About the Organization

Panathinaikos Athlitikos Omilos (Greek: Παναθηναϊκός Αθλητικός Όμιλος, Panathenaic Athletic Club) or in English Panathinaikos AC, is a major Greek multi-sport club based in the City of Athens. It has the trifolium (shamrock) as its official emblem, symbol of harmony, unity and good luck, and green and white as its colours (green for health, youth and nature and white for virtue). Panathinaikos is one of the most successful multi-sport club and one of the oldest clubs in Greece. The name “Panathinaikos” (which can literally be translated as “Panathenaic”, which means “of all Athens”) was inspired by the ancient work of Isocrates Panathenaicus, where the orator praise the Athenians for their democratic education and their military superiority, which use it for benefit of all Greeks.

It was founded by Giorgos Kalafatis in 1908 as a football club, when he and 40 other athletes decided to break away from Panellinios Gymnastikos Syllogos following the club’s decision to discontinue its football team. It is amongst the most popular clubs in the country and one of the biggest worldwide, based on the number of its sports departments. It is the club that introduced in Greece a number of sports, as it was the first, or amongst the first teams, in football, basketball, volleyball, field hockey, table tennis and handball, while they were also pioneer in the creation of women’s teams in basketball and football.

Panathinaikos’ teams and individual athletes have won numerous titles and have made notable participations in domestic and international competitions. The football team of Panathinaikos is the only Greek team that has reached the UEFA Champions League final (in 1971) and also the semi-finals twice (in 1985 and 1996). It is also the only Greek football team that has played for the Intercontinental Cup. The basketball team of the club is the most successful in Greece and one of the most successful in Europe, with six European championships, one Intercontinental Cup and two Triple Crowns. The teams of Panathinaikos have played overall in 15 European and international finals (in football, basketball, men’s volleyball and women’s volleyball).

In the individual sports, Panathinaikos has a remarkable tradition in the athletics, cycling, shooting, fencing and boxing departments. It has produced numerous athletes; World champions and European champions, winners at the Olympic, Mediterranean and Balkan Games.


PAO USA Soccer

Panathinaikos Soccer Schools (PAO Soccer Schools) is the official developmental academy of Greek professional football club Panathinaikos FC (PAO FC). Currently operating approximately 100 academies worldwide, Panathinaikos Soccer Schools’ purpose is to develop and scout players on an international, level with a direct path to Panathinaikos FC’s central residency academy in Paiania, Greece, where players are prepared for professional football careers with Panathinaikos FC and/or other professional clubs. Panathinaikos Soccer Schools worldwide are committed to training young soccer players on the technical, tactical, physical, and psychological components of European Soccer within practice and game environments. It is also our intent to promote outstanding sportsmanship and self-discipline both on and off the field.

Panathinaikos Soccer Schools international academy program is designed to benefit soccer leagues, soccer teams, clubs, and individual soccer players committed to training year-round, within an academy structure that follows the programs, guidelines, professional performance levels and expectations of Panathinaikos FC.

Panathinaikos Soccer Schools is expanding its program to create a network of certified clubs throughout the world that share a common operating model and uniform player training, team structure, management, philosophy and principles, and football vision.

Panathinaikos Soccer Schools will focus primarily on individual player development and secondarily on team development. Training at each stage of development will be consistent throughout the Panathinaikos Soccer Schools’ member-club network, such that any elite player from any city or regional team can fit within any national PAO team. Any elite national Panathinaikos Soccer Schools player should be able to fit in and perform technically, tactically, physically, and psychologically at the same or higher level as the Panathinaikos residency academy players in Athens, Greece.

How far professionally each player can go will then be strictly up to the individual and his/her commitment, will, and determination to excel in his/her soccer trade.


PAO USA Volleyball

Panathinaikos A.C. Women’s Volleyball Team is a Greek volleyball team, part of the major Athens-based multi-sport club Panathinaikos A.C. The department was founded in 1969 and is the most successful women’s volleyball team in Greece. They have won 24 Championships, 5 Cups, with 5 Doubles, while they have the impressive record of finishing undefeated the Championship 12 times (1970, 1971, 1972, 1973, 1977, 1978, 1979, 1982, 1991, 1992, 1993 and 2007). It is the only unrelegated team, with participation in all first division Championships until today. They hold also the record for the most consecutive Greek League titles, as they are the only team to have won 7 consecutive championships (2005-2011), such as the unique record of 68 straight wins in the league including the play-offs.

They have also reached four times a European final four and two times a European final (2000 and 2009). The team currently plays in Panellinios Indoor Hall.

We are pleased to to announce PAO USA Volleyball!


PAO USA Basketball

Panathinaikos B.C. (Greek: ΚΑΕ Παναθηναϊκός Α.Ο.), also known simply as Panathinaikos, or with its full name Panathinaikos BSA Athens, is the professional basketball team of the major Athens based multi-sport club Panathinaikos A.C.. It is owned by the billionaire Giannakopoulos family.

