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GREEK PLAYERS - Other than football

Guest Jakovas_Daniil

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Guest Jakovas_Daniil

I wanted to know if any one knew of past or present NHL, NFL, NBA players of Greek heritage?

Other than Chris Chelios!

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NHL-eric lindros...philadelphia flyers, some other greek that plays for the penguins

MLB-Keven Youkoulis....Boston Red Sox

NBA-Tsakalidis...Pheonix Suns...no idea where he is now

we dont really have that many, the two famous hockey players have had the biggest impact in their sports, well when lindros wasnt in a coma for his 15 concussions

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  • 5 months later...

Fred Smerlas

NT / Boston College

Played in Buffalo from 1979-89…Chosen by Buffalo in the second round of the 1979 NFL Draft, despite Smerlas playing for an 0-11 Boston College squad…Smerlas played 155 games in a row, a streak that ranks second in team history…Smerlas was named to represent the AFC in the Pro Bowl five times, every season from 1980 to 1983, and 1988…Selected to the Greater Buffalo Sports Hall of Fame in 2000.

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here are some past players in the NHL that I can think of off the top of my head

Jimmy Carson - Detroit Redwings

Peter Douris - Boston Bruins

Cleon Daskalakis - Boston Bruins

Nick Kypreos - NY Rangers

Bob Halkdis - Toronto Maple Leafs

Kris Kontos - TB Lightning

there was also a Greek Defensemen who played for the Hartford Whalers in the 80's and I can't think of his name.

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Here is something off of the top of my karaflo kefali:

Football: Pete Pihos, end, Phil. Eagles. Retired in the mid 50s. All American at Indiana, All Pro, College and Pro Halls of Fame. One of the toughest men who ever lived and one of the greatest college and professional ends in history. A dark complected Charles Bronson.

Football: Steve Alexakos: San Jose State and Dallas Cowboys. Played center.

Football: Harry Theofiledes (sp?) Back up QB in the NFL during the 70s.

Football: Ted Karras: Alex's older brother. Played guard with the Bears and Lions. Always a starter.

Football: Pete Giftopoulos Monster back, Penn State. From Hamilton, Ontario, Canada. Won both the 1984 Notre Dame game and the 1985 National Championship game against Miami with end zone interceptions on the final play of each game. Vinny Testaverde has never been the same since Pete intercepted him. Went home after he graduated and played in the CFL.

Football: Gust Zarnas. Guard, Ohio State. Played both ways. All American in the mid 30s. College Football Hall of Fame. The legendary Sid Gillman, who invented the West Coast offense while he was an assistant at Ohio State in the 30s (check it out if you don't believe this fact) and was a college and NFL head coach, said that Gust Zarnas was pound for pound the best lineman he ever saw.

Football: Ernie and John Epitropoulos. Linebacker and guard, Ohio State in the late 70s early 80s. Twins out of Warren, Ohio. Woody Hayes personally recruited them and said it was the best two-fer ever. Linebacker John was the Big 10 player of the week.

Football: John Mellekas. Tackle, Chicago Bears in the 40s and when they were the Monsters of the Midway.

Football: Johnny Morris, flanker, Chicago Bears. Now an ABC announcer in Chicago. Was on the 1962 championship team. Played flanker and for a long time held the single season reception record. Out of the University of California-Santa Barbara. Class act.

Football:Alex Holmes. Black Father-Greek American mother. Was on last year's USC national championship team. Played tight end and I think he hooked up with an NFL team this season. Speaks Greek.

Football: Menil (Menileos) Mavraidis. Notre Dame. Team captain under the great Coach Frank Leahy during the early 50s. From Massachussetts. Went back there after school and became a millionaire. He died a couple of years ago.

Football: The Rassas brothers: Nick and Kevin. Notre Dame football. Played in the 60s under Ara Parseghian. Nick was an All America defensive back. Greek father-Irish mother. I think that they were raised Catholic.

Football: John Papadakis. Both sets of grandparents from Sparta, Greece. He and his brother Tom own the famous Papadakis Taverna in San Pedro, CA. John was the team captain at USC in 1971. A great linebacker who had his best games against Notre Dame. He tackled a Notre Dame halfback so hard during a televised game that he decleated him and knocked him out.

Football: Tasso and Petros Papadakis. Sons of John. Tasso started at linebacker at USC for two years, and got hurt. He was so good that he played ahead of Craig Claiborne who became an All American and who is in the NFL. He is a high-end professional photographer in LA. Petros is the last white tailback at USC. Ran a 4.4 40 yard dash. He graduated two years ago. A photo of his touchdown in the opener against Penn State was in Sports Illustrated. He is doing college football for Fox TV and is very good. Highly intelligent and irreverent. Typical Greek. Called the nationally televised USC-Arkansas game a couple of weeks ago. Majored in philosophy at USC. This boy is on his way.

Football: Rich Karlis. Place Kicker, Univ. of Cincinnati and Denver Broncos. From Salem, Ohio. Married a Greek girl and lives in Denver.

Football: George Saimes. Halfback All American at Michigan State in 1962. Had a long career in the AFL with the Broncos and Bills as a defensive back. Best Greek collegiate running back ever. From Canton, Ohio. Ohio high school football legend. The last I heard is that he was scouting in the NFL.

Football: Pete Taggares, starting fullback, University of Washington, late 60s.

Football: Tony Apostol, halfback, University of Washington. Played with Pete Taggares.

Football: Chris Elias, Linebacker, UCLA. Played in the late 70s under Terry Donahue. Tall, fast and strong. Had red hair. Defensive captain who was ordered to sit out a game for insubordination when the coaches sent in the wrong defense for a critical play. He called his own defense and they stopped Stanford on the one yard line. The press went wild with that story and he played the next Saturday.

