS), which is currently known as U Sports. Klassen went on to a prolific career at Acadia, where he was named the Atlantic University Sport (AUS) Defensive Player of the Year in 2012, 2013, and 2014. He was also a three-time AUS First Team All Star, a two-time CIS First Team All-Canadian, and the 2014 AUS Player of the Year. Klassen led Acadia to the 2012 CIS Quarter Finals and the 2013 CIS Semi Finals. In his final collegiate season, Klassen ranked seventh in the country with 20.0 points per game and second with 10.5 rebounds per game.
After graduating from Acadia, Klassen started his professional career with MZT Skopje Aerodrom in the ABA. In just 17.6 minutes per game, Klassen averaged 5.3 points per game and finished eighteenth in the league with 5.7 rebounds per game. He also played 8 games in the Macedonian Prva League, averaging 6.6 points on 76.7% shooting from two-point field goal range along with 4.9 rebounds per game. Klassen moved to Phoenix Hagen for the 2015-2016 campaign, where he averaged 9.4 points and ranked sixth in the BBL with 6.4 rebounds per game.
Klassen has also represented Canada on a number of occasions throughout his career. He was a member of the Canadian Senior National Team in 2014, competing in their 11-game European Exhibition Tour. He also suited up for Canada in the 2011 Pan American Games as well as the World University Games in both 2011 and 2013. In 2013, Klassen pulled down 10 or more rebounds in 3 of his team's 8 games, leading Canada to a fourth-place finish.
"I'm excited to play in Greece and in the Champions League with PAOK," said Klassen. "I am optimistic that the team will have a successful season, and that this opportunity will help me continue to grow as a player."
PAOK finished the 2016-2017 Greek A1 season with a 14-12 record, and advanced to the quarterfinals of the A1 playoffs. They finished the 2016-2017 Basketball Champions League with a 7-7 record. PAOK qualified for the Basketball Champions League playoffs, where they were defeated by Iberostar Tenerife in the Round of 16.
For more information and individual box scores for Owen throughout the season, visit http://slansportsmanagement.com/owen-klassen.