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AHEPA Announces 2019 Athletic Awards Honorees



Washington, D.C. office

AHEPA 2019 Convention Logo

WASHINGTON, DC—The American Hellenic Educational Progressive Association (Order of AHEPA) will present awards to outstanding current and former athletes, scholar-athletes, and industry professionals at its Athletic Luncheon to be held at the 97th Supreme Convention, July 3, in Chicago, announced Supreme President George E. Loucas.

“We are proud to recognize Hellenes who excel in their respective sports or sports industry, display excellence in the classroom, and exemplify volunteerism within their respective communities,” Loucas said. “We congratulate our honorees.  They are committed to perpetuating and promoting these ideals, which are all part of our mission.”

He added, “I commend AHEPA’s National Athletic Department, led by Supreme Athletic Director Chris Atsaves and Gregory J. Stamos, who chairs the Athletic Awards Selection Committee, for their  dedication to honoring our exceptional athletes and those in the sports industry.”

Five to be Inducted into the Hellenic Athletic Hall of Fame

The 2019 Class of the AHEPA Hellenic Athletic Hall of Fame will include:

  • Lt. Colonel Thomas Bellairs, Denver, Colorado, College Basketball;
  • Valorie Kondos Field, Sacramento, California, College Women’s Gymnastic Coach;
  • Peter Laskaris, Swampscott, Massachusetts, College Basketball;
  • Adam Rand, Niantic, Connecticut, College Lacrosse; and
  • George Veras, Columbus, Ohio, Emmy-award Winning Television Producer.

The AHEPA Hellenic Athletic Hall of Fame was established in 1974 by the late Supreme Athletic Director, Dr. Monte Kofos and now includes more than 150 inductees.  Previous inductees include: Harry Agganis, Alex Karras, Milt Pappas, Pete Sampras, Eric Karros, Gene Rossides, Steve Lappas, Bob Costas, and Greg Louganis, among many others.

MLB MVP Candidate, Collegiate Basketball Standout to Receive National Honors

Los Angeles Dodgers All-Star Outfielder and 2019 MVP candidate Cody Bellinger is selected to be awarded the prestigious AHEPA-Harry Agganis Most Outstanding Athlete Award.  Bellinger was the 2017 National League Rookie of the Year and 2018 National League Championship MVP.  In 2019, he leads the National League in hitting, .348, and is on pace to hit 52 home runs.

James Sotos, a collegiate basketball player at Bucknell University, will receive the AHEPA-William Chirgotis Collegiate Scholar-Athlete Award.  Last season, as a sophomore, Sotos was Bucknell’s starting point guard and led the Patriot League Conference in assists.  In his freshman year, he was the sixth man for the Bucknell team that made the NCAA Tournament.

George Fefles, college basketball star, is selected to receive the Special Recognition Award.  In 2009, Fefles was inducted into the Chicago Public Basketball Coaches Association Hall of Fame after coaching for 19 years at Livonia Bentley High School and serving as District-wide Athletic Director.  For his captaining of the University of Detroit basketball team for two seasons, Fefles was inducted into the university’s Hall of Fame in 1988.

2019 Scholar-Athlete Honorees

Harrison Dulgarian, Manhattan Beach, California, will receive the Supreme President Dr. Kimon Doukas Collegiate Scholar-Athlete Award.  The award is presented to the Most Outstanding Collegiate Scholar-Athlete for excellence in academics and athletics.  Harrison is captain of the University of Alabama Club Rugby team.  He was selected to the All-Conference SCRC First Team and voted second in the nation (Division I) as the best scrum.

Samantha Galanopoulos, Skokie, Illinois, is the recipient of the Excellence in Athletics Award.  The AHEPA Booster Club established the award to honor an Outstanding Greek-American High School Athlete.  Samantha was selected twice to the All-State Basketball Team in Illinois.  She served as team captain for three seasons and was a three-sport varsity athlete for all four years in high school. Samantha graduated cum laude as the second leading scorer in her high school’s history. Samantha will play basketball at Loyola University of Chicago.

Nathaniel Martine, Zionsville, Indiana, will be honored with the Past Supreme President Franklin R. Manios Scholar-Athlete and Service Award.   The award recognizes outstanding achievement in academics, athletics, extra-curricular and community service.  Nathaniel was an All-Conference volleyball player and was selected to the Indiana Academic All-State Team.  Nathaniel is also a recipient of the Dick’s Community Service Award.  He will attend Indiana University in the fall.

Harry Koutroumanis and Elana Zingas are co-winners of the John Peter Vlahos Scholar-Athlete Award.  The is presented to Outstanding High School Scholar-Athletes.  Harry is a four-year letterman of a nationally-ranked high school soccer team and a member of  Greek dance troupe that performs at national festivals and competitions. He will attend the University of Florida.  Elana was a member of a National Champion 16U Ice Hockey team.  Her high school team captured the state championship for Michigan during each of her three years of varsity hockey. Elana was named as her school’s Scholar-Athlete and will play hockey at Cornell University.

Maria Theodore, Quincy, Massachusetts, is the recipient of the Anthony Leondis Memorial Scholarship Award.  The award is presented for superior accomplishments in athletics, academics, and the advancement of the community good.  Maria was a Thayer Academy Global Scholar.  She is a two-time Junior Olympic Finalist in Fencing, a member of the U.S. World Fencing Travel Team, and ranked 12th internationally.  Maria is also a recipient of the U.S. Congressional Gold Medal Award.  Maria will fence with the Harvard University Women’s Fencing Team in the fall.

Demetra Loukopoulos, Denver, received the Past Supreme Athletic Director Dr. Monte N. Kofos Scholar-Athlete Award.  The award is presented to an Outstanding High School or Collegiate Athlete.  Demitra made Academic All-State First Team, serving as her high school basketball team captain.  The won a State Championship.  Demetra will attend and play basketball for Sarah Lawrence University. 

Nicoletta Koulos, of Long Beach, California, is the winner of the Spanakos Brothers High School Scholar-Athlete Award.  The award is endowed by Hall of Famers Petros and Nikos Spanakos and awarded for athletic and academic achievement.   Nicoletta is a member of the United States Junior Olympic National Gymnastic Team, finishing in the Top 10 in University Junior National events.  She is the California State Champion in the all-around competition and earned a scholarship to compete as a member of the gymnastic team at the University of Michigan.

“AHEPA is grateful to each of the benefactors and sponsors of these awards, and to the Athletic Committee Boosters and its supporters, all of who have contributed to the development of this marvelous program to recognized our student-athletes,” said Loucas.

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