Thursday
Nov032011

Hartford to Host First Hall of Fame Tip-Off Tournament Luncheon on November 18th

Featuring Hall of Fame Coach of the Defending Champion UConn Huskies Jim Calhoun

SPRINGFIELD, Mass. – The Naismith Memorial Basketball Hall of Fame announced today that it will host its first-ever event in Hartford this month, headlined by defending National Champion Head Coach and Hall of Famer Jim Calhoun as the guest speaker at the Hall of Fame Tip-Off Tournament Luncheon on Friday, November 18th at the XL Center in Hartford to commence an exciting weekend of college basketball games.

“We are excited to hold this Basketball Hall of Fame event in the City of Hartford and to have the coach of the UConn Huskies and a 2005 Hall of Fame Enshrinee on hand to help celebrate our annual Tip-Off Tournament,” said John L. Doleva, President and CEO of the Naismith Memorial Basketball Hall of Fame.  “Coach Calhoun has had an incredible career as a coach and community leader -- and has always been a great advocate for the Hall of Fame over the years.”

A portion of the proceeds from the event will be presented by the Basketball Hall of Fame Tip-Off Tournament Luncheon Committee to the Ritter Family Foundation.

“The Ritter Family Foundation awards students with scholarships in order to further their education after high school,” said Frank Colaccino, CEO of The Colvest Group, Ltd, who is also a Trustee of the Hall of Fame’s Board and Committee Chair for the 2011 Tip-Off Tournament Luncheon Committee.  “We commend the Ritter Family for their service and continued support throughout the Hartford community.”

The Tip-Off Tournament Luncheon Committee members also include Greg Butler (Northeast Utilities) Nuala E. Droney (Robinson & Cole LLP), Martha A. Finkel (WebsterBank), AnnMarie Harding (Max’s Tavern) and John L. Ritter (First New England Capital III).

“We are thrilled that the Basketball Hall of Fame has decided to host this event here in Hartford with Coach Calhoun and to give back to our community through the Ritter Family Foundation,” said Butler, who is the Senior Vice President & General Counsel at Northeast Utilities and also a member of the Hall’s Board of Governors.  “We hope that it is the first of many more events from such a well-respected organization.”

The Basketball Hall of Fame’s Tip-Off Tournament is an annual NCAA men’s basketball exempt tournament sponsored by the Metro Atlantic Athletic Conference that will take place on Saturday, November 19, and Sunday, November 20 at the Mohegan Sun Arena in Uncasville, Connecticut. ESPN networks will televise four of the games.

The 2011 Basketball Hall of Fame Tip-Off Tournament field includes No. 2 ranked University of Kentucky, Penn State University, University of South Florida, Old Dominion University, Long Island University, Marist College, Radford University and the University of Vermont.  More information can be found at www.HallofFameTipoff.com.

Sponsorship packages and individual tickets are both available for the luncheon and can be purchased by contacting Jason Fiddler at the Hall of Fame at jfiddler@hoophall.com or 413-231-5540.

About the Ritter Family Foundation:
The Ritter Family Fund is a non-profit -- 501(c)(3) -- organization that was established in 1999.  Its sole mission is to provide the students of Hartford’s Noah Webster School with incentives for learning and citizenship and to help devise and contribute to programs that share this goal.  Noah Webster is now an established national model for Microsociety schools -- magnet schools that replicate the “outside world” by operating their own societal institutions, including a government, court system, police force, postal system, IRS, bank, unemployment and employment offices, manufacturing enterprises and a newspaper.  The Ritter Family Fund continues to support a variety of Microsociety operations.  It also underwrites literacy incentives, funding awards and giving books to all students who improve their reading scores.  The Fund sponsors college scholarships, guest performances, field trips, academic and citizenship awards, and a summer basketball clinic

About the Naismith Memorial Basketball Hall of Fame:
Located in Springfield, Massachusetts, the city where basketball was invented, the Naismith Memorial Basketball Hall of Fame promotes and preserves the game of basketball at every level – professional, collegiate and high school, for both men and women on the global stage.

