-- Court Refurbishment in Indianapolis continues tribute to former Columbia University NCAA Student-Athlete lost on 9/11 --
SPRINGFIELD, MA – The Naismith Memorial Basketball Hall of Fame today announced it proudly will continue to assist the Tyler Ugolyn Foundation with its goal to support youth basketball by refurbishing urban courts in cities and towns throughout the United States. The unveiling and dedication of the newest “Tyler’s Court” will be held at the Ransburg YMCA in Indianapolis on Sunday, April 4 at 11:00 AM as part of the 2010 NCAA Final Four weekend.
“The Hall of Fame is delighted to continue its partnership with the Tyler Ugolyn Foundation,” said John L. Doleva, Hall of Fame President and CEO. “These courts celebrate Tyler’s passion for basketball and support his lifelong desire to share his love of the game with children throughout the country.
“Thanks to the Tyler Ugolyn Foundation, there will be a ‘Tyler’s Court’ in Indianapolis, Indiana, a state well known for its rich basketball heritage. On a court bearing Tyler’s name, countless young athletes will have the opportunity to learn more about the game and share in the joy that Tyler experienced when he played basketball,” added Doleva.
"Our family is so grateful for the continuing support of the Naismith Memorial Basketball Hall of Fame, partnering with the NCAA Final Four Men’s Championship Community Initiative and the YMCA of the USA,” said Tyler’s father, Victor Ugolyn. “Tyler’s commitment to sharing his love of the game was demonstrated as a student-athlete at Columbia, where he helped establish a basketball clinic for Harlem area youngsters. As we have in the past, we continue to gain some comfort from Jackie Robinson's epitaph, which states ‘A life is not important except in the impact it has on other lives’. It is very fitting that our beloved Tyler's legacy of impacting so many lives and loving one another be again recognized.”
This court in Indianapolis represents the fifth “Tyler’s Court,” dedicated nationally and all made possible by the Tyler Ugolyn Foundation. Court renovations were made in Detroit at the 2009 NCAA Final Four, in San Antonio at the 2008 NCAA Final Four and in Springfield, Massachusetts during the 2009 and 2008 Basketball Hall of Fame Enshrinement weekends.
Named in honor of Tyler Ugolyn, a former NCAA student-athlete in basketball at Columbia University who, at the age of 23, was a victim of the terrorist attacks at the World Trade Center in New York City on September 11, 2001, the Foundation was established by Tyler's family to support youth basketball, with an emphasis on court refurbishment and providing character building educational programs and skills clinics to children in urban settings.
The not-for-profit foundation, formed by the Ugolyn family in 2001, provides for court refurbishment, clinics and educational programs in cities at no cost to participants and organizations, with all funding provided by the Foundation. Each refurbished court will be named “Tyler’s Court’, so noted with a special plaque installed courtside, along with the words “I just love playing the game’, a quote attributed to Tyler while a high school player in his hometown of Ridgefield, CT.
“We feel incredibly blessed that our Ransburg YMCA was chosen by the Ugolyn Foundation for this project,” said Eric Ellsworth, President and CEO of the YMCA of Greater Indianapolis. “We are also proud to help carry out Tyler’s legacy and everything he stood for. Tyler Ugolyn’s values match perfectly with our YMCA values.”