ISIBT 50th Anniversary Soul 70 Reunion on March 7

The International Sons of Pericles Invitational Basketball Tournament 50th Anniversary Soul 70 Reunion will be held on Saturday, March 7. Photo: Courtesy of John Manolis

DETROIT – This year marks the 50th anniversary for a special event that took place in 1970 in Detroit when a group of young guys joined forces to put together one of the largest Greek basketball tournaments at the time. The International Sons of Pericles Invitational Basketball Tournament (ISIBT) took place March 6-8, 1970 and proved to be a successful event in spite of the naysayers and Detroit’s struggles during that time.

Nick Philipps shared the story with The National Herald, noting that “everyone said they couldn’t do it, they were wasting their time, no one will show up… Detroit was also going through a very bad time. No one would give them a loan, help them out… But they came together and it turned out to be an amazing event!”

In honor of the event in 1970, the International Sons of Pericles Invitational Basketball Tournament 50th Anniversary Soul 70 Reunion will be held on Saturday, March 7 at the Nativity of the Virgin Mary Church Hall, 39851 – 5 Mile Road in Plymouth, MI (located at 5 Mile Road near Haggerty Road). Doors open at 6:30 PM with buffet-style dinner at 7 PM. Live music by Lady Sunshine & the X Band begins at 8 PM. Donation is $40 per person.

John A. Lygizos told TNH about the 1970 tournament, “We were in the Sons of Pericles at that time. We had three chapters of the Sons in the immediate Detroit area. The Sons of Pericles nationally for many years at that time hosted a national basketball tournament. Our District #10 was awarded the right to host the Tournament that year. We labelled it the International Sons Invitational Basketball Tournament (ISIBT). Since it was to be held in Detroit, we decided to call it “Soul ’70” because of the popularity of the Motown sound in the Detroit area.

“We hosted 35 basketball teams at four different gyms during the weekend. We also were able to schedule, plan, and carry out the largest Greek dance in Detroit history with over 1800 people in attendance who danced to the sounds of the then and ever popular Trio Bel Canto.”

The organizers told TNH that they hope as many of the original participants in the 1970 tournament as possible will be able to attend the Soul 70 Reunion.

For tickets and further information about the ISIBT 50th Anniversary Soul 70 Reunion: Peter Christoff, phone: 734-624-1121 or email: ptchristo@wowway.com; John Lygizos, phone: 734-604-6839 or email: jalygizos@gmail.com; John Manolis, phone: 313-418-7762 or email: mconjon@comcast.net.

The event is sponsored by V.I. Chebithes, AHEPA #391 Charities and proceeds to support National Niemann Pick Foundation and 15 other charities.

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