Stelios Kroudis Continues to Make Name for Himself in Media World


Courtesy of @stelioskroudis on Instagram

Stelios Kroudis (above) juggled lacrosse and his YouTube channel for his entire Villanova career.

Matthew Ryan, Co-Sports Editor

When Stelios Kroudis woke up from surgery, he was given some unexpected news.

In October of 2019 — before Kroudis’ sophomore season on the Villanova lacrosse team — he had gone down in practice with an injury. He went in for an MRI and was told he had a torn meniscus, an injury that has a recovery time of about a month and a half to three months following surgery.

About a week later, he went in for the operation, signing off on meniscus surgery. But after the doctors got a closer look at his knee, they discovered something else. Kroudis had a torn ACL.

“I woke up from that surgery, and they said, ‘Your ACL was completely torn.’ And I was like, ‘How did you not notice that in the MRI,’” Kroudis recalled.

Because Kroudis had signed off on a meniscus surgery, the surgeon couldn’t operate on his ACL when they initially noticed it was torn. Kroudis had to come back in November to get surgery to repair his ACL, an injury that has a recovery time of about a year after the operation. His sophomore season was over before it had even officially begun.

“That was a tough time,” Kroudis, a 2022 graduate from Villanova, said. “It was a tough series of events.”

But with Kroudis down with an injury, it gave him time to focus on another one of his passions — videography. Kroudis picked up an internship with the Villanova media team while recovering.

“(My injury) actually allowed me to focus on my videos a lot more because I was obviously out playing,” Kroudis said. “I did an internship with the school and the media team at the time. So I’d be at all of our games filming highlights, cutting up clips and stuff like that, and posting on our social media. And I think I actually helped grow our social media a lot that year, just because there was someone kind of dedicated to the lacrosse team.

“That was really a cool opportunity because it kind of kept me busy when I was out. And like, it was just super tough not being able to play but I kind of capitalized on that while I could.”

Kroudis’ internship with Villanova wasn’t his introduction into the media world. Kroudis and his friend Jesse James West started a YouTube channel called SpartanStrings back when Kroudis was in seventh grade, where the two would make videos about all things lacrosse.

Kroudis and James West established themselves in the lacrosse community early on and, over time, started to have companies send them products to review.

“Literally every lacrosse brand would be sending us new products and stuff like that to check out and review,” Kroudis said. “It was just so new to us, and like we’re just a part of the community of lacrosse. And it was just such a cool experience. And I think we were able to learn a lot from that at a young age, that we could take it into bigger, better things as we got older.”

When Kroudis and West, who went to Lehigh for lacrosse, got to college, they decided to split up and use their own channels. 

Kroudis’ channel is called Stelios Kroudis, and there was a shift from the SpartaStrings account. Kroudis started making more vlog-style videos, which was rather new to him.

“Freshman year college is when I first started vlogging,” Kroudis said. “I’ve never really been like a vlogger or put myself in the limelight. … So that’s why I like getting my teammates in it and everything. But I really started vlogging freshman year and just documenting like day in the lives and gameday videos and stuff like that, and people loved watching it.”

Although Kroudis had been committed to Villanova since his freshman year of high school, he was able to accept products to review and make money off SpartaStrings until he officially became a Villanova student. But when he started his new channel and was in college, he wasn’t able to accept merchandise from brands and couldn’t activate monetization on his personal YouTube channel.

“It was definitely a grind freshman year,” Kroudis said. “It was just a lot of work, but I love doing it, so I didn’t really mind, but it was tough like not really getting anything in return, I guess, like compensation-wise. But it was cool seeing everyone enjoying it and like watching them and stuff like that. So that’s like the reason I kept doing it, and I just love making the videos.”

However, in 2021, the landscape of college sports began to change — college athletes could start making money off their Name, Image and Likeness (NIL). Once Kroudis had meetings with various people to figure everything out about the new NIL world in college sports, he turned on monetization on his YouTube channel and started reaching out to companies.

“It was just a whole new chapter of… college athletics,” Kroudis said of NIL. “And I think it’s just so beneficial for student-athletes in general, that they can actually use all their hard work and their name and their talent to make some money on the side of college because like, you can’t work a job … if you’re playing a Division I sport.

“Personally, I’m like, I need some money during the week… for little things or anything. I can’t be relying on my parents all the time. I just knew there was potential to make money, and once that kind of passed, I was like, ‘Alright, I need to kind of capitalize on this and try to make some extra money.’ And like, (NIL) started off pretty strong, but I just think, moving forward, it’s gonna keep getting better and better.”

Kroudis became affiliated with companies such as and started making his own gear that he sold on He wanted to make more universal merchandise than just his name and came out with a line called “The Last Ride” to represent the last season of videos he’s making at Villanova. Many of his teammates supported the merch by buying it.

“I think students should definitely capitalize on it because it’s such a cool opportunity to use your Name, Image and Likeness and potentially make some money and just establish your own brand,” Kroudis said. “It’s not just about the money, but it’s about making your own brand and using your talents and skill to do bigger, better things.”

Kroudis now has 36.7K subscribers on YouTube and nearly four million video views. During the pandemic, he took a position helping out with the Premier Lacrosse League on the media side and will continue to work for them going forward in Los Angeles.