WASHINGTON, DC—The Hellenic Athletic Hall of Fame Selection Committee of the American Hellenic Educational Progressive Association (Order of AHEPA), the leading membership-based association for the nation’s millions of American citizens of Greek heritage and Philhellenes, has selected its Hall of Fame Class of 2017, announced Supreme President Andrew C. Zachariades, Supreme Athletic Director Lou Atsaves, and Gregory J. Stamos, chairman, Hall of Fame Selection Committee.
The AHEPA Hellenic Athletic Hall of Fame inductees are:
May Kotsopoulos, college and professional basketball player;
Dan Mavraides, college and professional basketball player;
Nick Tsiotos, college basketball player and journalist;
Aleke Tsoubanos, college tennis player and coach; and
Dr. James Vailas, college football player and sports medicine.
“The 2017 Induction Class is comprised of individuals who have reached the highest levels of their respective areas of competition or profession,” Supreme President Zachariades said. “They also represent a wonderful cross-section of sports, spanning all levels, be it amateur, scholastic and professional. Their one common denominator is they have sustained success over a long period of time. We look forward to welcoming them into the AHEPA Hall of Fame.”
They will be inducted into the Hall at the Athletic Luncheon held at the 95th AHEPA Family Supreme Convention, July 27, 2017, Orlando, Fla.
Selection Committee Chairman Stamos added that each of the inductees excelled not only on the playing fields or within their industry, but also demonstrated character and ideals that were integral to their selection.
“Most significantly, they have also remained committed to their Hellenic heritage and roots,” he said.
The AHEPA Athletic Hall of Fame was established in 1974 and now includes more than 140 inductees. Each year candidates are nominated by members of the AHEPA family, and after a thorough vetting process, are selected by the 20 Hall of Fame Selection Committee members, who encompass a broad cross-section of engaged voters, with diversity as to geography, age, eras and athletic interests. Significantly, while selection certainly recognizes athletic achievement, the selection criteria tellingly also includes personal character and civic and community service.
The 2017 distinguished class joins such stellar prior inductees as: Harry Agganis, Alex Karras, Milt Pappas, Pete Sampras, Eric Karros, Gene Rossides, Steve Lappas, Bob Costas, and Greg Louganis, among many others.
The biographies of the 2017 Hall of Fame Class are:
May Kotsopoulos, Kitchener, Ontario, Canada, was a four-year (2006-2010)
standout for the University of Vermont Women’s Basketball Team, being selected to the American East Conference All-Conference Team each of her last three seasons. In addition, she was selected to the Conference All-Academic team her last three years and named as an ESPN The Magazine Academic All-American. May graduated from Vermont with 1,727 career points, fifth on the Catamount’s all-time scoring list, and then played two seasons professionally in Greece. She was also a member of the Greek National Women’s Team in 2012. May was the 2010 winner of the AHEPA William Chirgotis Award given to the Most Outstanding College Athlete.
Dan Mavraides, West Hollywood, Calif., was a four-year standout on the
Princeton University Men’s Basketball Team from 2008-2011, serving as team captain of the Ivy League winning team in 2011 (25-7 record), which secured a NCAA tournament berth. Dan made All-Ivy honors his junior and senior seasons and graduated with 1,054 career points. Thereafter, he played professionally in Europe for three years (Greece and Italy) and was a recent member of the USA Basketball Championship Three-on-Three Team in Colorado Springs. Together with his teammates, he will represent the United States at the World Games in France in late June. Dan was also the winner of the 2011 AHEPA Harry Agganis Award, given to the Most Outstanding Hellenic Athlete, and he played a key role with the 2008 AHEPA All-Star team that defeated the Greek Junior National Team during the 2008 AHEPA Convention in Athens.
Nick Tsiotos, Winthrop, Mass., after a standout basketball career in high school and college (Suffolk University) and in Greek circles with numerous Sons of Pericles and AHEPA Championships, and following a professional season in Greece, Nick made his greatest mark as a journalist and a champion of the Greek American athlete, as the Sports Editor of the Hellenic Voice publication, as a radio announcer and the author of numerous biographies, including “Harry Agganis, the Golden Greek” and “Running with Pheidippides, The Miracle Boston Marathon Race.” Nick was featured in the NBC documentary that aired during the 2004 Athens Olympics, “Journey of a Warrior the Stylianos Kyriakides Story." Nick also spearheaded the raising of the funds for the Agganis Statue in Boston and the naming of Agganis Arena at Boston University in memory of the late Harry Agganis.
Aleke Joy Tsoubanos, Chesterfield, Mo., had an outstanding four-year career (2000-2004) as a member of the Vanderbilt University Women’s Tennis team, attaining NCAA All-American honors three seasons in doubles, and was a key member of Vanderbilt’s NCAA Championship in 2002; after graduation she joined the Women’s Professional Tennis Circuit from 2004-2006 attaining a high ranking of #126 in doubles, and winning four International Tennis Federation doubles titles. She is currently the Associate Head Women’s Tennis Coach at Vanderbilt University, and was elected to its’ Athletics Hall of Fame in 2015.
Dr. James Vailas, Manchester, N.H., was a multi-sport athlete at Manchester
Central (New Hampshire) High School, attaining All-State honors in football in both his junior and senior years and was a member of the 1974 State Championship Basketball Team. Jim attended Dartmouth University (1974-1978) where he lettered in both varsity football and lacrosse, and was captain of the football team and selected to the All-New England football team in 1978 after being named the Alfred Watson Athlete of the Year that season, and thereafter was inducted into the Dartmouth Athletic Hall of Fame. Jim is a prominent surgeon in New Hampshire, after having served as Team Physician with the Los Angeles Professional Sports Teams (Dodgers, Rams and Lakers).
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Founded in 1922 in Atlanta, Georgia, on the principles that undergirded its fight for civil rights and against discrimination, bigotry, and hatred felt at the hands of the Ku Klux Klan, AHEPA is the largest and oldest grassroots association of American citizens of Greek heritage and Philhellenes with more than 400 chapters across the United States, Canada, and Europe.
AHEPA's mission is to promote the ancient Greek ideals of Education, Philanthropy, Civic Responsibility, and Family and Individual Excellence through community service and volunteerism.
For more information, please visit www.ahepa.org.