Football: Pete Speros, Guard, Penn State. Offensive captain. Was on one of Joe Paterno's national championship teams in the 1980s.

Football: Art Balourdos. Two year starter at center for the Michigan football team in the 80s. An undersized but ferocious blocker. Doing real estate in Chicago.

Football: Nick (The Greek) Miller. Nose tackle, Ohio State in the late 70s. Out of Philadelphia, PA. Started two years. Mean.

Football:Kirk (Kyriakis) Moundros. Fullback at Michigan. Never started but played an awful lot. Three year letterman. Graduated two or three years ago. Great short yardage blocker. Mechanical engineer.

Football: The Sarantos boys: Mike, George, Joey and Paul. Father Mike played football at Michigan: Joey and Paul played last year. Joey graduated. George was an All Ivy defensive end at Yale.

Football: George Chatlos. From Western Pennsylvania. Defensive end, Michigan State. Played with Bubba Smith and George Webster in the mid 60s. He played so tough against Wisconsin in one game that the opposing tackle quit the team after the game. Had the most tackles on the team for maybe two years.

Football: George Catavolos. Parents from Mani. Grew up in Cleveland where he was voted a starter on the all time Cleveland area high school football team. All American defensive back at Purdue. Played with Bob Griese on a Rose Bowl Championship team in the mid 60s that beat a favored USC team. Did not play professional ball because of a mild case of diabetes. He is an NFL team executive.

Football: George Kyros, starting defensive back at Nebraska in the early 70s. From Grand Isle, Nebraska. I saw him knock down two 240 pound pulling guards in a televised game against Oklahoma at Oklahoma, and make the tackle. Everyone in the stadium, Oklahoma fans included, gave him a standing ovation. I heard he became a doctor.

Football: Jim Karsatos, quarterback, Ohio State in the mid 80s. Played a couple of years for Miami in the NFL. Recruited from Fullerton, California. Lives in Columbus.

Football: Eugene Rossides, quarterback, Columbia. One of the Gold Dust Twins in the mid 40s and one of the greatest athletes in Ivy League history. Prominent attorney in New York and Washington. Out front for Greece and Cyprus.

Football: Bill Atessis, defensive end, Texas. High school and college All American in the late 60s or early 70s. Played a couple of years with the old Colts, but got hurt. Could have been in the Hall of Fame. An animal.

Football: George Foussekis, Chesapeake, Virginia. All American defensive end at Virginia Tech in 1966. Barely six feet tall, but fast, super strong and mean. Played with the current Coach Frank Beamer. I think they were undefeated that year.

Football: Jimmy (The Greek) Pulos. Halfback, Georgia. Small, but a bullet. Feared no one. Played in the early 70s and scored a lot of game winning touchdowns. A god to all Bulldog fans.

There are others that I can name: maybe I'll come back with a few more. But in the meantime, you should know that a 26 year old named Spero Dedes just signed to do the radio play by play for the Los Angeles Lakers. He was the second one interviewed and the owner, Jerry Buss, hired him on the spot. Did Atlantic 10 basketball game of the week when he was 23. Spero is from New Jersey and covered a lot of sports since he graduated from college in 2001. He covered the Athens Olympics--the best ever--for NBC when he turned 24. A palikari. He will be a broadcasting legend.

Argotera, paidia!

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Some more Greeks in American football:

Tony Pashos, tackle, Baltimore Ravens. 6'6" 320 lbs from the University of Illinois. Parents are immigrants. He is in his third NFL season.

The Andros boys: Plato and Dee (Demosthenes) Andreacopoulos. Born in Oklahoma City. Both played at Oklahoma U under Bud Wilkinson after WW2 and were two way guards. They played with Darrel Royal. Plato played with the old Chicago Cardinals in the NFL and then became a highly successful high school coach in his home town. Still living. Dee Andros was the Oregon State football coach from 65 to 75 and produced a bunch of NFL stars. He became the athletic director in 75 and served ten years. Dee was known as the "Great Pumpkin" because he was fat and wore an oversized orange windbreaker. Dee died in 2003. He was in the US Marines for 2 1/2 years and won the Bronze Star at Iwo Jima. He watched his buddies raise the flag on Mt. Suribachi. Immensely popular and a decent man.

Archie (Archimides) Matsos. All American linebacker at Michigan State in the late 50s. Drafted by the Buffalo Bills in the AFL's first season, 1960, and was later traded to the Raiders where he became their first great middle linebacker. All AFL before the merger.

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I almost forgot: Frank Stams (Stamoulis) from Akron, OH. Started at fullback as a sophomore, blew out his knee, and came back a defensive end under Lou Holtz. All American 1988. Most valuable defensive player, Fiesta Bowl, 1989. Notre Dame was the national champ in his senior year. Frank got six years in as a member of the Browns and Panthers. He returned to Akron and is an active member of the Annunciation Greek Orthodox Church.

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  • 3 months later...
  • 3 weeks later...

Tom Kostopoulos, right wing, Los Angeles Kings. Made the papers with a photographed fight last night, February 11, 2006. He's got a way to go in the fight game, because Nick "Pie Face" Fotiu and Chris "The Big Greek" Kotsopoulos were the gold standard in their days.

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  • 2 months later...
  • 2 weeks later...

Youkilis isn't Greek.... I though he was as well but I read an article about him in the Boston Globe and it mentioned his ethnic background. I don't remeber what it was but it surely wasn't Greek.

You're right. I think he was Romanian.
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