The messenger logo

President awards Georgian Basketball player

By Tea Mariamidze
Tuesday, August 8
The President of Georgia, Giorgi Margvelashvili, awarded Georgian basketball player Zaza Pachulia with the Order of Honor on Monday for promoting Georgia abroad.

Pachulia became the first Georgian to appear in the finals of the most prestigious national basketball championship in Oakland, California when his team, the Golden State Warriors, defeated the Cleveland Cavaliers in the finals of the tournament.

Giorgi Margvelashvili personally awarded Zaza Pachulia for his special contribution to the development of basketball in Georgia and the popularization of Georgia on the international arena.

The ceremony at the presidential palace was attended by Zaza Pachulia's family, members of the Georgian national basketball squad, coaches and representatives of the Golden State Warriors.

In addition to the award ceremony, Pachulia brought the Larry O’Brien Championship Trophy to Tbilisi to celebrate his success with his fellow Georgians.

The 33-year-old also registered three rebounds and one assist during his nine-minute spell in the most important match of the season, capping the performance with the first NBA champion's title for any athlete from Georgia.

Pachulia joined the NBA in 2003 when he was drafted by Orlando Magic after a successful career start in the Turkish Basketball League.

On July 12 2016, Pachulia signed with the Golden State Warriors. On December 22, he had a season-best game with 15 points and 14 rebounds in a 117–101 win over the Brooklyn Nets.

Zaza helped the Warriors finish the 2016–17 regular season with 67 wins. The Warriors went on to win the 2017 NBA Championship after defeating the Cleveland Cavaliers 4–1 in the NBA Finals.

Pachulia made history for Georgia by becoming the first player from the country to win an NBA Championship. The Warriors finished the playoffs with a 16–1 record, the best post-season winning percentage in NBA history. On July 25, 2017, Pachulia re-signed his contract with the Warriors.