Kefi with the Kings: Greek Night Hosted by the American Hellenic Professional Society and the Tsakopoulos Hellenic Foundation
By Giuliana Harris
On February 27th, 2019, the American Hellenic Professional Society (AHPS) and the Tsakopoulos Hellenic Foundation hosted their annual Greek Night with the Sacramento Kings at the Golden 1 Center in Sacramento, CA. That evening, the Kings played the Milwaukee Bucks. A nail-biter of a game, the teams were neck and neck and trailed each other in points all… night… LONG! In the end, the game went in to overtime, with the Bucks taking the win, by 1 POINT (Bucks 141 to Kings 140).
Adding to the excitement of the evening: each team had their own Greek player, Kosta Koufos of the Sacramento Kings and Giannis Antetokounmpo of the Milwaukee Bucks. Prior to the game, Koufos partook in a Meet-and-Greet with the attendees of the AHPS and Tsakopoulos Hellenic Foundation group.
Singing the National Anthem in a beautiful choral arrangement was the Greek Orthodox Choir of the Annunciation Church from Sacramento, CA. Of special note from the National Anthem: the first sopranos carried stellar top notes in the closing of the song. Members of the group hosted by the AHPS and the Tsakopoulos Hellenic Foundation also participated in presenting the American Flag on the court as the Annunication Choir sang the Anthem.
Attendees in the group were given a commemorative t-shirt celebrating the Greek Night with the Kings and Bucks. Not only did the Choir and Flag Presenters wear them, but attendees in the group wore them as well. When looking at the rows filled with the Greek Group, it was very exciting to see the shirts with the Greek Key all over!
As an avid basketball fan, this game was incredible to view live. Between the talent of both the Sacramento Kings and the Milwaukee Bucks, there was rarely a moment when I was not on the edge of my seat. All night long, it was a back and forth of never knowing who would take the game.
Paul Peters, Board Director of the American Hellenic Professional Society and Event Coordinator of the evening, spoke with me about the turnout from the Greek Community at the event. Peters stated, “Attending the third annual Sacramento Kings Greek Night, over 200 participants from the Sacramento Community and vicinity attended the Sacramento Kings vs. Milwaukee Bucks game.” He continued, “Attendees from the Greek community, ranging in ages from three years to over 85, were involved in the meet-and-greet experience with our Greek basketball player Kosta Koufos.”
The crowd cheered, applauded, and let their support be known, especially when the jumbotron flashed MAKE SOME NOISE. The Sacramento Kings Golden 1 Hosts kept the energy high, had participatory games with crowd members, and kept everyone invested in the cheering. With good vibes all around… It is certain: The Kings have kefi!
In closing, the evening was full of spirited enthusiasm and community. AHPS Board Director Peters said it best: “The event was designed to showcase the Greek community in a different light. The Greeks are mostly known for their Greek cuisine. We came as a family. After all, look who created the Olympics.”
Featured Image (Top of the Page): Kosta Koufos of the Sacramento Kings signs autographs to young fans at the Greek Night (Photo Courtesy of the American Hellenic Professional Society).
Email the author: Giuliana