General News

Nicholas E. Kokinakis, Visionary and Creator of GOBL, Was 68

NEW YORK – The visionary and creator of the Greek Orthodox Basketball League of the Archdiocese (GOBL) Nicholas E. Kokinakis passed away on May 8. He was 68.

Kokinakis came up with the idea for GOBL in the late 1990s, giving the Greek community’s children the opportunity to excel in sports and develop their talent in basketball and soccer. He inspired everyone who is involved with GOBL today.

Left to right: Former Director of GOBL George Zbravos, Nicholas E. Kokinakis, Angelos Papadakos, and current Director Spyros Vangelatos. Photo: GOBL

GOBL issued a statement about his passing: “The Greek Orthodox Basketball League (GOBL) extends its deepest condolences to the family of Nicholas Kokinakis. In the late 90s, Nick, with the blessing of the Archdiocese, envisioned a league where children as young as seven could play basketball against teams from other Greek churches like GOYA. This vision materialized with games between St. Demetrios and Archangel Michael, leading to tournaments in the fall of 1996 and spring of 1997. In 1998, the inaugural season of the JOY Basketball League began, with Nick serving as the commissioner until 2003. As the JOY League flourished, Nick pursued the second part of his vision: forming a soccer league for the Archdiocese. With both leagues thriving, Nick was appointed as an athletic delegate for the district youth commission. The GOBL League Representatives express gratitude to Nick for his visionary leadership, which has shaped the league into what it is today. May his memory be eternal.”

Nicholas E. Kokinakis, at right, with Gus Rogdakis of the Archangel Michael Port Washington community. Photo: GOBL

The viewing was held at Archangel Michael Greek Orthodox Church in Port Washington, NY, on May 13 with the funeral on May 14, also at Archangel Michael Church. Interment followed at Nassau Knolls Cemetery in Port Washington.

Kokinakis is survived by his beloved wife, Malamati. He was the loving father of Emanuel and Ageliki, Constantine and Karena, Alissa and Athena, loving grandfather of Nicholas, beloved brother of Mary and Michael Mihalos, brother-in-law of Louis and Eleni Germanakos, and Nicholas and JoAnn Germanakos, uncle of Dr. Demetrios Mihalos, Athena, John, Emmanuel, Michael and Nicholas Halkias, Dean, Ashley, Louie, Jack Germanakos, Constantine and Julia Germanakos, Peter Germanakos, Christopher Germanakos and Alexia Germanakos.

In lieu of flowers, kindly make donations to Archangel Michael Greek Orthodox Church, 100 Fairway Drive, Port Washington, NY 11050.


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