Anthony Sideris: A Team Player
By Nicholas Lopez
When he first came to Brooklyn College by way of John Jay, Anthony Sideris felt he had big shoes to fill—his sister, Amalea, is a well-accomplished BC alum and former basketball/tennis athlete.
“I thought I had to live up to her but everyone treated me like an individual,” said Sideris. “No one treated me as her little brother, so it was a great transition and something I’ll never regret doing.”
After all, Amelea was the reason Sideris wanted to go to BC. He did not get the experience at John Jay that she had at BC. Sideris also wanted to obtain a degree in something broad in case he ever changed his mind after graduation. (He previously pursued a degree in law at John Jay. At first, Sideris did not plan to become involved in athletics at BC, but after he made the soccer team, everything fell into place- his sister played basketball, he already knew coach Alex Lang and athletic director Bruce Filosa.
Hailing from Astoria, Queens, Sideris lives with a sports-oriented family that watches sports together at home and attends sporting events. Growing up, he played basketball in the winter and soccer in the spring and fall. Every summer, his mom, a Division II tennis player, taught him tennis. His dad was also in charge of athletics at a church youth program.
He attended St. Demetrios, a small Greek-American school with all Greek Orthodox kids, where he learned Greek for 14 years.
Sideris played junior varsity basketball in seventh and eighth grade where his team won championships both years and during his senior year of high school, he played one year of varsity basketball.
Although his dream college was the University of Pittsburgh, but he wanted to enjoy his youth in New York City and decided to stay. The gamble paid off as he got into John Jay College of Criminal Justice. During his freshman year there, Sideris went to class, went home, and did no athletics. Although he made friends, he did not enjoy this academic experience there.
Once he transferred to BC in the Fall of 2009, he struggled, but realized his GPA needed to stay up in order for him to remain eligible on the teams. Since sports was his passion and being on teams was his social life, he was motivated to do better in school.
That same season Sideris played soccer. His coach trained him to be a goalie even though he was not comfortable in the position, but that did not matter. He did what he had to do to make sure he played.
Sideris was put on as backup goalie and started some games in place of a senior who could not make all the games as starter/goalkeeper. Sideris did a lot better than expected. It was tough because there were only three returning players, a new coach and 17 brand new players.
He did not plan to play both volleyball and tennis since they were in the same season, but that changed once Bruce Filosa saw him on the tennis courts and asked him to play competitively.
“It was the greatest thing that ever happened to me because tennis was my most productive sport and I had the best times playing tennis,” said Sideris.
The following year he played volleyball, tennis and soccer. In tennis, he posted a 5-1 record playing at #4, 5 and 6 singles. In doubles action, he posted a 5-4 record as he played along with five different partners. He also earned the Men’s Tennis Coaches Award, won Student Athlete of the Month and was Vice President of the Student Advisory Athlete Committee from 2010 to 2011.
In volleyball, he recorded 16 digs in 25 games. In soccer, he expected to be starting goalie but a freshman named Stamatis Boundouris came in and took over. Through time, they became best friends and helped each other out.
“I never, regardless whether it was tennis, soccer, volleyball, swimming, saw anything in the best interest of myself,” said Sideris. “I made sure that anything I did was in the best interest of the team, so I never did anything to ruin team chemistry. Instead, I made sure that everyone was on the same page, everyone got along because if there’s no team chemistry, there are no victories.”
Sideris was also on the 2011-2012 men’s swimming and diving team and the 2011 and 2012 soccer and tennis teams.
In 2011, while playing tennis, Sideris split time between the #4, 5 and 6 singles positions and posted a 4-4 record at #3 doubles. He became SAAC President in 2011-2012 and served as a CUNY Athletic Conference Executive Board member.
As SAAC President, he made more events, sent cards to heroes and visited kids in hospitals to make sure the school knew they were not just athletes and in fact, helped the community.
Sideris was honored at school leadership conferences and also a 2011 dinner where he met and spoke to President Karen Gould, who he felt has impacted the athletic department with her support at athletic events.
Last year in tennis, he posted a 4-1 singles record and a 5-6 doubles mark.
This past fall semester, Sideris interned with the Disney College Program, where he worked at Disney World for six months. By doing this, he missed soccer season and postponed graduation, but staying an extra semester gave him his fourth tennis year.
With a lot of new faces and as the only four-year senior on the team, Sideris sees himself more as their guide to show them how the athletic department works, basic things about the conference and to help them adjust to a new setting.
Despite a winless season as of press time, Sideris is not discouraged. With youth and inexperience comes a chance for the team to build for the future and Sideris is not concerned with wins and losses.
“I’d like to win. However, it’s not all about that, because it’s about building character and success in other ways than on the tennis court and the people I’ve met through athletics and through tennis is a lot more valuable than any victory,” said Sideris.
In their game against York College on April 19, Sideris and Tashfeen Azal picked up a lone win in #3 doubles at 8-2 and Sideris earned a singles win.
Sideris is working on a BBA in marketing and a BS in Manage Finance. His interest in business and marketing comes from the fact that his personality is more set on business-oriented things rather than physical education or exercise science.
Some career moments came from a few great tennis match performances, but Sideris’ biggest moment came when he won his heat swimming in a 50-meter freestyle.
Sideris has made a lasting impression on his teammates, who see him as a cool, easy-going, hard worker.
“He always has a smile on his face and keeps others happy and laughing. I should know because he has played a doubles match [tennis], but overall, he is genuinely a good friend and a well-rounded sportsman!” said Tashfeen Azal, a tennis teammate.
Even though he no longer plays basketball, he still coaches and is an official in it.
Right now, he hopes to get a good job, and is not looking to apply to graduate school just yet. He still thinks about being a lawyer, but looks to get his undergrad, see what opportunities it brings and do what it take to get to to law school.
“I know I’m taking more out of this school than just a degree. I have friends I’m leaving with, relationships and connections,” said Sideris. “The athletic department helped me tremendously and this whole school has done so much for me that I know that I’m leaving with more things than students who are just leaving with a degree. I participated, got involved and made sure that I made the fullest of this opportunity so I’m grateful for Brooklyn College and the Brooklyn College athletics department.”
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