The Hardwood and Beyond

Jimmy Lafakis and Jimmy Lafakis

There is a lot that goes along with saying you go to Lake Central. It means that you wake up at an ungodly hour to attend class at 7:15 a.m. It means that you push through a seemingly endless throng of people in a feeble attempt to get to E-Hall on time. It means that you keep it real and do some good out there.

It means you combine with 3,300 others to become one.

It means you will defend your school.

It means you have pride, and that pride runs deep.

This past weekend, I had the privilege to participate in my first NHIBT (National Hellenic Invitational Basketball Tournament). Two proud Lake Central graduates, Chris Kostouros (‘84), and Angelo Mantis (‘88), were both inducted into the NHIBT Hall of Fame. The tournament has stood the test of time. 2013 is the 83rd edition of the spectacle. I spoke with Kostouros and Mantis about how LC assisted in shaping their lives.

“They’re all good people [at Lake Central]. They helped me a lot. They built character, and sports teaches you that,” Kostouros said.

Mantis proved that the date on the calendar may change, but some traditions stay the same.

“We played against Crown Point, Munster, all the rivalries. It was always fun to get together, and we had great chemistry growing up,” Mantis said.

These men are legends, and their prominence spans across a nationwide tournament. Though LC was just a stepping stone in their quest for greatness, 8400 Wicker Avenue will be embedded in their brains forever.

And remember: Success is the result of small efforts, repeated day in and day out.

Writer’s note: This story can be read on my blog, The Jimtionary.