By Sammy Clough, Contributor
Senior forward Kris Acox helped lead the Icelandic basketball team past Belgium to help place Iceland in the FIBA Eurobasket Finals for the first time in the country’s history. Acox has played a major role on the Furman basketball team and will look to help lead Furman to a SoCon championship for the first time this season.
Acox, a native Iceland, is entering his fourth and final season with the Furman Paladins. Growing up in Iceland, he played for numerous club soccer and basketball teams, until finally joining the Iceland National Basketball team this summer, with EuroBasket 2017 qualifiers looming ahead.
Iceland has had a year to remember in sports. The men’s national soccer team captivated the sports world as they beat England and advanced to the quarterfinal of the EuroCup in France, while the women’s soccer team is currently leading their qualifying group for the 2017 Women’s EuroCup.
All the attention directed to the small country of only about 330,000 has translated into excitement for the recent success of their men’s basketball team. Acox echoed the enthusiasm.
“It’s been pretty exciting, all the home games have sold out so far,” Acox said.
In his first season with the Icelandic National team, Acox averaged 6.0 points per game with 4.7 rebounds per game to propel them to a record 4-2 in the qualifying rounds, solidifying a spot in the 2017 EuroBasket tournament.
Acox hopes to translate his pro basketball experience this fall into a second straight winning season for the Paladins.
“I want to win the SoCon championship this season and I think we can,” Acox said on his expectations for the upcoming season. Acox believes his time overseas this year has helped develop a new “hunger for the game” that will drive him to become a stronger leader for the Paladins this season.
As the 2016-2017 basketball season approaches, Kris Acox and the Furman Paladins, led by third year coach, Niko Medved, will rely on Acox and other seniors to propel them to hopefully yet another winning season. The Paladins open Nov. 11 at Presbyterian College.