Vasili Tsiotos and his younger sister, Poli Tsiotos, are looking forward to one day playing high school basketball on the Chris Tsiotos Court, which is named after their uncle, who averaged 28 points per game during one season for the Vikings.
If they perform like they did at the Fun-damentals Basketball Cap in Everett last week, Vasili and Poli will have the honor of being starting players for the Winthrop High boys and girls varsity teams respectively.
Vasili, a 5-foot-7-inch guard who is entering the eighth grade, won the 3-point shooting contest, hitting 27 of 50 shots to best the other 44 campers from Everett, Revere, Malden, and Chelsea.
“It feels good, I’m happy,” said Vasili, who received his trophy at the week-ending awards ceremony last Friday at the Pioneer Charter School of Science gymnasium in Everett.
Poli, an incoming sixth grader at the Winthrop Middle School, took first place in the free throw shooting contest in the college division, hitting 14 free throws.
“I’m a point and a shooting guard,” proclaimed Poli in an interview following the awards ceremony. “I know my father was a star and Uncle Chris was the best. And all my cousins – everyone is really good in my family. I used to go watch [cousin] Dino [Mallios] play games at St. Anselm. I have big shoes to fill.”
Poli added proudly, “I’m going to be the first [female] Tsiotos to go to the new school and I’m looking forward to it.”
Meanwhile, Vasili has been spending many hours working on his game this summer. He has attended a basketball camp directed by NBA player Patrick Connaughton at St. John’s Prep and is scheduled to participate in a basketball camp at Bentley University.
Vasili has helped his team win two North Shore middle school titles the past two seasons.
Vasili and Poli are the children of Nick and Nitsa Tsiotos. Fun-damental Basketball Camp Director Tony Ferullo said he attended Suffolk University with Nick and his brother, Chris, in the 1970s.
“Suffolk had real good basketball teams back then and I used to cover their games for the school newspaper, the Suffolk Journal,” recalled Ferullo. “Suffolk qualified for the NCAA Tournament in those years. And now it’s come full circle – I knew Chris and Nick then and now Nick’s kids have come to my basketball camp. Vasili and Poli are excellent kids. You couldn’t ask for better kids – they’re very respectful, they’re good players, and they’re humble and the counselors were very impressed by them.”