Those of us who watched Chris Tsiotis play for Winthrop High School (where he averaged an incredible 28 points per game one season) and at Suffolk University (where he led his team to three consecutive NCAA Tournament berths) always knew this day would be coming. Still, when we learned that Winthrop resident and prominent local attorney Chris Tsiotos was going to be inducted into the New England Basketball Hall of Fame, our first thought was, “What a fitting and appropriate honor this is for a man who not only achieved great things on the court, but who also became an ambassador for the game off the court.”
Chris’s love of basketball took him to his family’s native Greece, where he played professional basketball after college. He was a long-time participant in the Harry Agganis Basketball Tournament and in the Winthrop Summer League. The 6-foot, 5-inch standout truly could do it all on the court, and it was great for long-time WHS hoop fans to see him perform against both younger and older players on the McKenna Courts.
But what we also recognized in Chris was how he, together with his brother Nick (who also is a local hoop legend), passed on their affinity for basketball to other members of the Tsiotos family, such as nephew Vasili Mallios, who has become one of the top varsity basketball referees in the area, nephew Dino Mallios, who became the top assist man in the country during his phenomenal career at St. Anselm’s, and niece Katerina Mallios, who became a captain of the Babson women’s basketball team.
And so, too, did Chris’s daughters, Niki and Poli, carry on the family’s proud basketball tradition by joining with fellow seniors Kristen Siscamanis and Maura Lanza to lead the Lady Vikings to the Division 3 state semifinals this year, representing one of the greatest seasons in the program’s history. And there are other members of this great family ready to carry on the tradition in the WHS program.
We know we join with the entire Winthrop community in congratulating Chris Tsiotos on his induction into the N.E. Basketball Hall of Fame this weekend and in offering a sincere “Thank you” to Chris for bringing us so many thrills on the hard court. More importantly, the editor would note that what all of us have most admired about Chris through the years has been his sense of deep humility — unlike older brother Nicky, who always was a bit of a showboat (hey, just kidding! — that’s a joke among us who are “honorary” members of their extended Greek family!) — and his devotion to his family and community.