Thursday
Oct272011

Dave Cummings to Make One-Millionth Free Throw On Veteran’s Day at the Basketball Hall of Fame

Hoops For Heroes founder completes two-year commitment to raise money for war veterans

SPRINGFIELD, Mass. – The Naismith Memorial Basketball Hall of Fame has announced today that Dave Cummings will complete the incredible feat of making one million free throws over a two-year span with a special event at the Basketball Hall of Fame this Veteran’s Day on Friday, November 11, 2011.  Dave averages over 1,300 free throws made each day since he started on Veteran’s Day in 2009.  His efforts have raised both awareness and funds for the Intrepid Fallen Heroes Fund.

“On behalf of the Naismith Memorial Basketball Hall of Fame we are thrilled to share this monumental moment with Dave, as he continues his efforts to raise awareness for war veterans,” said John L. Doleva, President and CEO of the Naismith Memorial Basketball Hall of Fame.”  We are grateful for all of the men and women in the military that have served and are currently serving our country.”

Dave’s final 1,000 baskets will be taking place at Center Court of the Naismith Basketball Hall of Fame in Springfield, Mass. in what should be a dramatic conclusion.  Throughout his journey, he has included a number of reminders in his routine to honor members of the military.  At No. 911 during each shooting session, Dave pauses to say a brief prayer and recall the unity the nation felt in the period following the September 11 terrorist attacks.  He also keeps a pair of combat boots worn by Army Reservist Tom Cantara during a tour in Iraq, along with a pair of red, white and blue basketball sneakers, under the basket during each shooting session as a reminder of military sacrifice.  The sneakers serve as a reminder of what our service men and women might otherwise be doing if they were not serving our country.  The boots serve as a reminder of that they are doing instead.

“We’re grateful to Dave Cummings for his patriotism and sense of duty and dedication to our men and women in uniform,” said Dave Winters, President of the Intrepid Fallen Heroes Fund. “When he shot his 500,000th basket on the flight deck of the Intrepid Sea, Air and Space Museum earlier this year, we knew it wouldn’t be long before we were watching him sink his one millionth basket. We’re deeply honored by Dave’s efforts and thankful to the Basketball Hall of Fame for their support of our troops.”

Over the past two years, he has reached some incredible milestones:

  • February 24, 2010 - Dave made 5,000 baskets in the memory of Army SPC. Marc Decoteau in Waterville Valley where Marc’s father is town manager, less than a month after Marc’s death.  Marc had been killed in Afghanistan on January 29, 2010, at the age of 19.  His father, Mark Decoteau said, “Keep Marc with you.  You can return it when you get to a million.”  Mr. Decoteau will hand Dave the ball for the final shot for one million.
  • November 11, 2010 (Veteran’s Day) – Dave reached the 500,000 mark aboard the USS Intrepid in New York City.
  • December 31, 2010 – Dave made 2010 baskets earlier in the day and made number 2011 in front of a capacity crowd of the Boston Celtics / New Orleans Hornets game on New Year’s Eve.
  • April 9, 2011 – Dave made 10,000 foul shots in six and a half hours.
  • April 17, 2011 – Reached 750,000 at home while recovering from the flu.
  • September 2, 2011 (Marc Decoteau’s birthday) - Dave set a world record by making 21,000 free throws in a less than twenty-four hours in tribute to a fallen New Hampshire soldier (Army SPC. Marc Decoteau) and his family.

Fans are encouraged to attend this special event on Friday, November 11th. The event is scheduled to begin at 9:00 am and the millionth basket will be made at approximately 11:11 am to mark the numerical significance of this year’s Veteran’s Day.

“It’s not enough to go around saying ‘Happy Veterans Day’ and occasionally saying ‘thank you’  -- I just wanted to do something more,” said Cummings.

The Naismith Memorial Basketball Hall of Fame has pledged a portion of the Hall of Fame’s admission cost on Veteran’s Day, which will be donated to Hoops For Heroes to benefit the Intrepid Fallen Heroes Fund.

About Hoops For Heroes:
Hoops For Heroes is a registered New Hampshire not-for-profit organization whose mission is to pay tribute to Veterans by providing financial support to the service men and women that have sacrificed for our nation, specifically by raising money for the Intrepid Fallen Heroes Fund. One hundred percent of all donations to Hoops For Heroes are passed on to the Intrepid Fallen Heroes Fund.

About the Naismith Memorial Basketball Hall of Fame:
Located in Springfield, Mass., the city where basketball was invented, the Naismith Memorial Basketball Hall of Fame promotes and preserves the game of basketball at every level – professional, collegiate and high school, for both men and women on the global stage.

