Keravnos Strovolou (Greek: Γυμναστικός Σύλλογος Στροβόλου «Ο Κεραυνός») is one of the oldest Athletic Clubs on the Island and was established in 1926.
The club is based in Strovolos the largest Nicosia suburb and their home court is the Costas Papaellinas Indoor Arena with a capacity of 2,000 spectators.
The Keravnos name (in Greek =THUNDER) is associated with the football player Savvas Panayides who used to play in the mid-1920’s for the club’s football team and was known as the “Thunder” for his legendary strong shooting and striking ability.
Keravnos Athletic Club is one of the most famous and historical clubs in Cyprus sports history.
It has been fully committed through τhe years to its core values such as:
- Sporting excellence
- Youth development
- Fair play
- Social responsibility
Like most Athletic Clubs in Cyprus, Keravnos is managed by a Committee and a President, directly elected from the members of the club.
The club’s president since 1996 is the well known businessman Mr. Paris C. Papaellinas, who is also the main sponsor of the club for the last 20 years.
He is a former player of Keravnos basketball team during the period 1972-1991.
He was also a member and co-captain of the Cyprus National Team and a Gold Medal Winner at the Games of the Small States of Europe held in San Marino in 1985.
Mr. Papaellinas has many professional and sports awards which reflect the values of the Club. Among others, he was appointed as Cyprus FAIR PLAY Ambassador during 2011-2013 and was awarded the ‘’Sport and Social Responsibility’’ Award by the International Olympic Committee (IOC) in 2012.
DOMESTIC TITLES (17)
Cyprus Basketball Division 1:
- Winner (5) Championships:
Years : 1989/1997/2000/2001/2008
- Runner Up (10):
Years : 1982/1983/1984/1996/1998/2002/2003/2004/2009/2012
Cyprus Men’s Basketball Cup:
- Winner (9) Cyprus Cups
- Finalist (3):
Cyprus Men’s Basketball Super Cup:
- Winner (3) Super Cups
In 2007, KERAVNOS again recorded a new Club and National success story.
The Team qualified for the final of the EuroCup Challenge after beating in the semi finals BC Dnipro twice in Cyprus and Ukraine.
The significance of this is that KERAVNOS is still the only Cypriot Club (from any sport) ever to reach a major European Final (AEL was the first but in a regional final).
At the Euro Cup Challenge Final, KERAVNOS faced the Russian Club from Samara defeating them by 85-83 at home but the score was not enough to give the team the trophy after losing in Samara 101-81 away.
The Men’s basketball division was established in 1964.
It has a leading role in the sport for more than 30 consecutive seasons. The club was one of the founding members of the Cyprus Basketball Federation in 1966.
The men’s team has won 17 trophies in total. The first title however came in 1989 and then in 1997 by winning the Double in those two seasons.
The Club won the cup twice in three consecutive years: 1997, 1998, 1999 and again from 2005, 2006 and 2007.
It is worth noting that Keravnos holds an unprecedented record of winning nine Cup Titles from 1989 to 2012, remaining unbeaten for 23 years in Cup Finals!
Over the years many of the Club’s players have been selected to the Cyprus National basketball team.
Among the Cypriot players that have been important figures for Keravnos other than Paris Papaellinas are the following:
- Loucas Kalogirou – A pure athlete, also a champion in track & field
- Haris Haritou – the first real center in Cyprus history,
- Andreas Kyprianou (currently the vice president of the club) – play maker, played also at POL of Larnaca.
- Doros Lemesios – power forward for the national team for a number of years.
- The Karagiannis brothers (Frikos and Rakis) – small forwards, played both for the NT.
- Darrin Fowlkes (played for six years for Keravnos and became the first American to get the Cypriot citizenship and play in the Cyprus NT).
- Christos Stylianides (played for six years for the club and he is now the current Head Coach of the club). The best ever Cypriot play maker.
- George Anastasiadis (ex captain – played for nine years winning 5 titles)
- Dragan Raca (played for six years with Keravnos jersey in the most astonishing European tour of the history of the club)
With several top trophies to be proud of, the Men’s team has a formidable presence in European competitions and has competed for 18 consecutive years in European Championships from 1995 to 2013.
The first time KERAVNOS B.C. took part in European competitions was in 1982, against ZADAR of Croatia, however they had to wait until 1997 – 1998 when the Team reached the Second Round of a European Cup, passing the group stages after eliminating teams like Zelesnik of Belgrade and the Greek powerhouse Panionios.
In the Second Round they achieved one of their greatest victories in the history of Cypriot Basketball after defeating Zalgiris Kaunas 61-57 in Nicosia. In the second leg they lost at Kaunas and were eliminated from the competition. Zalgiris Kaunas progressed to win the European Cup that year (1998) as well as the European Championship the following year (1999), known as Euroleague.
KERAVNOS also advanced to the second round of the European Korac Cup during the following season 1998-1999.
2001 was a great year for KERAVNOS. The team won the Championship for a second consecutive time and also recorded the greatest success that had ever been achieved by any Cypriot sports team, in Pan-European competitions by qualifying for the quarter finals of the European Saporta Cup. They defeated the Bosnian Team Borac Nektar (Banja Luka), before they were eliminated by Pamesa Valencia . During this campaign the team had unbelievable success defeating Red star of Belgrade and Paris Basket of Tony Parker among others.
In 2004, the team qualified to the Final Four of South Conference of FIBA Europe Cup Challenge, where the team finished fourth in the competition. They qualified to the final four again the following year (2005) and this time they finished in third position.