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Basketball Trophy Awards for Players, Coaches
 
 
1st Character in Basketball Coaching Awards Ceremony
1st Character in Basketball Coaching Awards Ceremony
2009 NCAA Leadership Awards Statue & Etched Plaque
2009 NCAA Leadership Awards Statue & Etched Plaque
Custom Basketball Trophy Statue Award by Our Sculptor
Custom Basketball Trophy Statue Award by Our Sculptor
Custom Bronze Basketball Team Trophy Awards Artist
Custom Bronze Basketball Team Trophy Awards Artist
Joe Lapchick - Original Basketball Player and Coach
Joe Lapchick - Original Basketball Player and Coach
 
 
 
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1st Character in Basketball Coaching Awards Ceremony
1st Character in Basketball Coaching Awards Ceremony
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LAPCHICK'S LEGENDARY COACHING STYLE

"You could put all the technical basketball that Joe Lapchick knew on the back of a postcard but it would take encyclopedias to contain all the knowledge that he had of basketball," said Bob Knight.

Lou Roethel, a former player of Lapchick's, said on Thursday, "The thing that Joe preached was class." Al McGuire also played for Lapchick with the Knicks and he used to say of his coach, 'Lapchick didn't know basketball. He felt it.'

"Lapchick never yelled at us," Alfieri said the other day. "He always made sense. He wasn't a windbag." Gus Alfieri continued, "He got us to play hard without screaming as so many of these coaches today do. How the hell did he do that? Lapchick used to say this to us a lot:" 'I want you guys to be five coaches on the floor. I want you to be out there, in a sense, coaching yourselves.'

Of all my memories of people who have helped me," Bob Knight coach of Texas Tech and the three-time NCAA basketball champion insisted, "none are greater than those of Mr. Lapchick."

"He was even better as a father than as a coach," his son Richard Lapchick said the other day, adding that his own extensive personal activism stemmed from his father's influence on him.

Lapchick was well respected for his motivational coaching style that focused less on mechanics than on eliciting peak performances from his players. Stressing a freewheeling offensive approach and smooth ball handling, Lapchick built winners at both the college and pro levels. As a player, Lapchick had sharp passing and shooting skills that made him one of the first great pro centers and helped his teams win several championships.

Barbara Lapcek (Czech spelling), Lapchick's only daughter, has "...vivid memories of the dignified man who lingered to sign autographs for kids in the old Garden." She also described her father in terms of "gravitas" and "humanism" and said the famous coach was not an "authoritarian" in his home with his wife and three children.

COLLEGE COACHING YEARS AT ST. JOHN'S

After ending his professional playing career in 1937, Lapchick became head coach at St. John's University, a position he held until 1947, then was the New York Knicks Head Coach from 1947 to 1956, and finished coaching back at St. John's from 1956 to 1965 - succeeded by Lou Carnesecca the following season. Overwhelmed by stress, Lapchick fainted during the second half of the 1944 final game. Lapchick wasn't just his players' basketball coach; he monitored their academic performance as well. In 11 seasons he steered the Redmen to a 180-55 record and two consecutive National Invitation Tournament (NIT) titles, both in 1943 and 1944.

Lapchick rested for only a month [after coaching the Knicks] before returning to St. John's to coach men's basketball for another decade until his mandatory retirement at age 65 at the end of the 1964-65 basketball season. He had several heart attacks that year. The season ended with the outclassed Redmen upsetting Villanova, 55-51, in an emotional NIT Championship Game. In his memory, St. John's created an annual preseason college basketball tournament entitled the Lapchick Memorial Tournament. In nine more seasons as head coach he led the Redmen to two more NIT crowns, giving them a record of four championship titles during his 20 seasons at St. John's.

Best known for his obsessive worrying and nervousness; Lapchick lived every second of every game as though it were the last tick of the clock. Stress-related problems ended his professional coaching career and caused an occasional on-court fainting spell and even a few heart attacks. Describing his failing health during his final season at St. John's, Lapchick told the Washington, D.C. based Evening Star: "I used to double up with chest pains. Sometimes I couldn't even talk to the team during halftime."

Joe Lapchick's last major win as a coach was his dynamic victory over Villanova in March of 1965, which resulted in Coach Lapchick's fourth and final National Invitation Tournament. This particular game has recently been selected as one of the fifty most memorable moments in the history of Madison Square Garden by MSG Cablevision.

 
 
 
2009 NCAA Leadership Awards Statue & Etched Plaque
2009 NCAA Leadership Awards Statue & Etched Plaque
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ENGRAVED TROPHY AWARDS GIVEN FOR RECOGNITION

Our custom trophy awards are made to commemorate victories big and small, from Corporate "boardroom-quality" artworks to statues commissioned for private collectors. No matter the occasion, our custom trophy award products are sure to be treasured by those who receive them. We provide only the highest quality sculpted art products and artistic painting services found on the Internet. Marble Classics trophies and engraving services, when added together, offer a one-stop source for all of your personalized engraving, custom trophy, and special awards needs. Our company believes "The greatest success that can be achieved is found in recognizing the success of others."

