October 1, 2017

OCTOBER 1, 2017

Please forgive me but I’ve decided to write an article about myself. In case you missed it, Ron Roel, former senior editor at Newsday, penned a feature 3-page article in Act 2 with the above title in Sunday’s June 25, 2017 Newsday. The main theme behind Mr. Roel’s article on longevity among adults was that ‘being vitally engaged is important to a long life… when you’re engaged in activities that gives life purpose, you build up the resiliency to go forward.’ He then proceeded to review some of my activities since retiring at age 76 seven years ago. I had spent 55 years at Manhattan College as a Full Professor of Chemical Engineering and Director of the Graduate Program.”


Here are 10 additional quotes from Roel’s piece:

  1. “Mary, 75, who became Mrs. Theodore 50 years ago, said she continues to see different sides of her husband’s multifaceted life — from book writing to keeping an active social life, to fanning his passion for basketball, to playing chess with his grandsons.”
  2. “At age 83, he is still consulting, presenting papers at conferences, and writing texts and reference books. Currently, he’s collaborating on five books in various stages of completion — adding to the 108 he’s written or co-authored so far. His take on juggling multiple new books? ‘I’m slowing down,’ he said.”
  3. “Maintaining close ties with colleagues, former students and basketball players he’s coached over the years is a source of pride. ‘I value them,’ Theodore said. ‘They’re memories’ I don’t want to forget. They’re still an integral part of my life.”
  4. “Theodore’s social facility is not lost on his family. ‘He finds a way for professional and personal things to go together,’ said daughter Molleen Theodore, 45, associate curator of programs at the Yale University Art Gallery. ‘His friendships are long-standing, and he’s always making new ones.’”
  5. “For Theodore, staying engaged also means keeping a hand in his lifelong love of basketball by supporting youth sports leagues and attending Hofstra University men’s basketball home games. Two years ago, he published his first nontechnical book, Basketball Coaching 101, an eclectic compendium of personal stories and a spray of tips and commentary from coaches, players, officials, journalists and fans.”
  6. “While in graduate school in the late 1950s, he persuaded the owner of Killeen’s Tavern in Astoria to sponsor a team, and Theodore began recruiting local kids, many of whom played for their college teams, to play for Killeen’s during the summer. He was in charge of the team. ‘Lou was a good coach,’ said Danny Doyle, 77, a member of the Killeen’s team who played briefly for the Detroit Pistons, and later in the Eastern League. ‘He did a good job. Anybody who was good wanted to play with us.’”
  7. “Theodore was also a mentor to students at the university. One of them became a collaborator on Theodore’s books. Frank Ricci, of upstate Mount Kisco, got a Bachelor of Science degree in Chemical Engineering from Manhattan College in 2010 and Ph.D. in Chemical Engineering from Princeton University in 2016. He is currently a senior scientist in the Danbury, Connecticut, office of pharmaceutical giant Boehringer Ingelheim, and an adjunct professor at Manhattan College. He met Theodore in his freshman year. Lou popped in to check out the summer lab, Ricci recalled. I knew who he was and said, ‘How are you doing, Dr. Theodore?’ He said, ‘None of your business’— his trademark sarcasm, Ricci said. ‘I knew right then we were going to get along well.’ Over the next couple of years, Theodore asked Ricci to co-author two technical books with him, an extraordinary opportunity for an undergraduate student. ‘He took a shot on me. He altered the trajectory of my life.’ Ricci said he often calls his old professor for advice.”
  8. “He worked really hard, but he also instilled in his family the importance of taking vacations, said daughter Molleen. Every year the family would go to Saratoga during racing season and to the beach. ‘He likes to sit right at the water’s edge and read and work,’ Molleen said. ‘That’s where he feels happiest. . . . Not at some quiet and pristine beach, but Field 6 at Jones Beach. He has this real ability to work around noise and chaos.’”
  9. “Theodore continues to challenge himself with the usual newspaper puzzles and word games.”
  10. “He is currently planning a second edition of his basketball book and a short story on his family tree: “The Theodorakos-Kourtakis Chronicles.”


Lost in Roel’s shuffle was mentioning two other activities:

  1. I write a monthly opinion column on sports, politics, economics, education, etc.. that appears in www.theodorenewsletter.com. Some of those articles also appear in a host of Long Island newspapers from Litmor Publishers and The Queens Gazette.
  2. There is a Facebook site titled “Basketball Coaching 101.” It is primarily dedicated to updates on the book.


Visit the author on his Facebook page at Basketball Coaching 101




NOVEMBER 1:          On Barack Hussein Obama (Revisited) VI

DECEMBER 1:           On 2017-2018 Hofstra Men’s Basketball

JANUARY 1:              Professorless On-Line Education (POLE)

FEBRUARY 1:           On Purely Chaste, Pristine and Random Thoughts XXVI

MARCH 1:                  On Baseball Managing 101

APRIL 1:                     On 2017-18 Hofstra Men’s Basketball Revisited