The NHIBT Committee,after a 20 year absence,is proud to announce that this Spring ,a Men’s team led by Committee member,Hall of Famer,and Player/Coach Kirk Vidas participated in the Hellenic Harry Agganis Tournament in Lynn, Massachusetts.The NHIBT team beat 3 strong New York squads to get them to the Championship game against the local host and tournament favorite, Lynn,Ma.before falling 79-70. Nick Livas of Player Sports, Chicago,was the key ingredient in getting the team to the finals and earning him All Tournament recognition.

The Committee would also like to thank Lynn for competing in this year’s tournament, coming in 2nd place, with a very talented collegiate squad under Steve Mallios and John ‘Chip’ Chipuras.

Greece revealed a list of 24 players called-up to the Ethniki for November’s qualifiers against Great Britain and Israel…

Greece’s roster for next month’s qualifiers for the 2019 FIBA Basketball World Cup was revealed on Friday, as Kostas Missas looks to steer the Ethniki to the final tournament in China.

Olympiacos star Georgios Printezis and Panathinaikos playmaker Nikos Calathes are among the call-ups, but four players from this past summer’s EuroBasket roster were not included.

Dimitris Agravanis, Nikos Pappas, Georgios Bogris, and Georgios Papagiannis were left off the roster despite playing a role in Greece’s EuroBasket campaign in Finland and Turkey.

Giannis Bourousis, who continued his playing career in China with Zhejiang Guangsha Lions following EuroBasket 2017, was also called-up. The Panathinaikos duo of Konstantinos Mitoglou and Zach Auguste were also included in the roster, despite being part of the final cuts for Greece’s EuroBasket roster.

Meanwhile, AEK’s Dusan Sakota was also included in the roster. Born in Serbia,
Sakota owns dual citizenship and has already featured for the Greece U-19 squad.

It comes as no surprise, however, that no NBA talent was included in the Greece roster as it is unlikely that Greece’s NBA stars – like Giannis Antetokounmpo and the aforementioned Papagiannis – would be made available.

Greece were paired with the likes of Great Britain, Estonia, and Israel in Group H for the first round of qualifying in the European zone. The top three sides in the group will progress to the second round of qualifying, and will be joined by the trop three sides from Group G – a section that features Austria, Georgia, Germany, and Serbia.

Greece’s qualifying campaign begins on 24 November against Great Britain in Leicester, before the Ethniki return home to host Israel in Heraklion three days later.

FIBA vs. EuroLeague

While the EuroLeague is said to contain European basketball’s best teams and players, the reality is that in 2017 that could pose a headache for international teams across the continent.

Overall, the Greek roster includes nine EuroLeague players – a reality that could be a headache for Greece’s coaching staff.

With FIBA adopting a new qualification system for the 2019 edition of its World Cup, conflicts with the EuroLeague are an ongoing matter as scheduling conflicts between the two competitions remain an issue prior to the tip-off of the first round of games.

Greece’s qualifying campaign tips-off against Great Britain in Leicester, England on 24 November, the same day five of Greece’s call-ups are scheduled to feature for their teams in the EuroLeague.

To further compound problems, a further four of Greece’s call-ups are scheduled to feature in the EuroLeague for Olympiacos one day before Greece’s first qualifier.

It remains to be seen how FIBA and the EuroLeague will resolve their scheduling conflicts, but in the interim the unpredictability certainly poses a challenge for Missas and his coaching staff.

Greece 24-man roster: Giannis Bourousis, Georgios Printezis, Nikos Calathes, Kostas Papanikolaou, Kostas Sloukas, Vangelis Mantzaris, Panagiotis Vasilopoulos, Mike Bramos, Dimitris Mavroeidis, Ioannis Papapetrou, Thanassis Antetokounmpo, Giannis Athinaiou, Charis Giannopoulos, Dimitris Katsivelis, Konstantinos Mitoglou, Giannoulis Larentzakis, Antonis Koniaris, Nikos Gikas, Vassilis Mouratos, Vassilis Christidis, Christos Saloustros, Georgios Tsalmpouris, Dusan Sakota, Zach Auguste.

by Peter Katsiris
Image Source:
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Barrington: Tori Meyer, Jr. G; Taylor Thompson, So. F