Monday
Oct242011

Seven of the Top Nine Teams in ESPN’s Fab 50 Rankings to Compete In the Basketball Hall of Fame’s 2012 Spalding Hoophall Classic

SPRINGFIELD, MA – Expanding to five days with 46 teams in its 11th year, the Naismith Memorial Basketball Hall of Fame’s 2012 Spalding Hoophall Classic, presented by Big Y World Class Markets, will once again be held at Springfield College’s Blake Arena from January 12-16 during Martin Luther King, Jr. weekend. The nationally renowned event will showcase the top high school basketball teams from across the nation. This year’s exciting matchups include seven of the top nine teams from the ESPN FAB 50 rankings including No 1. Simeon Career Academy (Chicago, IL), No. 2 Miller Grove High School (Lithonia, GA), No. 3 Oak Hill Academy (Mouth of Wilson, VA), No. 6 Mater Dei High School (Santa Ana, CA), No. 7 Bishop Gorman High School (Las Vegas, NV), No. 8. Findlay College Prep (Henderson, NV) and No. 9 St. Anthony High School (Jersey City, NJ), coached by Basketball Hall of Famer Bob Hurley, Sr.
 
Other legendary programs scheduled to participate include No. 13 DeMatha Catholic High School (Hyattsville, MD), No. 19 Gonzaga College High School (Washington, DC) and No. 24 Christ the King High School (Middle Village, NY).
 
The 2012 Spalding Hoophall Classic continues its tradition of hosting talented players by featuring more than 25 of the current ESPNU Top 100 in the class of 2012, including No. 1 Shabazz Muhammad (Bishop Gorman High School/Las Vegas, NV), No. 2 Mitch McGary (Brewster Academy/Wolfeboro,NH), No. 4 Brandon Ashley (Findlay Prep/Henderson, NV), No. 5 Kyle Anderson (St. Anthony High School/Jersey City, NJ), No. 6 Kaleb Tarczewski (St. Mark’s School/Southborough, MA), No. 7 Anthony Bennett (Findlay College Prep/Henderson, NV), No. 9 Grant Jerrett (LaVerne Lutheran/LaVerne, CA) as well as the top three ESPNU 2013 standouts Jabari Parker (Simeon Career Academy/Chicago, IL), Nerlens Noel (Tilton High School/Tilton, NH) and Julius Randle (Prestonwood Christian/Plano, TX).

On Friday night, the nation’s No. 1 girls recruit, Breanna Stewart, will lead Cicero-North against West Springfield High School.  Stewart has committed to play for UConn next year.
 
“This year’s Basketball Hall of Fame Spalding Hoophall Classic will once again bring the top high school teams and players to Springfield for the year’s most exciting weekend of prep basketball,” said John L. Doleva, President and CEO of the Naismith Memorial Basketball Hall of Fame.  “Over the last 10 years we have witnessed some of the greatest young stars step onto the national stage at our event and we look forward to seeing another generation this January.”
 
Last year’s games were highlighted by 12 McDonald’s All-American selections including Anthony Davis (Kentucky), Michael Gilchrist (Kentucky), Myck Kabongo (Texas), Shannon Scott (Ohio State) and Quinn Cook (Duke).  Spalding Hoophall Classic alumni who made their mark in this year’s 2011 NBA draft include No. 1 draft pick Kyrie Irving (Cleveland), Tristan Thompson (Cleveland), Brandon Knight (Detroit), Kemba Walker (Charlotte), Josh Selby (Memphis), Cory Joseph (San Antonio), and Tobias Harris (Milwaukee).        
“Spalding is proud to partner with the Basketball Hall of Fame to support the annual Hoophall Classic, both of which epitomize the elite level of basketball that our brand strives for,” said Spalding representative, Gary Barfield.  “Spalding is a long time partner of the Hall of Fame and we look forward to continuing our relationship for many years to come.”
 
In addition to the game, Spalding also sponsors the Spalding Skills Challenge. The Skills Challenge features three events including the Spalding Half-Court Hustle, Spalding 3-Point Shootout and the Spalding Slam Dunk Contest at Blake Arena on Sunday, January 15th.  An associated youth tournament, Junior Hoophall Classic, will return this year with details located at www.basketbull.org.  
 
