Theodorou brings energy to cowboy tennis team on, off court sports power company near me


Theodorou said he considers himself a hyper person. His parents, Antonis and Monica Theodorou, were content letting him continue to practice in a sports complex in his hometown of Marousi, Greece, until late in the evenings because he couldn’t sit still.

“From (when) I was born, I was always energetic,” Theodorou said. “I was running everywhere. I always wanted to do something athletic or competitive. Sometimes I was even competitive with myself. I also have a concentration problem, so my parents were told that sports would help me with that.”

Theodorou always feels he needs to do something special. He said he considered playing tennis full time only after he was told to not go over the limit in other sports, such as attempting the overhead kick while playing soccer or doing backflips and going off the half-pipe while snowboarding.

That limited him to the one-set doubles matches in the dual season. His Friday and Sunday matches usually lasted 30 minutes. After a brief warm down, he made his way to the stands with a wrist brace and a bag of ice on top of it. Once he found a seat, Theodorou had to settle for the cheerleader role.

Once the singles matches began, Theodorou stood up, walked to every court and shouted his teammates’ names. He was determined to provide the mental boost to all of his six teammates playing in singles matches. When any of them scored a point, he roared like he just won the point himself. He was a special spectator at the Michael and Anne Greenwood Tennis Center because he was loud and he was everywhere.

Most of the international players in the NCAA spend their early careers playing in the ITF Junior Circuit, the premier level worldwide competition among under-18 tennis players. They meet each other in the tournaments and become friends, as they usually travel without coaches or family members to different countries. Theodorou befriended his future teammates Julian Cash and Artur Dubinski that way.

“It’s cool as you see people on the list of some tournaments and in the tournament, we are practicing sometimes or maybe hang out. When it’s over, you see people on another tournament in a different country, and it’s cool. It’s a pretty small world that we end up here at Oklahoma.”

Theodorou was a rising star in the junior level. He was the No.1 Greek player in the Under-14, 16 and 18 level, registering 72 victories and climbing as high as No. 131 in the ITF rankings. He was called to represent Greece in the 2015 Davis Cup, a professional tournament for national teams. Theodorou considers his biggest achievement his victory against then-No. 20 Boris Pokotilov in a match that lasted more than 4 hours.

Recruiters and coaches started to look at him, and he decided to commit to Iowa after a visit. Unfortunately, his No. 2 player status wasn’t helpful in building a relationship with coach Ross Wilson. The two grew apart, which led to his decision to leave the Hawkeyes after his junior year.

“Artur and Julian were friends of mine in the juniors,” Theodorou said. “I was talking to them, and they were putting a good word for me to coach. Coach has seen me play before. I took a visit, and everyone was awesome. I told myself this is a good program and a good opportunity, so I (went) down here.”

“(Theodorou) messaged me when he first wanted to transfer,” Cash said. “So I tried to help him come here because I thought he was going to be a good fit for the team. I told Jay (Theodorou’s) personality can be good for the team for the long season. It was me trying to get him talk to Jay because I wanted him to come here.”

“We were just adding another great player to the program,” Udwadia said. “Lefty definitely wanted to switch gears, changing to another school. I think transfers usually do really well because they have something to prove. I think Lefty had something to prove when he wanted to transfer to programs like ours.”

The tandem became noticeable among OSU fans as Theodorou and Dubinski usually performed spectacular last-ditch saves and were loud on the court. They posted a 9-7 record and provided four decisive points-clinching victories. Still, Theodorou, a senior, wasn’t too happy about his limited on-court contribution.

“(Theodorou) is a great guy to have in the locker room. His positive (attitude) and personality are quite lovely. He keeps the mood quite light. It is not always about tennis, tennis, tennis, and we need a little break from that. He does really well on that side.”

Theodorou naturally assumes the leader position in the locker room because he grew up with people around him all the time. Theodorou said he can’t stand finding himself alone. When he is in those circumstances, Theodorou will summon someone to kill his boredom. He becomes the go-to guy with other players as he usually leads their off-the-court activities.

“I guess I get along with people,” Theodorou said. “I like bringing people up, and I like communicating with people and having fun with them, especially in this environment. I like human interaction. I can’t be alone for a long time, and I need to be with other people.”

“I think we really get along on and off the court, so I think that’s really helpful,” Draheim said. “We hang out together all the time, and we play video games. We spend a lot of time together, eat lunch together and eat dinner together. He is a little bit experienced, and sometimes he shows me what to work on. Sometimes he just shows his experience a little bit more than I do.”

As Theodorou recovered from his injury, he played a bigger role at the end of the season, posting an 8-1 singles record while filling in for his teammates. His best moment was in OSU’s 4-3 victory against Baylor. In doubles, Dubinski and Theodorou defeated No. 3 Will Little and Johannes Schretter 6-3.

Two hours later, Theodorou provided the match-clinching point with a victory against Akos Kotorman in a match that went the full distance, 4-6, 7-5, 7-6. After Kotorman’s return failed to make the court, Theodorou kneeled in joy before his teammates swarmed him.