ATLANTA (February 26, 2020) – The Atlanta Tipoff Club, administrators of the Naismith Trophy, has announced a partnership with The DICK’S Sporting Goods Foundation and Invesco QQQ, which is distributed by Invesco Distributors, Inc., to invest in the local Atlanta basketball community through the renovation of the Villages at Carver Family YMCA gymnasium.
In 1891, the game of basketball was invented by Dr. James Naismith at a YMCA in Springfield, Massachusetts. Since then basketball has grown exponentially into an international game. At the local level, the sport is played in YMCA gyms across the country, encouraging physical activity and sportsmanship in youth nationwide. In 1969, the Atlanta Tipoff Club created a national men’s college basketball player of the year award named after Dr. Naismith. Today, the Atlanta Tipoff Club honors college and high school players, coaches, officials and contributors through the Naismith Awards.
“The Naismith Trophy YMCA Gymnasium Renovation is just one of the many ways we are giving back to our hometown and to the sport of basketball and doing so with the support of Atlanta Tipoff Club business partners,” said Eric Oberman, executive director of the Atlanta Tipoff Club. “Basketball began in a YMCA, so it only feels right to give kids learning to play the game at the Villages at Carver Family YMCA the opportunity to have a first-class gym.”
The Villages at Carver Family YMCA was selected for the immense amount of community service it provides to the surrounding neighborhood. Approximately 80% of members of the Villages at Carver Family YMCA receive some form of financial assistance, including 90% of the children who play basketball there. On weekends, the Villages at Carver Family YMCA partners with the Atlanta Food Bank to provide weekend meals to 130 children and families, and twice a month it provides free, fresh produce to senior residents in the community.
“We are deeply honored that the Atlanta Tipoff Club has chosen to partner with us,” said Lauren Koontz, YMCA of Metro Atlanta CEO. “Through their generosity, the Villages at Carver Family YMCA will receive a gym makeover. This gym will be where our young athletes learn the game of basketball, build confidence and embrace sportsmanship. We are grateful to the Atlanta Tipoff Club and the corporate partners who are making this happen for the children we serve in our community.”
Invesco QQQ, a co-presenting sponsor of the project, will hold an employee service day on March 23, where they will enhance their support by leading basketball clinics, providing homework assistance and assisting in gym makeover projects. In addition, Invesco QQQ will be a presenting sponsor of the Naismith Awards Brunch on Sunday, April 5, where the winners of the Citizen Naismith Trophy for Men’s Player of the Year, the Naismith Defensive Player of the Year and the Werner Ladder Naismith Trophy for Men’s Coach of the Year will be announced.
The DICK’S Sporting Goods Foundation, a co-presenting partner, is an exempt 501(c)(3) non-profit corporation that believes sports make people better. The DICK’S Sporting Goods Foundation developed the Sports Matter initiative to support and help youth sports teams in need.
Additional corporate partners of the Naismith Trophy YMCA Gymnasium Renovation project include the Atlanta Hawks, Citizen Watch Company, Jersey Mike’s Subs and Werner Ladder.
More than 175 children play basketball at the Villages at Carver Family YMCA as part of the YMCA of Metro Atlanta basketball league. Through the Naismith Trophy YMCA Gymnasium Renovation program, these children will get to play on a new floor and utilize new scoreboards, shot clocks, rims and nets. The official dedication will take place on Saturday, April 4, during the Men’s Division I Basketball Championship weekend in Atlanta.
ABOUT THE ATLANTA TIPOFF CLUB
Founded during the 1956-57 season, the Atlanta Tipoff Club is committed to promoting the game of basketball and recognizing the outstanding accomplishments of those who make the game so exciting. The Atlanta Tipoff Club administers the Naismith Awards, the most prestigious national honors in all of college and high school basketball. Named in honor of Dr. James Naismith, inventor of the game of basketball, the family of Naismith Awards annually recognizes the most outstanding men’s and women’s college and high school basketball players and coaches. Other Naismith Awards are presented to the men’s and women’s college basketball defensive players of the year, as well as lifetime achievement awards to basketball officials and outstanding contributors to the game. UCLA’s Lew Alcindor received the first Citizen Naismith Trophy in 1969, while the late Anne Donovan (Old Dominion) was the inaugural women’s recipient in 1983. Corporate partners of the Naismith Awards include Citizen Watch Company, Jersey Mike’s and Werner Ladder.
Jackson Spalding for the Atlanta Tipoff Club