Buffalo Grove: Kendra Lee, So. G/F

Carmel: Ranya Jamison, So. G; Katie Lach, So. G

Deerfield: Mallory Sawyer, So. G

Evanston: Ta’Mia Banks, Sr. G; Ambrea Gentle, So. F; Kayla Henning, So. G

Fenwick: McKenzie Blaze, Sr. F; Sheila Hogan, So. G;

Glenbrook North: Morgan Paull, Sr. F

Glenbrook South: Kristin Ralston, Jr. F; Lizzy Shaw, Sr. G; Makayla Stadler, Jr. G

Hersey: Maesyn Benjamin, Sr. G; Mary Kate Fahey, Fr. G; Erin McGrath, Sr. F; Katie McGrath, Sr. F; Claire Rogowski, Sr. G

Highland Park: Kirby Bartelstein, Sr. G; Addie Budnik, So. G; Sydney Ignoffo, Jr. G

Hinsdale Central: Claire Lozier, Sr. G

Hinsdale South: Emily Koziol, Jr. G

IC Catholic: Jaida Smith, Jr. G; Sophie Zanoni, Sr. G

Ida Crown: Nechama Braun, Sr. G; Ruby Grant, Jr. C

Lake Forest: Audrey Kaus, Sr. F; Ellie Pearson, Jr. G/F; Grace Tirzmalis, Jr. F

Lake Forest Academy: Kelsi Jackson, Jr. G; Courtney Harris, So. G; Ramatoulaye Keita, Jr. F

Lake Zurich: Ella Gilbertson, So. G; Grace Kinsey, Sr. G/F; McKenna Zobel, Sr. F

Leyden: Amalia Figueroa, Sr. G

Libertyville: Margaret Buchert, So. G; Lydia Crow, So. G; Lauren Huber, Fr. G

Loyola: Erin Dillon, Sr. G; Addie Morrill, Sr. G; Celia Satter, Jr. G/F; Lilly Wehman, Sr. F

Lyons: Sidney Bugaieski, Sr. G; Lily Courier, So. F; Emma Fink, Sr. F

Maine East: Caralina Apostolou, Jr. G; Jackie Buczkowski, Sr. F; Olga Goumas, Sr. G; Colleen Oribello, So. G

Maine South: Sophia Albano, Jr. G; Hayley Semple, Sr. G; Nicole Scales, Jr. G

Mundelein: Hannah Buscher, Sr. G; Morgan Frank, So. G

Nazareth: Sophia Cullotta, Jr. G; Jovanna Martinucci, Jr. G; Marissa Metz, Sr. F

New Trier: Rebecca Goldman, Jr. G; Cate Murdock, Sr. G; Maggie Murdock, Sr. G

Niles North: Alyssa Aragon, Sr. G

Niles West: Sam Galanopoulos, Jr. G

North Shore Country Day: Julia Doyle, Sr. F; Caroline Segal, So. G

Oak Park-River Forest: Maeve Nelson, Sr. G; Darse Sanchez, Jr. G; Ahsha Spencer, Jr. G

Prospect: Ashley Adams, Jr. G; Jessica Kowalczyk, Jr. G; Stephanie Kowalczyk, Jr. G

Ridgewood: Mishel Habaci, Sr. G; Ashley Moisant, Sr. F

Rochelle Zell: Jenna Miller, Sr. F

Rolling Meadows: Lily Greifenstein, Jr. G; Bridget Rolla, So. G; Melissa Spiwak, Sr. G

St. Joseph: Brandi Thibeaux, Sr. G

St. Viator: Michaela Mueller, Sr. G; Olivia Solimene, Sr. G

Stevenson: Kiana Cencula, Sr. G; Avery King, So. G; Klaire Steffens, Sr. F

Timothy Christian: Olivia Schuringa, Sr. F; Jordyn Strube, Jr. G

Trinity: Alex Fanning, Sr. C; Makiyah Williams, Fr. F

Vernon Hills: Piper Bedell, Jr. G

York: Danielle Dennis, Sr. G; Caylin Rufus, Sr. G/F; Madison Stark, Jr. G

Bob Narang is a freelance reporter for Pioneer Press.
Twitter @Pioneer_Press


Las Vegas (April 11, 2018) – Las Vegas Aces President of Basketball Operations and Head Coach Bill Laimbeer announced today that the team has signed free agent guard Jacki Gemelos.

