Dead. Lou Tsioropoulos, born on August 31, 1930 and died August 22, 2015, he was a Greek-American professional basketball player who played for the NBA’s Boston Celtics for three seasons from 1956-1959.
He was born in Lynn, Massachusetts. Tsioropoulos played college basketball at the University of Kentucky under legendary coach Adolph Rupp.
As a sophomore in 1951, he was a member of Kentucky’s NCAA Championship team, which defeated Kansas State 68-58 in the Championship game.
In the fall of 1952, a point shaving scandal involving three Kentucky players (a fourth player, Bill Spivey, a teammate of Tsioropoulos on the 1951 National Championship team, was alleged to have been involved in the scandal but denied the charge) over a four-year period forced Kentucky to forfeit its upcoming season, which would have been the senior year for Tsiroropoulos and future Hall-of-Famers Frank Ramsey and Cliff Hagan.
The suspension of the season made Kentucky’s basketball team, in effect, the first college sports team to get the “death penalty,” which actually was nothing more than the NCAA asking members schools not to schedule Kentucky, and not mandating it.
As Tom Heinsohn’s backup at small forward, Tsioropoulos played three seasons with the Celtics, winning NBA championships in 1957 and 1959. In 157 NBA games, he averaged 5.8 points per game.
Tsioropoulos best NBA season was 1957-58; in which he averaged 7.7 points per game. This season was the only one of his three NBA seasons in which he played in the playoffs; he averaged 6.3 points per game.
That year, the Bob Pettit-led St. Louis Hawks (which also featured Tsioropoulos’ ex-college teammate Hagan, who had been traded to the Hawks in the Bill Russell deal) defeated the Celtics in the NBA Finals.
Tsioropoulos was a principal of Jefferson County High School, and now lived in Florida. He died on August 22, 2015 at the age of 84.