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Letter to Editor

Letter to the Editor: Greek-Americans in Sports News – Karlaftis, Kokinis, and Lappas

February 11, 2024

To the Editor:

 

It is noteworthy that the American Football Conference’s Championship game on January 28, between the Baltimore Ravens and the Kansas City Chiefs included two Greek-American sports luminaries. The Kansas City Chiefs’ George Karlaftis has had an outstanding second year as a starting pass-rushing defensive-end. The Baltimore Ravens’ Director of Player Personnel George Kokinis was integral of the signing of star quarterback Lamar Jackson and the formation of the Ravens Team Roster.

Notably, both Georges, Karlaftis, and Kokinis, have been honored with significant awards by the Order of AHEPA. George Karlaftis was the selectee of the 2021 William Chirgotis Award, awarded to the Most Outstanding Collegiate Athlete, following his outstanding college career at Purdue University, which resulted in his being the first-round draft pick of the Kansas City Chiefs [who won the Super Bowl last year and are now back defending their title].

George Kokinis was honored for his near three decades of outstanding accomplishments at the highest echelons of Player Personnel and Team Management in the National Football League, with his induction into the AHEPA Hellenic Athletic Hall of Fame in 2023.

Also, last week’s issue had an article on the upcoming documentary on Giannis. Late in the article it referenced that one of the producers is Kristin Lappas, an Emmy Award-winner.

This documentary resonates for dual reasons. Of course, Giannis’ story is singular and represents his journey through adversity, reaching the highest levels of professional sports. AHEPA has honored Giannis with its Harry Agganis Award, presented to the World’s Most Outstanding Athlete, on two occasions.

And interesting enough, Kristin is a family friend. She is the daughter of Steve Lappas, CBS Sports Basketball Analyst, and former Head Basketball Coach at Villanova University. Kristin is an outstanding young lady, mother of two young children, a Boston College graduate who had great success at ESPN doing their sport’s documentaries prior to branching off.  She has been acclaimed for other documentaries, and has been on Good Morning America and other network shows.

 

Very truly yours,

Gregory J. Stamos

Ansonia, CT

 

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