WASHINGTON (June 21, 2016) — The Hellenic Athletic Hall of Fame Selection Committee of the American Hellenic Educational Progressive Association (AHEPA), a leading membership-based association for the nation’s million American citizens of Greek heritage and Philhellenes, has selected its Hall of Fame Class of 2016, announced Supreme President John W. Galanis and Gregory J. Stamos, chairman, Hall of Fame Selection Committee.
The AHEPA Hellenic Athletic Hall of Fame inductees are:
- Nicolette (“Nikki”) Gianulias, professional bowler;
- Niko Koutouvides, college and professional football player;
- John Margaritis, head women’s basketball coach, UC Riverside;
- Steven Schubert, college and professional football player; and
- Christos (“Chris”) Tsiotos, college basketball player.
“The 2016 Induction Class is comprised of individuals who have reached the highest levels of their respective areas of competition,” Supreme President Galanis 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 94th AHEPA Supreme Convention on Wed., July 27, 2016, Las Vegas, Nev.
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 139 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 2016 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.
NICOLETTE (“NIKKI”) GIANULIS, Vallejo, California, is a professional women’s bowler selected to the Professional Women’s Bowling Association Hall of Fame in 1986 and the Women’s International Bowling Congress Hall of Fame in 1997. Her achievements include: Bowling Association Bowler of the Year in 1982, leading the Ladies Professional Bowling Tour in average in 1981, 1982 and 1986, setting a record in 1986 with a 213.89 average. As a professional, she won 18 titles.
NIKO KOUTOUVIDES, New Britain, Connecticut, played professional football for nine seasons with the Seattle Seahawks (2004-2008), Denver Broncos (2008-2009), Tampa Bay Buccaneers (2009-2011) and the New England Patriots (2011-2013), participating in two Super Bowls. A college standout at Purdue University, he starred as a linebacker for the Boilermakers from 2000-2003, being named twice as an All-Big Ten Conference First Team selection.
JOHN MARGARITIS, a native of Athens, Greece, has been head coach of the University of California, Riverside Women’s Basketball team for 12 seasons. He is a two-time Big West Coast Conference Coach of the Year, earning that honor in 2007, and most recently, 2016, after leading the Lady Highlanders to a perfect16-0 conference record and school record 23 wins. Under his leadership, the program has had six post-season appearances: three NCAA Tournaments and three National Invitational Tournaments.
STEVEN (“STEVE”) SCHUBERT played six seasons in the National Football League with the New England Patriots and Chicago Bears as a wide receiver. During his professional career, he returned three punts for touchdowns. At the University of Massachusetts, Schubert was named First Team All Yankee Conference and First Team Kodak All-American in 1972. He finished his college career with 11 touchdown receptions.
CHRISTOS (“CHRIS”) TSIOTOS played professional basketball in Greece after a successful collegiate career at Suffolk University where he was named All-New England and ultimately elected to the Suffolk University Hall of Fame. At Suffolk, he tallied 1,639 career points and 1,250 career rebounds. was elected to the New England Basketball Hall of Fame in 2015. In 1974 and 1982, Chris also was selected to the AHEPA Basketball All-Star Teams that played in Greece.
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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.