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What has Giorgi Bezhanishvili Been Up To?



What has Giorgi Bezhanishvili been up to?
Illinois Fighting Illini forward Giorgi Bezhanishvili (15) throws his hands up to get the crowd hyped during the second round of the 2021 NCAA Tournament on Sunday, March 21, 2021, at Bankers Life Fieldhouse in Indianapolis, Ind. Mandatory Credit: Michael Caterina/IndyStar via USA TODAY Sports

What has former Illini Giorgi Bezhanishvili been up to?

Giorgi B. was one of the most joyful, loveable personalities in Illini athletics history. The young man from Georgia always had a smile on his face and always had some form of entertainment to provide to the media and fans. Giorgi had an outstanding freshman year. As the Illini 5 man, Bezhanisvili showed a myriad of post moves and versatility that always enamored Illinois basketball fans.  When Kofi Cockburn arrived, Giorgi was the ultimate teammate. He played whatever role was asked for him and even came off the bench to fit the 2020-21 team.

Giorgi probably would have made a killing via NIL, however that rule was not there during his time. Giorgi decided to move on from Illinois after the 2020-21 season in hopes of cracking the professional ranks. The opportunity to start his career and make some money for himself and his family was a no-brainer for him.

The G-League has been his main stop.

Giorgi notably played for the Denver Nuggets Summer League team. Giorgi has been doing his best to land a spot in the NBA, however has stayed in the G-league these past few years. It has been nice to see Giorgi play the Power Forward spot as opposed to the Center position he did at Illinois. At the power forward, Giorgi has the ability to show his versatility, dribbling skills and nimble footwork. Giorgi initially played for the Grand Rapids Gold G-league team. Per, He averaged 9.6 points, 5.5 rebounds on 61 percent field goal percentage.

This past year, he played for another G-League team. On the College Park Skyhawks, Giorgi put up similar numbers. He has played consistent minutes, however he had a game vs the Westchester Knicks where he put up 30 points and 12 rebounds. Giorgi has most recently signed to play in the Canadian Elite Basketball League (CEBL) given that the G-League season has finished up.

What’s next?

Giorgi will likely vie for a summer league roster spot. His dream is likely the NBA, however it is the best platform for Giorgi to land in the best situation possible. Giorgi continues to struggle shooting the ball from 3 and from the free throw line. His percentages from deep are not good. Given that his natural position is at the Power Forward, Giorgi will have to show he can consistently knock down a three-ball to have any shot at the professionals. Outside of this, Giorgi has the skillset and footwork to make an impact in the NBA.

The NBA is not out of the question for Giorgi B. Sandro Mamukelashvili is a similar player to Giorgi. They both are versatile big man with certain guard like traits. Mamukelashvili has latched on to the San Antonio Spurs despite not shooting the ball well from 3 like Bezhanishvili. Mamukelashvili has shot 30 percent from 3, however has about an inch more in height compared to Bezhanishvili. This confirms the notion that Giorgi can possibly land on an NBA roster if he can just improve his jump shot and defensive presence.

An Illini we should not forget.

As above, Giorgi had an infectious joyous personality. He honestly could have been very helpful for the Illini the past two years given his skillset and personality. On a team that seemed to have a negative vibe this past year, Giorgi would have been a huge help. Not to mention the amount of NIL money he could have made given who he is. Giorgi had many memories as an Illini past his Freshman year. Honestly, you do not win that game vs Ohio State in the Big Ten tournament championship without him and Andre Curbelo. Let’s hope that Giorgi eventually achieves his dream of playing in the NBA and supporting his awesome family.


Alex is the Owner of, your go-to source for in depth coverage of the Illinois Fighting Illini. Alex is also the lead content creator and lead editor of all articles on Armchair Illini. He has had articles featured in top media publications like Bleacher Report, YardBarker, Verbal Commits, CBS Sports and more.