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What the coaches and mentors are saying… about Stavroula Papadaki

papadaki stanford

The commitment of Stavi Papadaki was announced by Stanford University last week. Stanford published Papadaki’s commitment through the women’s basketball team’s website. Within the article, Stanford’s legendary head coach, Tara VanDerveer (record holder and winningest coach in women’s collegiate basketball history), said about Papadaki: "We are very excited about Stavi choosing to attend Stanford."

Before her commitment to Stanford, Stavi was a member of O.A. Chania, Crete. Stavi’s coaches from O.A. Chania, Froso Dimitroulaki and Thanos Softsis, shared their own excitement about Stavi’s amazing accomplishment.

"Where to start :) 

My first memory of Stavroula was when she was 8-9 years old. Her Dad brought this long and lean girl, who wanted to learn how to play basketball. 

After some time, I was observing a girl who would follow a coach's directions in every detail, while also analyzing each step and figuring out how to best deliver what was needed to win. This helped her grow to a player with high basketball IQ. 

She is a girl, who will be the first to be upset and sad if something's wrong with her team, and she's the first who will try and find solutions to problems. 

Integrity is very high with Stavroula and her family, who are definitely team-oriented people. She is a girl of high morals, extremely high emotional intelligence, and incredible work ethic. 

She is also extremely resilient, and has an eerie way of improving despite all obstacles. 

This year especially she evolved into a great leader. The younger girls look up to her, she has a kind demeanor, she sets the tone for the younger players to follow, and she was a true and gifted leader for the team both in and out of the gym. 

In 30 years of coaching, teaching, and developing young talent, she is THE most conscientious and hard-working player I've had. She has no mean bone in her, and is genuine and humble, doing everything required, from picking up balls after practice, cleaning the gym, to taking care of teammates and sharing kind words when someone needs to be picked up. She helped ME become a better coach, teacher, mentor. 

I wish she enjoys this journey... and at the end to have accomplished all that she dreams about, because she deserves it."

Froso Dimitroulaki
Head Coach U18/U16, O.A. Chania, Crete, Greece
Former U18/U16 National Teams of Greece Selection Coach, Crete 

"A great move by Stanford! Stavi's an excellent character, and player who loves practice and always follows coaches' plans. She is a great teammate and is well-liked by everyone on the team. She has outstanding athleticism and skill, with amazing stride, long limbs and wingspan, very strong first step and explosiveness, a physique that can translate to many positions, versatility that allows her to defend interchangeably according to any needs of the team. This is a very good pick by the Stanford coaching staff, whom Stav will justify."

Thanos Softsis
Head Coach, O.A. Chania Women's Basketball 
Former U18/U16 National Teams of Greece Head Coach


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