Niki Tsiotos Leads Team Boston to National Hellenic Tournament Title

Niki Tsiotos brought her ‘A’ game to Chicago. And that was quite impactful for Team Boston.

Competing alongside her twin sister, Poli Tsiotos, and her cousins, former Babson College captain Katerina Mallios and Eleni Mazareas, in the National Hellenic Invitational Basketball Tournament, Niki piloted Team Boston to the championship.

The Twin Tsiotos-led contingent defeated teams from Chicago and Atlanta to finish unbeaten and claim the title for the second year in arow.

“I don’t know how, but we did it,” said Niki modestly. “A lot of our girls are on the older side, in their late 20s or early 30s, but we played team basketball, and it worked out very well. Some of the best Greek-American players from around the country were in the tournament.”

Niki played a high-caliber game, similar to the one played by her father, Chris Tsiotos, who averaged 28 points as a Winthrop High senior before starring for Suffolk University. Niki was named to the All-Tournament Team after leading Team Boston in points, assists, and steals. She was back dishing and dealing at her customary point guard position.

“The reason I always wanted to be a point guard and wear No. 11 for Winthrop was that my cousin, Dino [Mallios], was No. 11 in college (Saint Anselm),” said Niki. “And I also think it’s really cool and impressive that Vasili [Mallios] is refereeing college basketball games. They were great role models.”

Niki played four years of varsity basketball with her sister, Poli, at Winthrop High School. Kristen Siscamanis, Nina Bartlette, and Maura Lanza were the other starters on the 2014-15 team that won the North Sectional title in Lowell and advanced to the state semifinals at the Boston Garden.

Niki continued her basketball career at Dowling College in Long Island before transferring to the College of the Saint Rose in Albany. She served as a volunteer assistant on Anthony Hatzisavas’ Winthrop High girls basketball coaching staff this past season.

Looking back on her latest triumph on the basketball court, Niki, who works at a marketing agency, commented, “It was great to play basketball again with my sister, Poli, and my cousins, Katerina and Eleni. It’s a reunion we look forward to each year.”

And asked about her father’s legendary basketball career (the court at Winthrop High School is named the Chris Tsiotos Court), Niki said, “I’d love to see some video of him playing for Winthrop. To believe it, I have to see it. I know he averaged 28 per game, and that was before there was a three-point line.”

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