In 1947, Joe Lapchick passed up a then-astronomical offer of $12,000 per year to continue coaching basketball for St. John's. Opting instead to accept a job as coach of the New York Knickerbockers, part of the fledgling Basketball Association of America, which was only in its second year of operation at that point. Lapchick went on to lead the Knicks to eight straight winning seasons and eight trips to the playoffs, including three NBA Finals in a row from 1951 to 1953 with the Knicks. As it turned out, the 1953-54 Knicks were more than just a team of talented players; remarkably eight of them went on to coach pro or college basketball teams, a tribute to Lapchick's leadership and influence as a mentor.

LETTER OF RECOGNITION FOR THE BASKETBALL TROPHY AWARD

[November 21, 2008] On behalf of the Joe Lapchick Character Award Committee, I want to express our appreciation to you and Dreamcatcher Global for all your efforts and work on the actual [trophy] awards and delivery of them. At the luncheon this week the [trophy] awards stood out and attendee after attendee remarked at the beauty of them. We cannot thank you enough for taking a concept and idea combined with a few pictures and creating such a striking [trophy] award.

The [trophy] awards were presented at a luncheon at Madison Square Garden to Coaches Dean Smith, Lou Carnesecca, and Pat Summitt. They were then presented that evening on theMadison Square Garden floor at halftime of the first game of The Coaches vs. Cancer Kick Off Classic. It was shown later on ESPN and I can tell you the [trophy] awards looked terrific. The fourth [trophy] award is headed to Springfield and the Basketball Hall of Fame.

We look forward to a long and continued relationship with you and Dreamcatcher Global. Thank you for your guidance, patience, and dedication to getting this done. Best Wishes Always, Dan Sacco, President Lapchick Committee.

SUMMARY OF JOE LAPCHICK'S CAREER IN BASKETBALL

- Self-taught coach - Basketball's most prominent elder statesmen - A man who helped shepherd the game of basketball from the 1920's into the 1960's - The first "big man" in basketball who earned more than $10,000 - The first coach of the New York Knicks - Integrated professional black players (including Sweetwater Clifton, the first black member of the Knicks, who played for Lapchick) - Two-time college Coach of the Year - Remembered for the mentoring he provided for such coaches as Bob Knight, Lou Carnesecca, and Johnny Bach - Elected to the Naismith Memorial Basketball Hall of Fame in 1966, twice. - Coach of four National Championship teams at St. John's University

LIFE AFTER BASKETBALL

After his forced retirement Lapchick turned to writing. In 1968 he authored "50 Years of Basketball", a book that was both a compilation of stories from Lapchick's early days as a player and an explanation of his coaching philosophy. From star player to successful coach to popular author, Joe Lapchick was an eminently influential figure who helped nurture the sport from its crude beginnings into its popular modern form.

Joe Lapchick died on August 10, 1970 of a heart attack in Monticello, New York, at age 70. The grave of Joe Lapchick is located at the Oakland Cemetery in Yonkers, NY.

 
 
 
Custom Basketball Trophy Statue Award by Our Sculptor
Custom Basketball Trophy Statue Award by Our Sculptor
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FROM SIMPLE GRAPHIC TO SCULPTURAL MASTERPIECE

Marble Classics had their in-house sculptor produce this 3-dimensional figurine of coach Joe Lapchick in a formal suite standing next to a young 10-year old male basketball player with a team uniform number provided by the client. The Lapchick Committee provided Marble Classics with a two-dimensional web graphic containing nothing but a black silhouette of their logo: coach Lapchick and a young player. Our artist then used multiple stock photographs of Joe Lapchick from his carrier as a basketball coach that clearly showed his facial expressions, likeness, attire and essence which was then artistically projected into an 18" tall set of figurines by our top sculptor Karoy.

STEP-BY-STEP SCULPTURE AWARD APPROVAL PROCESS

As the iconic basketball figurines were being sculpted in clay, and throughout this sculpting process, the Lapchick Committee was provided with pictures of the "work in progress" for review to see if any changes were necessary, to satisfy our client, before it was shipped. This allows clients' of Marble Classics to check the status of their projects and make additions to the sculpture while it is being made, something few companies are willing to do. Once the final art piece is approved a mold of the basketball trophy figurines was made and then it was used to reproduce castings of the finished trophy award statues which were then painted with "aged" faux bronze, just one of our thirty plus classic faux finishes available.

TROPHY AWARD HEADED FOR THE BASKETBALL HALL OF FAME

After we presented the final pictures of the trophy awards for approval, our craftsmen then assembled the finished faux bronze basketball trophies, custom black acrylic base, and an uniquely engraved brass plaque attached to the front of each of the four Joe Lapchick character awards for 2008. Each individual trophy was then shipped to Madison Square Garden overnight to make it in time for the Joe Lapchick Character Award ceremony. The Joe Lapchick Character award trophies were received with great pride and honor by three legendary basketball coaches honored in the 2008 awards presentation - which had national media attention. Meanwhile, the fourth basketball award trophy is on its way to be installed in the Basketball Hall of Fame.