The Stockton, California native played collegiately at USC where she was named All-Pac-10 Honorable Mention, and earned a spot on the Naismith Award Early-Season Watch list as a senior.

Gemelos was originally drafted by Minnesota in the third round of the 2012 WNBA Draft, and made her WNBA debut in 2015 for the Chicago Sky.

She has also played internationally since graduating, and is averaging 17.3 points, 5.9 rebounds and 4.1 assists this season for Napoli of the Italian League.

Las Vegas has the first pick in the 2018 WNBA Draft, which is slated for Thursday, April 12 at 4 pm PT. The Draft is being televised nationally on ESPN2 and ESPNU, as well as NBA TV. The Aces tip off their first season of WNBA basketball at Mandalay Bay Events Center on Sunday, May 27 at 5 pm PT. Season tickets may be purchased at For additional information about the Aces please visit or follow on social media via Facebook, Twitter, and Instagram.


LYNN — The 63rd annual Harry Agganis Invitational basketball tournament is in the books.

Teams representing Weston, St George (Lynn), St Valsilios (Peabody), Roslindale, Arlington, St Nick’s) New York, Holy Trinity (Bridgeport), St Sophias (Albany), St George (Springfield, Whitestone NY and Chicago, IL. converged in Lynn this weekend.

The tournament was a double-elimination format, that saw many early upsets on Friday, with he defending high school champion Bridgeport being upset by St George of Lynn.

In the Open tournament, Chicago, led by legendary player/coach Kirk Vidas was taken to the last minute by a scrappy Roslindale team, while Sta Vals beat a combined Albany/Brooklyn team by 10 points

During Saturday’s games in the open division, St George (Lynn ) defeated St Valsilios, while defending champ Whitestone needed a 3-point shot by JD Douvres at the buzzer to beat Chicago and advance and play against St George.

Chicago moved to the elimination bracket and went on to beat Albany and Roslindale to set up a rematch of the loser between St George and Whitestone.

In the night game St George behind the shooting of Dimitri Flores and Dino Mallios beat Whitestone, 78-72. Whitestone and Chicago squared off again to see who would play in the men’s finals, and Chicago, behind the shooting of Nick Livas (21 points) and Dimitri Itsines (14) won 81-76 to set up a finals match with Lynn.

In the Saturday High School division, St Nick’s easily beat St George (Lynn) to advance to the final. Meanwhile, defending camp Bridgeport won four games Saturday to claw its way back in to the final.

In the championship game, Bridgeport and St Nick’s had an epic battle, with St Nick’s the 3 point shooting and size of New York was too much for Bridgeport team, and New York prevailed, NY prevailed, 77- 61.

In the Men’s division, it was “deja vu,” with Chicago again playing in an Agganis final against host St George.

In the first half, the stellar play of Mallios (15 points, 11 assists), Floras (25 points) and Ben Belotas (14) was able to offset the all around play of Nick Livas (29) and Dimitri Itsines (17) and take a 9-point lead at halftime.

St George pulled away in the second half, however Chicago cut the lead to five with four minutes to go. Key free throws by Vasili malls stopped the momentum and some timely 3-pointers by Floras and Mallios sealed an 79-70 victory for St George.

High school all-stars were Phil Georgin, St Nicks; Harri Giaroutsis, St Nicks; Paul Speliako, St George; Nick Shilling , Bridgeport; and Jack Begin, Bridgeport. The MVP was Teddy Polidides, with the Pastor’s Award going to Kostas Kosmides of New York,

Open division all-stars were Dino Mall, St George; Anthony Haztisavas, St George; Nick Livas, Chicago, Dimitri Itsines, Chicago and Pete Pappas, Whiteston. The MVP was Dimitir Flores.


LYNN — If there’s one thing Bill Booras is passionate about in his role as director of the Harry Agganis National Hellenic Invitational Basketball Tournament, it’s preserving the Agganis legacy.

Booras, who has served as the tournament’s director since 1981, has made it a priority to use the tournament as a way to keep the Agganis memory alive in the Greek community.

“Harry used to play basketball for the Greek church,” Booras, a Lynn native, said. “It was a small church league. The local churches used to play. So they started the basketball tournament. It started with local churches; Woburn, Lowell, Lynn, Haverhill, Peabody. The idea was to keep us together. We’re a small group of people, there aren’t many Greeks in the country. We’re using basketball as a vehicle.”

