Katerina Mallios is one of the winningest basketball players in Winthrop High School history and likely a future Hall of Famer.
A four-year starter in soccer and basketball and a member of a 20-0 Winthrop hoop team playing alongside fellow Fab Fivers Kristen Finn, Nicole Giaquinto, Courtney Finn, and Meredith Soper, the 5-feet-9-inch forward Mallios excelled on highly successful contingents coached by Peter Grimes that regularly drew large crowds and brought tremendous excitement to the home gymnasium.
Mallios achieved very well at the college level, playing four seasons for Babson and appearing in four consecutive NCAA Division 3 Tournaments. A captain this season, Mallios made her final appearance in an NCAA Tournament game at Tufts University and it should be noted that Courtney Finn, now a major star at Bentley University, was in attendance at the game.
“College basketball was an amazing experience,” said Mallios. “I was part of a program that has been very successful. We had a tremendous winning streak in the regular season and made it to the Elite Eight one year.”
Mallios said she picked the right school for her athletic and academic pursuits. “Not only was I playing for a great team, I also got an amazing education. Babson is one of the top business schools in the country. It’s No. 1 in entrepreneurship and holds high standards. It’s just a great school so it was definitely the right choice.”
Mallios will graduate in May with a degree in Business Management with a concentration in Marketing.
“I have a job opportunity for when I graduate,” said Mallios. “I’m looking in to doing sales in technology, preferably software. That’s what my plan is.”
Though she played basketball for one of the premier Division 3 programs in the country at Babson, her days as a Winthrop Viking stand as the most memorable of her career.
“Playing for Winthrop High was the best basketball that I’ve ever experienced in my life,” said Mallios. “It was fun and competitive. I played with a great group of girls. I’m still very close with Courtney and I actually saw her play for Bentley in the NCAA Tournament. Kristen Finn, who graduated from Bates, Nicole Giaquinto, who was an All-American in track at UMass/Lowell, and Merry Soper, who’s playing basketball at Bryant – we had a great group of girls who are all very successful and athletic and played sports in college and they’re all getting good degrees.”
Mallios was asked whether she considers herself a role model for some of the current Winthrop High players, a talented group that includes her cousins, Nikki and Poli Tsiotos.
“I hope they think of me as one,” said Mallios. “My cousins come to my games and I come back to Winthrop every now and then to watch Nikki and Poli play. My cousins are working hard and they play AAU basketball. I think they can accomplish some great things in the next two years and win the state title that eluded us. I think watching my team in high school and how successful we were is something that motivates them.”
Mallios said she talks on occasion with Kristen Siscamanis, a rising star who should be rated as one of the best players on the North Shore next season. “I hear my cousins and Kristen talking about how they want to be the next team to win a title and they could do it if they keep working hard.”
Mallios said her brothers, Vasili, a graduate of Suffolk University, and Dino, a junior captain at St. Anselm College who led the nation in assists this season, have been a great influence on her basketball career.
“Vasili was a two-year captain at Winthrop High and won a major award from the referees association – seeing him get recognized for being a respectful athlete – that motivated me to have a positive attitude and be respectful on the court. Dino had a tremendous season. He might be younger than I, but he was someone in high school who would always be trying to drag me outside to practice and telling me wear weights on my legs to get stronger. He always pushed me and he’s had a huge influence in my life.”
Mallios also thanked her parents, Stephen and Elaine, for their lifelong support of her athletic career.
“They came to all my games, except on nights when Dino was also playing; they would have to decide which games to attend,” said Mallios.