MassLive.com, the online home of The Republican, will provide extensive coverage of the 2012 Hoophall Classic including game stories, videos, stats, photos and player interviews. Log on to MassLive.com/HoophallClassic for complete coverage.  
 
The Basketball Hall of Fame’s Spalding Hoophall Classic is presented by Big Y World Class Markets, with premium sponsorship from Northeast Utilities. Supporting sponsors for the Hoophall Classic are NIKE, MassMutual Financial Group and Springfield College.
 
Several games along with the skills challenge from the 2012 Spalding Hoophall Classic will be televised nationally; broadcast information will be available soon.
 
Tickets for the event are $15 for adults and $10 for youth/students (18 and under). All patrons that present a Big Y World Class Market Savings Card will receive a $1 discount on each ticket purchased.  For more information and the complete schedule of games, please visit the official web site, www.thehoophallclassic.com.  
 
About Spalding
Division of Russell Corporation, the Spalding Group is now the largest basketball equipment supplier in the world. Spalding is the official basketball of the National Basketball Association (NBA) and Women's National Basketball Association (WNBA), the official backboard of the NBA and NCAA, the official volleyball of the King of the Beach Volleyball Tour and the official football of Pop Warner. In addition to being the leading producer and marketer of basketballs, footballs, volleyballs and soccer balls, Spalding produces softballs under the Dudley brand. For more information, visit www.spalding.com.
 
About the Naismith Memorial Basketball Hall of Fame
Located in Springfield, Massachusetts, the birthplace of basketball, the Naismith Memorial Basketball Hall of Fame promotes and preserves the game of basketball at every level – professional, collegiate, men and women.  For more information on these and other upcoming events, please visit our website at www.hoophall.com or call 1-877-4-HOOPLA.

Sunday
Sep182011

Hall of Famer, Dave Gavitt, Passes Away at Age of 73

The Hall of Fame Celebrates the Life and Mourns the Passing of Hall of Famer, Dave Gavitt.

 

SPRINGFIELD, MA - September 18, 2011 - Hall of Famer Dave Gavitt passed away in Providence, RI Friday at the age of 73. A highly successful men's basketball coach at Providence College, Gavitt was best known as a driving force behind the founding of the Big East Conference, and later served as Chairman of the Basketball Hall of Fame. He was enshrined in the Naismith Memorial Basketball Hall of Fame as a member of the Class of 2006.

“Dave Gavitt was one of the most significant figures in recent basketball history as his career and life’s passion reflected a strong commitment to the game and its growth around the world", said John L. Doleva, President & CEO, Basketball Hall of Fame. "He impacted every corner of basketball and did so with supreme intelligence and an inclusive persona that drew people to him and his many breakthrough initiatives to make the game better. As Chairman of the Basketball Hall of Fame, his steady hand led the planning and construction of the new Hall of Fame in 2002 by bringing together the then many disconnected constituents of the game—a task well suited for the style of Dave Gavitt. The game has lost a true hero.” 

“On behalf of the Board of the Naismith Memorial Basketball Hall of Fame I want to express our deepest sympathy to Dave’s family and his entire extended family throughout the game of basketball", said Jerry Colangelo (HOF Class of ‘04), Chairman, Board of Governors. "He defines the category for which he was elected to the Hall of Fame in 2006—the Contributor. Today’s game would be much different without Dave’s contributions over the years and he leaves a rich legacy in the game that will not be forgotten.”

Gavitt was one of the architects of the modern game of college basketball. From coach of Providence College to founder of the Big East Conference to chairperson of the NCAA Division I Men's Basketball Committee to president of USA Basketball, Gavitt has left a formidable imprint on the game he loves. As coach of the Friars from 1969 to 1979, Gavitt led Providence College to 209 wins, including eight consecutive 20-win seasons, five NCAA tournament appearances, the 1973 Final Four, and three NIT appearances. Gavitt galvanized efforts to create the Big East Conference in 1979 and served as the powerhouse conference's first commissioner until 1990. His work with the Division I Men's Basketball Committee resulted in the expansion of the NCAA tournament to 64 teams and the use of domed stadiums for the Final Four. His lengthy résumé and contributions to New England basketball includes serving as Senior Executive Vice-President of the Boston Celtics from 1990 to 1994 and Chairman of the Naismith Memorial Basketball Hall of Fame from 1995 to 2003.                                         

