Sofoklis Schortsanitis was born in the African country of Cameroon to a Greek father and a Cameroonian mother; he immigrated to Greece while still a child. When he was 12 he began playing basketball in his home town of Kavala, immediately capturing attention for his considerable size and remarkable skill. In 2000 he began playing for Iraklis, remaining there for two years. At that time he played for Greece’s junior National Team, which took the bronze medal in the U-18 World Championship in Germany. In addition, he was chosen the best young player in the Greek League. In his final year with Iraklis he posted averages of 11.5 points and 6.2 rebounds in 21 minutes of playing time.
In 2003 the center placed himself in the NBA Draft and was selected at number 34 by the Los Angeles Clippers. He did not obtain a contract with the team at that time, and went to play for the Italian team Cantù. That same summer he played with the Greek U-19 National Team and again earned a bronze medal in the World Championships, which took place in Saloniki. After a mediocre season in Italy, he returned to Greece, signing with Aris and taking part in the Eurocup.
In the 2005 – 2006 season, Sofo made the big move to Olympiacos and while still in his first Euroleague season left his mark throughout Europe, finishing with averages of 10.7 points and 4.9 rebounds per game. Schortsanitis was chosen MVP of the week during the second week of the Top 16 after scoring 25 points against Zalgiris Kovno. The center played a total of five seasons with Olympiacos, during which time he won the Greek Cup, was twice chosen MVP of the Greek All-Star Game, won second place with the Greek National Team in the World Championships of 2006 in Japan, and took the bronze with his National Team in the European Championships in Poland in 2009. Last season Sofo posted averages of 9 points and 3.4 rebounds in the Greek League, 7.2 points and 2.5 rebounds in Euroleague games.