My name is Arakel Mardo Aristakessian and it’s a privilege to be on the Hoops4Hayastan team. I was born and raised in San Francisco, California in a tight knit Armenian community. From a young age, I was involved in various Armenian community organizations such as Homenetmen and AYF.
For me, basketball is all about bringing people together and empowering others. I was blessed to have many inspirational mentors and coaches who guided me in my basketball journey. After many years of playing high school, junior college and Homenetmen basketball, I decided to be a coach, to guide and encourage the next generation of athletes.
In 2015, I participated in PanArmenia games where I witnessed the scarcity of sports equipment and clothing for children. With the Hoops4Hayastan team, I found a place where I could finally share my passion of basketball through volunteering and giving back to the underserved youth in Armenia. I believe that together we can accomplish this mission and help build towards a better Armenia.