West Coast Team Leaves for Pan Armenian Games

* Lincy Foundation donates $25,000 to cover team expenses.

LOS ANGELES–A 62-person team representing the West Coast of the United States in the upcoming Pan-Armenian Games left from Los Angeles International Airport for Armenia Tuesday evening aboard a KLM flight.

The games are scheduled to begin Saturday and conclude on Sept. 5.

Raffi Ispendjian–one of the coordinators of the West Coast team reported that Jerry Tarkanian–who was scheduled to coach the West Coast team would not be traveling to Armenia–due to his wife’s illness. He wished Tarkanian well and his wife a speedy recovery.

The West Coast team will be led by Hagop Sepedjian (AGBU) and Ispenjian (Homenetmen).

The teams were selected during open try outs in May.

As such Los Angeles will be represented by the Homenetmen boys basketball team–coached by Souren Arzoumanian. Glendale will be represented by the AGBU team coached by Ed Adamian and San Francisco will be represented by the Homenetmen team coached by Zarik Petrossian and Carlo Hounanian.

The women’s basketball team is a combination of athletes from the Homenetmen and AGBU. The team is coached by Hratch Makarian (AGBU) and Mike Vartanian (Homenetmen). The women’s and boys volleyball teams are also a combined AGBU-Homenetmen team.

Despite extensive efforts–the West Coast was unable to send a soccer team to the Pan-Armenian games.

In another development–Kirk Kerkorian’s Lincy Foundation announced a donation of $25,000 to the West-Coast team to cover transportation–boarding and other costs associated with the Pan-Armenian Games.

Ispenjian stressed that winning is not important–but rather seeing the homeland and meeting Armenian athletes from around the world was top priority for the team.

"The games play an important role in the national education process–especially for the Armenian-American team. We hope that after seeing the homeland–their love of the country will be strengthened even further," commented Ispenjian.

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