Florida hidden gem visiting Kansas

Florida hidden gem visiting Kansas

The name of Ioannis Papapetrou may not yet be familiar to Kansas fans, but his high school is sure to ring a few bells. A 6-foot-8, 220-pound small forward prospect in the Class of 2012 - and a native of Greece, Papapetrou hails from the Florida Air Academy in Melbourne, Fla. - the same school that produced former Jayhawk standout Sasha Kaun.

The big wing talent will visit the University of Kansas officially this weekend, taking the program's much anticipated "Legends of the Phog" alumni exhibition event.

And if it seems as if his name came somewhat out of the blue, that's because it did. However, his high school coach says there's a very simple reason for his relative anonymity.

"Kansas has been involved with him (since) the end of his junior year," said Florida Air Academy head coach Aubin Goporo. "Nobody knows about the kid. Nobody knows about him because he doesn't play AAU."

Despite the lack of exposure, Goporo - who also coached Kaun during his time in Melbourne - said Papapetrou's talent is prolific. It's a claim backed up by his current list of suitors, which includes Alabama, Florida, George Mason, Kansas and Texas.

"He handles the ball very well for his size, passes very well, shoots good," Goporo said. "He does a lot of good things. And right now, the schools on his list, they are coming really hard at him."

Papapetrou has experience on the international level as well. In 2010, while playing for the Greece Under-16 squad in the FIBA European Championships, he averaged 32 minutes, 11.4 points, 4.6 rebounds and 2.3 assists per game.

In addition to this weekend's visit to Kansas, he also has an official visit scheduled to Texas for the weekend of Oct. 14, and has visited in-state Florida twice unofficially. Visits to both Alabama and George Mason have been discussed, but dates have yet to be finalized.

Ultimately, exactly how many visits he'll take is something Papapetrou is still debating, Goporo said.

"He wants to visit a couple more after KU," the coach explained. "To compare and make a decision."

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