Lou Athanas was a three-sport star in college (baseball, basketball, football). In 1935-1936, he led the nation in scoring (417 pts, 19.0 ppg); in that pre-shot clock era, he sometimes scored as much as the opposing teams. In football, he was known for his passing ability. He played pro football (Providence Steamrollers), basketball (Boston Goodwins) and baseball (1937 Beaver Falls Bees).
He was on Team USA in the 1940 Amateur World Series, despite his pro history; he was not the only former pro in the amateur event as Hawai'i had Pat Gleason and Herbert North. The problem was not new; Mexico had to withdraw from the 1935 Central American and Caribbean Games for a team loaded with Mexican League stars and drew similar complaints in 1938, while the US had Louis Womack and Terry Shrader in 1942. Athanas led the US offense, hitting .386/~.460/.455 foe the third-place finishers. He tied José Pérez for 5th in average in the Series.