George John named 2010 recipient of AHEPA Harry Agganis Award

National Greek society honors FCD defender before DC United match

WASHINGTON,
D.C. – FC Dallas defender George John joined elite company Saturday as the 2010
recipient of The Fraternal Order of American Hellenic Educational Progressive
Association’s Harry Agganis Award.

“The
Golden Greek Harry Agganis was and still is a legend not only for the way he
excelled in sports with passion and determination, but also in how he lived his
life as a Greek-American,” said John. “It is a tremendous joy and a very
humbling experience to be named a recipient of this award. To join the short
list of Greek-American athletes honored with the Harry Agganis Award is
something that will be cherished for the rest of my life.”

Previous
recipients of the award include Baltimore Orioles outfielder Nick Markakis, NFL
placekicker Matt Stover, Olympic diving champion Greg Louganis, decathlete Tom
Pappas and five-time NFL pro-bowler Fred Smerlas.

Selected
14th overall (first round) in the 2009 MLS SuperDraft, John played in 16
matches as a rookie and has started 18 games in central defense this season.
The Dallas defense is on pace to allow the fewest goals against in club
history, having given up just 16 goals in 18 games so far this season. He
scored his first goal of the 2010 season off a header against UEFA Champions
League winner Inter Milan on Aug. 5.

Named the
Pac-10 Male Soccer Athlete of the Year in 2008, John captained the University
of Washington Huskies for two seasons. He earned NSCAA Scholar All-American
honors in 2007 and 2008, and was a three-time Pac-10 All-Academic selection.

“I am proud
of my Greek culture and heritage,” said John. “I have been active in the Greek
community my whole life and have a very strong sense of pride for being Greek,
which has molded me into the man I am today. I hope to become an active member
of AHEPA and participate in the education and progression of Hellenes in
America.”

The AHEPA
award is named for former Boston Red Sox first baseman Harry Agganis. Nicknamed
“The Golden Greek," Agganis is a legend among the Greek-American community.
Prior to his premature death of a massive pulmonary embolism at the age of 26
in June 1956, Agganis was batting .313 for the Red Sox with a .458 slugging
percentage. Raised in Lynn, Mass., Agganis attended Boston University where he
played both football and baseball, later declining an offer from the Cleveland
Browns in favor of playing professional baseball.