Thursday
Sep082011

Vinick Named Treasurer of Naismith Memorial Basketball Hall of Fame Board

Long-time board member to play pivotal role with Hall of Fame

SPRINGFIELD, Mass. – The Naismith Memorial Basketball Hall of Fame today announced that James E. Vinick has been named Treasurer of the Corporation.  Vinick, one of the longest serving members of the Board of Trustees and recently elected member of the Board of Governors, was presented with the Hall of Fame’s Chairman’s Cup last year to recognize his ongoing support and dedication to the shrine of the Basketball World. 

“Jim has been an integral part of the development and success of the Basketball Hall of Fame for over 36 years,” said John L. Doleva, President and CEO of the Naismith Memorial Basketball Hall of Fame.  “It is a great honor for him to hold the Treasurer position for the Board of Governors as he continues to play a critical role in our efforts for years to come.” 

Vinick grew up in Springfield, Mass., nearby the original Hall of Fame on the campus of Springfield College. He is a 1962 graduate of Boston University - School of Management and later attended the New York Institute of Finance. Vinick was the recipient of the Boston University School of Management Distinguished Alumni Award and is very involved in raising money for The Jimmy Fund at Dana Farber Cancer Institute in memory of his late son, Jeffrey. Vinick has also received the Jimmy Fund’s Bob Cheyne Lifetime Commitment Award. He currently serves as Senior Vice President of Moors & Cabot Investments. Prior to Moors & Cabot, he held posts as Senior VP at Advest, Inc., Dean Witter Reynolds and at Sherson Hammill.  Beginning in the 1980's Vinick was also the financial editor and anchor news team commentator for 21 years of the ABC TV affiliate in Western Massachusetts and served 8 years as the financial editor of WHYN AM-FM Affiliated Broadcasting. 

The Board of Governors and Trustees serve as the group responsible for overseeing the management of the Basketball Hall of Fame. Made up of individuals that work in or have worked in the game as well as business leaders that have supported the game, the Board is responsible for the governance of the Hall and its election process as well as to determine ways to raise revenue and increase awareness. The Board of Governors and Trustees are ambassadors for the Hall promoting its core mission, which is to celebrate the greatest moments and people in basketball on a worldwide basis. 

About the Naismith Memorial Basketball Hall of Fame:

Located in Springfield, Massachusetts, the city where basketball was invented, the Naismith Memorial Basketball Hall of Fame promotes and preserves the game of basketball at every level – professional, collegiate and high school, for both men and women on the global stage. 

Naismith Memorial Basketball Hall of Fame Board of Governors:

George Bodenheimer, President, ESPN Inc. and ABC Sports

Ulysses “Junior” Bridgeman, President, CEO and Owner, Manna, Inc.

Sherman M. Brown, Chairman & CEO, 3 Media LLC

Greg Butler, Senior V.P. & General Counsel, Northeast Utilities

Jerry Colangelo (HOF Class of ‘04), Chairman, Board of Governors & Chairman, USA Basketball

Jody Conradt (HOF Class of ‘98), Former Head Coach, University of Texas

Charles Denson, President, Nike Brand, Nike Inc.

George Dickerman, Chairman (Retired), Spalding Sports Worldwide

Russell Granik, Deputy Commissioner, (Retired) NBA

Robin Harris, Executive Director, The Ivy League

Grant Hill, Player, NBA’s Phoenix Suns

Mannie Jackson, Chairman (Retired), Harlem Globetrotters International

William Koenig, NBAE EVP, Business Affairs & General Counsel, NBA

Joel Litvin, President, League & Basketball Operations, NBA

Harvey Mackay, Chairman & Founder, MackayMitchell Envelope Co.

Greg Shaheen, Interim Executive Vice President of Championships and Alliances, NCAA

Tom Stultz, Senior Vice President & Managing Director, IMG College

Mark Tatum, Executive VP, Global Marketing Partnerships, NBA

Jim Taubenfeld, Attorney, CPA & CFO, MeSalve, Inc.

Victor Ugolyn, Chairman, MONY Securities (Retired)

Jim Vinick, Senior VP Investments, Moors & Cabot, Inc.

Elaine Wynn, Director, Wynn Resorts