The parent athletic club was founded in 1908, while the basketball team was founded in 1922, being one of the oldest in the country. They are the only unrelegated team with participation in every First Division Championship until today (together with Aris BC). Panathinaikos has developed into the most successful basketball team in Greek basketball’s history, and among the best in Europe, creating its own dynasty. They have won 34 Greek Basket League Championships, 16 Greek Cups, 9 Doubles (all records), 6 Euroleague Championships, 1 Intercontinental Cup and 2 Triple Crowns. They hold also the record for the most consecutive Greek League titles, as they are the only team to have won 9 consecutive Championships (2003-2011), such as the record for the most consecutive Greek Basketball Cup titles (5 seasons from 2004 to 2009). The team plays in the O.A.C.A. Olympic Indoor Hall.

Among the well-known top class players that have played with the club over the years include: Fragiskos Alvertis, Edgar Jones, Antonio Davis, Nikos Galis, Stojko Vranković, Arijan Komazec, Alexander Volkov,Žarko Paspalj, Tiit Sokk, Panagiotis Giannakis, Dominique Wilkins, Fanis Christodoulou, Marcelo Nicola, Hugo Sconochini, Byron Dinkins, Byron Scott, Dino Rađa, Dejan Bodiroga, Oded Kattash, Ferdinando Gentile, Željko Rebrača, Antonis Fotsis, İbrahim Kutluay, Jaka Lakovič, Pepe Sánchez, Ariel McDonald, Kostas Tsartsaris, Mike Batiste, Dimitris Diamantidis, Nick Calathes, Vassilis Spanoulis, Dejan Tomašević,Sani Bečirovič, Ramūnas Šiškauskas, Tony Delk, Šarūnas Jasikevičius, Drew Nicholas, Jason Kapono, Jonas Mačiulis, Stéphane Lasme, Roko Ukić and Nikola Peković. Such players, the successful management of former long-time owners Pavlos Giannakopoulos and Thanassis Giannakopoulos, and the long-time guidance of the most successful coach in Euroleague history, Željko Obradović, have made Panathinaikos the most successful team in Europe over the last two-and-a-half decades.

Panathinaikos is the only team on the European continent to win as many as six Euroleague titles, since the establishment of the modern era Euroleague Final Four format in 1988 (no other club has won more than four Euroleague championships in this period). Overall, and on the basis of the club’s achievements, in both Greece and Europe, Panathinaikos BC is the most successful Greek team ever in the history of Greek sports.


Training Philosophy

Grounded in the century-old training methods of Panathinaikos Athletic Organization, the philosophy of Panathinaikos A.C. is to train players on all aspects of our sports. Therefore, training will address technical, tactical, physical, and psychological (T2P2) components for players of all ages. Self-discipline, sportsmanship, and teamwork will be emphasized. Each practice session will include player conditioning as well as skill and game specific training on T2P2. While conditioning is not a favorite activity among athletes, it is vital to their strength and endurance. This “necessary evil” can be fun and rewarding if taught with the players’ goals and interests in mind.

The technical and tactical components of our sports must develop through a “scope and sequence” approach. That is, the skills must be introduced, modeled, taught in order of natural skill progression with emphasis on technical accuracy, and developed to a point of independent execution that becomes natural to the players. That being said, players will develop skills at different rates, not based solely on their ages. All players within a given age group, however, will receive exposure to all skills deemed appropriate for that age group. Players will use structured practice times to develop their deficiencies and fine tune their mastered skills.


Residency Development Academy

Much like Manchester United, West Ham, Barcelona, Sporting Lisbon, Villarreal, Ajax, and others, PAO FC has invested heavily in its Youth Academy. Founded in 1981, Panathinaikos Residency Football Academy program is among Europe’s best, with numerous alumni playing for top professional clubs. Young footballers scouted in Greece and other countries are selected each year to attend the Residency Academy. Once chosen, they move to the state-of-the-art G. Kalafatis in Koropi (in the suburbs of Athens, Greece), where they develop their talents and prepare to become professional footballers. These young athletes live in residency rooms within the Athletic Center where, in addition to intensive training, they receive schooling, private lessons, and tutoring. Additionally, they can take advantage of the restaurant, recreational facilities, games rooms, and swimming pool all at the Club’s expense. Over the past seasons, the PAO FC youth teams have won Greek Championships as well as an array of highly coveted International Tournaments.

Panathinaikos Soccer Academy’s North American Residency Development Academy (R.D.A.) program is designed to benefit individual elite level male and female soccer players, committed to training year-round, within an academy structure that follows the programs, guidelines, professional performance levels and expectations of Panathinaikos FC’s Residency Academy of Athens, Greece. Players are not expected to reside away from their families here in the US; however, the training structure and football culture of PAO FC’s Residency Academy program will be followed to ensure the program’s success. The North American R.D.A. program is presently offered in the United States and will soon reach other key locations across North America, facilitating the identification and development of quality players.

Players ages 8 through 18 (male & female), interested in the Panathinaikos Soccer Academy’s North American Residency Development Academy should contact the organization at info@paousa.com.


Executive Board

Nicholas Karidis
Owner & Chairman
Aaron Wagner
President & CEO
Kathy Powers
Executive VP & COO
Corey Adamson
National Soccer Director
Sasa Vasiljevic
National Volleyball Director
Julio Herrera
National Basketball Director
Noel Sevastianos
Legal Counsel
Kaliopi Karidis
International Business Relations Director
Peter Kohlberg
Executive Board Member
Jeremy Overman
Executive Board Member