|No. 29, 20|
August 31, 1930 |
|Listed height||6 ft 5 in (1.96 m)|
|Listed weight||190 lb (86 kg)|
|High school||Lynn Classical
|NBA draft||1953 / Round: 7 / Pick: 57th overall|
|Selected by the Boston Celtics|
|Pro playing career||1956–1959|
|Career highlights and awards|
|Career NBA statistics|
|Points||910 (5.8 ppg)|
|Rebounds||751 (4.8 rpg)|
|Assists||165 (1.1 apg)|
|Stats at Basketball-Reference.com|
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, the Wildcats defeating Kansas State 68-58 in the Championship game.
In the fall of 1952, a point shaving scandal involving three Kentucky players (one of whom was a teammate of Tsioropoulos on Kentucky’s 1951 NCAA champions) 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.
Tsioropoulos, Ramsey and Hagan all graduated from Kentucky in 1953 and, as a result, became eligible for the NBA Draft. All three players were selected by the Boston Celtics—Ramsey in the first round, Hagan in the third, and Tsioropoulos in the seventh. All three also returned to Kentucky for one more season despite graduating. After finishing the regular season (one in which Tsioropoulos averaged 14.5 points per game) with a perfect 25-0 record and a #1 ranking in the Associated Press, Kentucky had been offered a bid into the NCAA Tournament. However, then-existing NCAA rules prohibited graduate students from participating in post-season play. The Wildcats declined the bid because their participation would have forced them to play without Tsioropoulos, Ramsey and Hagan, thus jeopardizing their perfect season.
Tsioropoulos' #16 jersey was retired by his alma mater and he is in the University of Kentucky Athletics Hall of Fame.
As Tom Heinsohn's backup at forward, Tsioropoulos played three seasons with the Celtics, winning championships in 1957 and 1959. In 157 games, he averaged 5.8 points per game. His best season was 1957-58; he averaged 7.7 points per game. This season was the only one of his three 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.
- Kentucky basketball history page 28