Inspirational. Selfless. Passionate. Benevolent. These are just a few words that begin to describe what Teddy Kariotis meant to many people. Teddy played a prominent role in the youth program of the Greek Orthodox community. Although he inspired individuals of many different groups, Teddy very much changed the lives of several young boys and girls through something they all loved, basketball.
In 1999, Teddy started a basketball league at Hellenic College in Brookline, MA, which started with just 4 teams. By 2008, the league was a fixture in the Greek Metropolis community bringing in 8 to 10 teams each year from all different areas. He was an extremely dedicated coach for over 20 years. At the age of 50, Teddy lost a long, hard, heartbreaking battle with cancer. He coached through many painful days, up to the very last months of his life and never gave up on his team. Over 1,000 individuals, many of whom were grateful teenagers, attended his funeral and expressed just how thankful they were to have known him, not just as their coach in basketball, but as their coach in life, and as an admirable friend and father figure to many.
Less than one year later, his children started the Teddy Kariotis Foundation and an annual basketball tournament now known as the Teddy K Classic to honor their father’s memory. Each year, a student is rewarded with a college scholarship from the proceeds. This upcoming May will mark the 11th annual Teddy K Classic Basketball Tournament. The first year, 11 teams played, this year, 30 teams will play. Over thousands of fans have come to past tournaments to support, and even more are expected this time around. The tournament collects many sponsorships from local businesses each year, offers a variety of food and beverages, sells tournament apparel, has special performances, includes a photo station, and has special raffles including this year’s Shoot-for-a-Car competition where someone will have the chance to win a brand new car!
We are hoping this year’s event will top those of past years. We ask you to please come and support the tournament, which will be May 13th through May 17th, 2020 at Hellenic College in Brookline, MA where Teddy started it all. Enjoy some food, entertainment, great sportsmanship and company, and there is no admission fee! For more information and to see some great moments from past events, visit: www.teddykclassic.com. There is no better way to remember Teddy than through this sport, which he was very passionate about as he inspired so many to play and be the best they could be not only in basketball, but also in life. We ask you to join us and carry on his great legacy.