Principal Shahe Mankerian of the Hovsepian School and Coach Annie Tarakchian of CalTech with the students

Newly Named Caltech Head Coach and Former Pro Basketball Player Annie Tarakchian Meets with Hovsepian School Students

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PASADENA, Calif. — On September 22, newly named Caltech Women’s Head Basketball Coach Annie Tarakchian met with the students of the St. Gregory Alfred and Marguerite Hovsepian School in Pasadena, Calif.

The program began with Shahe Mankerian, principal of the Hovsepian School, who warmly welcomed Coach Tarakchian on behalf of the student body. Mankerian congratulated Tarakchian on being named the new head women’s basketball coach at Caltech, located only a walking distance away. He thanked the Tekeyan Cultural Association Metro Los Angeles chapter for helping to arrange the visit.

Hovsepian School 5th grade students and their instructor Hagop Kalaidjian with Coach Tarakchian of Caltech

Mankerian then introduced Carl Bardakian, chairman of the Tekeyan Cultural Association Metro Los Angeles chapter, who presented Tarakchian with the volume A Legacy of Armenian Treasures: Testimony to a People–The Alex and Marie Manoogian Museum of Detroit in recognition of the 75th anniversary of the founding of the Tekeyan Cultural Association.

Carl Bardakian, Chairman of the Tekeyan Cultural Association Metro Los Angeles chapter, presenting Tarakchian with a gift in recognition of the 75th anniversary of the founding of the Tekeyan Cultural Association

Mihran Toumajan of the Tekeyan Cultural Association Metro Los Angeles chapter provided a brief biography of Tarakchian to the students. Toumajan noted that Tarakchian received her bachelor’s degree in psychology from Princeton University and earned her master’s degree in marriage and family therapy from California Lutheran University. At Princeton, Tarakchian won two Ivy League championships and appeared in the National Collegiate Athletic Association (NCAA) Tournament three times. Toumajan noted that in 2015 Tarakchian and Ani Avanessian of Portland State University were named co-MVP of the gold medal winning Los Angeles women’s basketball team at the Pan Armenian Games in Yerevan, Armenia with Carl Bardakian serving as their head coach. In 2016 Tarakchian was invited to the New York Liberty training camp of the WNBA. Toumajan also stated that Tarakchian played professional basketball in Europe where she won league championships in Belgium and Switzerland.

Hovsepian School 2nd grade students with their instructor Talar Talatinian and Coach Annie Tarakchian of Caltech

Tarakchian then humbly addressed the students and answered their questions one by one. She noted that her greatest basketball accomplishment was being a member of the thirty-game winning streak at Princeton. She is excited for the next step in her career as head coach at Caltech, which is recognized as one of the top academic institutions in the world. Tarakchian encouraged the students to work hard and pursue their dreams and goals. She encouraged the students to participate in sports and noted how sports carry over to life.

The program concluded with Armig Manoukian of the teaching staff presenting Coach Tarakchian with a small gift on behalf of the school.

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