ATLANTA TIPOFF CLUB RENOVATES GYM AT HOUSTON’S WENDEL D. LEY FAMILY YMCA
Community Giveback Program an Annual Staple of Naismith Awards Final Four Weekend Activities
The Atlanta Tipoff Club (ATOC), administrators of the Naismith Awards, high school and college basketball’s most prestigious awards, announced the launch of a community engagement program aimed at enhancing the local Houston area, this year’s host to the Men’s NCAA Basketball Championship. The ATOC renovated the gymnasium at the Wendel D. Ley Family YMCA in Houston, an activity that has become an annual Final Four initiative for the Naismith Awards, with previous renovations in Atlanta and New Orleans over the past three years.
The work included:
- Deep cleaning of existing backboards and rims
- Installing new safety pads and nets
- Installing new standard wall pads
- Installing a new scoreboard
- Repairing the gym curtain
- Refinishing the gym floor
The renovations began in early March with the final work unveiled on April 1, 2023, in a special dedication ceremony that included a youth clinic. Former Jersey Mike’s Naismith Trophy winners Marcus Camby and T.J. Ford joined current award finalists to lead the clinic.
Basketball was invented in 1891 by Dr. James Naismith at a YMCA in Springfield, Massachusetts. Since then, basketball has grown exponentially to a game played internationally. At the local level, the sport is played in YMCA gyms across the country, encouraging physical activity and sportsmanship in youth nationwide.
“This gym renovation allows us to celebrate the great game of basketball and honor Dr. Naismith, while giving something back to the Houston community,” said Eric Oberman, executive director of the Atlanta Tipoff Club. “This will help the YMCA continue the vital work it does in its communities. For many kids, a YMCA is the first place they pick up a basketball and learn the game that many of them will play into adulthood.”
“At the YMCA of Greater Houston, we work to empower youth through a variety of programs designed to help our community’s future leaders reach their full potential,” said Stephen Ives, president and CEO of the YMCA of Greater Houston. “Youth sports at the Y create a healthy outlet for children to gain new skills, build positive friendships and develop skills around sportsmanship, teamwork and self-confidence. Thanks to the generous gym renovations from The Atlanta Tipoff Club, we will be able to continue our efforts to provide elevated and impactful programming for Houston area youth.”
Watch the project unveiling.
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 Jersey Mike’s 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 Jersey Mike’s and Werner Ladder.