For Immediate Release
Wednesday, May 16, 2012
Contact: AHEPA Headquarters
Phone: (202) 232-6300
AHEPA Announces 2012 National Athletic Honorees
Center for Two-time National Champion
University of Alabama Football Team to Receive Prestigious Agganis Award
WASHINGTON - The National Athletic Department of the American Hellenic Educational Progressive Association (AHEPA), a leading membership-based association for the nation's three million American citizens of Greek heritage and Philhellenes, has announced its 2012 National Athletic Awards, announced Supreme President Dr. John Grossomanides and John Tanionos, chairman, National Athletic Awards Committee.
The National Athletic Award recipients are:
- William C. Vlachos, University of Alabama (Football)
- Samantha Prahalis, The Ohio State University (Basketball)
- Zachary Collaros, University of Cincinnati (Football)
Vlachos will receive the prestigious AHEPA Harry Agganis Award, Prahalis will receive the AHEPA William Chirigotis Award, and Collaros will receive the Booster's Club Award.
"The 2012 National Athletic honorees are all truly deserving of the accolades they will receive," said Supreme President Dr. Grossomanides. "Each recipient has worked extremely hard and demonstrated an exceptional level of commitment to reach the great heights in their respective sports.
Added Tanionos, "The honorees are to be highly commended for upholding the AHEPA ideals of family and individual excellence. Each recipient is keenly aware of their heritage, culture and are committed to perpetuating and promoting these ideals. Truly, these individuals exemplify the meaning of Sound Mind and Sound Body."
They will be presented their awards at the AHEPA Family Awards Luncheon for athletes held at the 90th AHEPA Supreme Convention, Wed., July 25, 2012.
Also, five newly-elected AHEPA Hall of Fame Athletes will be inducted at the luncheon.
After leading the Alabama Crimson Tide to capture two National Championships and being selected to the 2011 AP All-SEC First Team Honors, William C. Vlachos is this year's AHEPA Harry Agganis Hellenic Athlete Award recipient. The 6'1, 315-pound center and three year starter and the only Greece-born athlete playing football in America started 39 straight games and made all the offensive line signal calls. A finalist for the Rimington Trophy and a second-team Walter Camp All American missed only 8 assignments in 733 snaps, (99%) and was twice named as the SEC Offensive Lineman of the Week. He signed an unrestricted free agent contract on April 30, 2012 with the Tennessee Titans. William's maternal grandfather and his namesake, William Nichols, was Captain of the 1940 Auburn Football Team and would later become a United States Congressman. William resides in Birmingham, Ala., with his mother, Margaret Nichols-Vlachos and his father, Christos Vlachos, who were married in Greece.
Samantha Prahalis, a 5'7 senior point guard from The Ohio State University is this year's AHEPA William Chirigotis Award winner. The former 2008 McDonald's High School All American was selected sixth overall in the first round of the WNBA Draft by the Phoenix Mercury. Famous for her "no look passes" and dubbed "The Show," Samantha was selected as the Women's Big Ten Conference Player of the Year by both the conference coaches and the media. A finalist for the Lieberman, Wooden, Wade and Naismith Awards, Samantha finished her career with 2010 points and over 900 assists, being only the second player in Division I Women's Basketball to do so. She also holds the single-game scoring record for the Buckeyes with 42 points. She was named Big Ten Player of the Week four times and was a USBWA First Team All American. Samantha was also a member of the USA National Team which played in Thailand in 2009, leading her team to an 8-1 record. She finished her illustrious career at Ohio State tied for 3rd for most games played (133), 4th in free throws (442), 6th in 3-point field goals (190), 6th in steals (247), and 7th in field goals made. A native of Commack, N.Y., Samantha resides with her father, John and mother, Kim Prahalis. She has a sister, Mallory and a brother, Michael.
The Booster's Club will honor the University of Cincinnati quarterback Zachary Collaros with this year's Award. The 6'0, 218-pound signal-caller who hails from Steubenville, Ohio (hometown of Jimmy "The Greek" Snyder) lead the Bearcats to back-to-back Big East Titles. In 2010, Zack lead the Big East in passing with 2902 yards and 26 touchdown passes. A tough competitor with great foot-speed and exceptional arm-strength Zack had a 131.6 passing rating in his final year. Pressed into service after an injury to starting star quarterback Tony Pike, Collaros stepped into the starting lineup, showcasing his talents, and leading the Bearcats to Orange and Liberty Bowl appearances in his junior and senior years. Zack made a remarkable recovery from a severe ankle fracture which required surgery with 3 games remaining in the regular season, shocking everyone with his determination in rehabilitating himself to appear in the Liberty Bowl, leading his team to a 31-24 victory over Vanderbilt. He signed an unrestricted free agent contract on April 30, 2012 with the Tampa Bay Buccaneers. Extremely proud of his Greek heritage, Zack is an outstanding Greek dancer and called "dancing" the best part of any Greek Festival. He resides in Steubenville with his father, John; mother, Michelle; sister, Lanae; and brother, Dimitrios.
AHEPA is the largest Greek-American association in the world with chapters in the United States, Canada, Greece, Cyprus, and sister chapters in Australia and New Zealand. It was established in 1922 by visionary Greek Americans to protect Hellenes from prejudice originating from the KKK, and in its history, AHEPA joined with the NAACP and B'nai B'rith International to fight discrimination.
The mission of the AHEPA family is to promote the ancient Greek ideals of education, philanthropy, civic responsibility and family and individual excellence through community service and volunteerism.
For more information about the AHEPA family, or how to join, please contact AHEPA Headquarters, (202) 232-6300, or visit www.ahepa.org. To learn more about the AHEPA National Educational Foundation, please visit www.ahepa.org/education.