When it comes to basketball, Philadelphia’s Greek Basketball League is the place to be. Every year around the first week in October, the adult men’s premier league kicks off its season. For 6 months, twice a week, the areas finest Greek-American athletes come together to compete, share and enjoy the comradery of their fellow Hellenes.

Now in it’s 7th season, the PGBL is arguable the best North American Greek Adult basketball league. Some 8-10 teams compete every year for the privilege of being called the champions. A title that brings a grin to those players that have achieved the status of Philly champs.

From as far away as Trenton, Atlantic City, Wilmington and Northeast Philadelphia they travel in to the heart of the Greek community, St. Demetrios Greek Orthodox Church in Upper Darby (a blue collar neighborhood bordering West Philadelphia), where many Greeks settled in the 60’s through the 80’s.

Although many have moved on to the western and surrounding suburbs, the draw of Spanakopita (which is served hot and home made by the church) on a Thursday night is just one of the pluses to watching these very talented young and middle aged men put on their best for locals. Cheering girlfriends, a hip drawn komboloi and backgammon being played at the bar all add to the atmosphere of a Greek-American basketball league. Its no wonder the local Greek coffee house (Caesar’s) is empty on a Thursday.

Last week, Cosmos Philly’s Eleftherios Kostans, sat down and spoke with the Philadelphia Greek Basketball League commissioners, Bill Zonios, John Vasiliou and the new addition Vas Rousseas. Bill and John conceived and created the PGBL some 7 years ago and have since held the duties of running the league all the while playing and competing in it. Now, Vas Rouseas has joined in as the third commissioner. He is a player, but will assume some of the duties associated with the league, thus providing another dimension to the PGBL.

For more information about the the PGBL and its upcoming season, check them out here on their website.