The tournament has run since 1956, the year after Agganis died at the age of 26. Booras has vivid memories of watching Agganis play on TV for the Red Sox. He remembers Agganis as both a gifted and humble athlete.

“He packed Manning Bowl,” Booras said. “In 1952-1953, 20,000 people used to come watch him play football with the Lynn Classical team at Manning Bowl. That was a big deal. Harry was a natural. And he happened to be a nice guy.

“When Harry graduated from Boston University, 50 teams were looking for him,” Booras said. “Baseball teams, football teams, he could’ve gone anywhere. He could have replaced the famous Otto Graham from the Cleveland Browns. But he said ‘I have to stay home, near my mother.’ So he chose to play for the Red Sox.”

This past weekend, the tournament saw its 63rd running. Games were played at St. Mary’s, Fecteau-Leary and at the memorial gymnasium named for him at St. George Greek Orthodox Church Community Center.

Since its first year, the tournament has expanded to include teams from all over the country.

“We’ve been doing this for 63 years,” Booras said. “Good years, great years, some not so great years. But we’ve been able to do it every year. Somewhere down the line it expanded and we were able to bring in teams from Denver, Philadelphia, New York. This year we have three teams from New York and one from Chicago.”

For the past 14 years, the tournament has honored a participant with the George K. Mazareas Recognition Award. Mazareas, who’s fighting a battle against ALS, is a former member of the Lynn School Committee and played in multiple Agganis Tournaments.

This year’s award was presented to Kirk Vidas, from Chicago. Vidas attended Gordon Tech High where he was a 2-year starter for NBA coach Bob Ociepka. After graduating high school, Vidas earned a basketball scholarship to Upper Iowa University, where he scored more than 1,500 points. He was inducted into Upper Iowa’s athletics hall of fame in 1994.

“Kirk’s very worthy of the award,” Booras said. “Every year we put together a list of names. We check in with Mr. Mazareas himself.”

Vidas, who made the trip from Chicago to play in this year’s tournament, participated in a handful of past Agganis Tournaments and competed against Mazareas. The two have held a friendship for over 35 years.

“I’m deeply honored,” Vidas said. “The fact that I would be chosen to represent someone with such a will to live is just incredible. I feel honored and humbled. I hope I can encourage people to strive to be the best they can be.”

Booras hopes the tournament’s participants will draw inspiration from Agganis.

“Harry’s one of our patron kids,” Booras said. “That’s why we have a big picture of him on our wall. What you hope is that every once in a while a kid will look at that, get inspired and maybe reach for heights too. That’s the idea.”


NBA star Giannis Antetokounmpo of Milwaukee Bucks may have his own signature Nike shoe on the way, but after sitting down for an interview with “60 Minutes,” the baller revealed on Sunday that during his modest upbringing he once had to share sneakers with his brother while growing up in Greece.

Born to Nigerian parents in 1994, the family rarely had enough to eat and often slept three or four to a bed, living in a tiny two-room apartment.

“You know, it was tough. We didn’t have a lot of money. But we had a lot of happiness. So we wasn’t broke happiness-wise. When we were struggling back in the day, we were all together in one room, same room. We were having fun. We were smiling. There was some tough times,” the athlete told CBS News’ Steve Kroft.

Giannis’ father got the Bucks star and his brother, Thanasis, into basketball and encouraged them to pursue a career in sports. They played on a second division Greek team earning less than $500 a month. Thanasis is now on the Greek National Team and plays in a top European league.

Taking Kroft to the humble gym in Athens where they used to play, Giannis — who’s been wearing player-exclusive editions of Nike’s new Kobe AD midtop sneaker this season — recalled how their modest earnings affected what happened on the court. “I remember one game we played with the same pair. One game.”

That said, since being selected by the Bucks as the 15th pick in the 2013 NBA draft, Giannis has made two All-Star teams and re-signed with Nike last fall — and his financial woes are behind him. He’s affectionally referred to as the “Greek Freak” by fans.

After a breakthrough 2016-17 season, Giannis was wooed by a slew of athleticwear companies, including Nike rival Adidas. But ultimately, he signed to a long–term deal with Nike in early November.