Staying active is Dimitri Sirakis’ secret to managing social distancing.
The SJC Brooklyn senior and his younger brother, Evan, encourage others to stay active by offering free basketball training sessions through their company, Sirakis Basketball Training. Sirakis is a guard on the men’s basketball team and scored his 1,000th career point in February.
“I believe it’s a great way to stay positive,” said Sirakis, a business administration major, who carries minors in marketing and psychology. “It’s very hard when you’re inside all the time to keep a positive mental state.
“My goal is that I don’t want all the kids who worked so hard all year to sit home and do nothing,” he continued. “We don’t know when the world will start up again, but when it does, I want all the players who I sent workouts to just to be active and striving for all the goals they have.”
Giving Back to His Hometown
The Sirakis brothers, who live in Oakland Gardens, Queens, started their basketball training company nearly two years ago. They began by offering training sessions for members of their local church, St. Nicholas. Today, they train more than 60 kids.
The Sirakises moved the company to a virtual format about four weeks ago, around the same time the state began mandating social distancing measures due to the coronavirus pandemic. They send clients short exercises twice a week to do from home. The exercises teach the young athletes skills — mostly stationary ball handling — that can easily be practiced in a small space at home.
Offering the free training sessions isn’t the only thing Sirakis is doing to help his community during the coronavirus pandemic.
Sirakis, a manager at Avli, a Greek cafe in Bayside, is assisting the restaurant to distribute breakfasts and lunches to those in need during the COVID-19 outbreak. It was gratifying to lend a helping hand to those in need.
“That was awesome,” Sirakis said. “It was easily one of the best experiences I ever had — just seeing everyone so thankful. It was really nice.”
This story is part of OnCampus’ “Answering the Call” series, focusing on St. Joseph’s College students and alumni working outside their homes in essential jobs during the coronavirus pandemic.