PAT SUMMIT, LAPCHICK CHARACTER AWARD WINNER

Pat Summitt, Lady Vols head basketball coach, Tennessee "It is an honor to have been selected as the first recipient of the Joe Lapchick Character Award. He was a legendary figure on both the collegiate and professional level of our game," said Summitt. "I am humbled to accept an award which bears his name." Accepting the Joe Lapchick award on her behalf were Tennessee women's AD Joan Cronan and the Washington Post's Sally Jenkins (author of books about Pat Summitt and Dean Smith). Cronan cited Summitt for not only winning eight national championships, but also for graduating every player who played four seasons for her.

Summitt had planned to attend but couldn't after her freshman-laden Volunteers lost at their home opener basketball game Monday to Virginia, something Tennessee women's AD Joan Cronan half-jokingly called "a crisis," and she felt she could not leave her team for a day. Smith is known for requiring her players to point at the teammate who made the good pass, whether or not the shot went in, which may or may not explain her two National Championships.

Summitt has a career record of 983-182 in 34 seasons at Tennessee, making her the winningest coach in college basketball history. Summitt is also known for making her Lady Vols players sit in the first three rows of class, which may have something to do with her eight national titles.

DEAN SMITH, LAPCHICK CHARACTER AWARD WINNER

Dean Smith, basketball coach at Chapel Hill, North Carolina, led North Carolina to 11 Final Fours and two National Championships in his 36 seasons there, compiling an 879-254 record. When he retired, he had the most wins in Division I history, a mark since eclipsed by Bob Knight. Ninety-six percent of the lettermen who played under coach Smith have graduated.

The Long Island native, former UNC star and current LA Lakers general manager (GM) Mitch Kupchak, in his tribute to Dean Smith recalled how some coaches promised recruits a starting role as a freshman, but that Smith promised he would look after Kupchak and make sure he got a degree, which was why he chose North Carolina, and prospered. "He told me basketball would take care of itself," Kupchak said. "All he promised was that he would look after me like a son and make sure I graduated."

Regarding the Lapchick Trophy, "This is a great award", Dean Smith said, "I never really think about awards, but this is something special," and finished by saying, "It's a great honor..."

LOU CARNESECCA, LAPCHICK CHARACTER AWARD WINNER

Lou Carnesecca, St. John's Coach and St. John's graduate, New York City native, assistant coach under Lapchick and winner of 526 games as St. John's coach in the 70s, 80s and 90s. Coach Carnesecca, a young 83 year old, was enthusiastically greeted with a chant of "Lou! Lou! Lou!" by the friendly crowd as he went up to the podium to accept the Joe Lapchick Character Award.

Lou recalled that Joe Lapchick was so respected around the country that at a 1964 tournament at West Virginia he received a standing ovation from more than 8,000 fans as he walked out to the team bench before the game. "When you walked with coach Lapchick, you really were in the presence of royalty," Carnesecca said.

He went on to praise Lapchick, for whom he was an assistant at St. John's from 1957 through 1965. He recounted how after a game one night in the late 1960's, early in his reign as coach, at Madison Square Garden, coaches would go to the watering hole on East 45th Street called Danny's Hideaway to unwind. Carnesecca was feeling pretty giddy that night, whereupon Joe Lapchick, his predecessor, his mentor, and his friend handed him a business card that said: "Peacock Today, Feather Duster Tomorrow." That taught him, as the old business card suggested, that basketball coaches should never take themselves too seriously.

As assistant basketball coach to Lapchick for nine years and succeeding him following the 1964-65 season, Carnesecca continued to coach at St. John's from 1965 to 1992 (not including a detour to the A.B.A. for 3 seasons in the early 1970's). For 24 seasons he coached basketball at his alma mater, each ending with a post-season appearance, including the 1985 Final Four. Carnesecca finished with a record of 526-200 at St. John's and was inducted into the Naismith Memorial Hall of Fame in 1992 and is still the University's leading ambassador in Spanish, Italian and New Yawkese.

"Carnesecca said, 'If you come here, I'll make sure you become a better man,'" Mel Davis recalled as the pitch that sealed his decision to go to St. John's. Coach Carnesecca said he learned important lessons about integration and blending varying personalities from Lapchick.

Lou Carnesecca finished his acceptance speech by theatrically pulling out his wallet and removing the same tattered piece of paper (almost 50 years later) with a message that he attributed to Joe Lapchick, "Peacock Today, Feather Duster Tomorrow." Carnesecca pondered what words of wisdom Lapchick might impart today, and he said, "If he was here today, he would say to the young players, 'Don't take the ball out of bounds because you'll never get it back.' "

 
 
 
Custom Bronze Basketball Team Trophy Awards Artist
Custom Bronze Basketball Team Trophy Awards Artist
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Basketball, a sport where a ball is handled by two teams consisting of five players each charge a basket to place the ball within it, and everytime this is tried to be accomplished the opposing team does everything in their power to make you fail. Every year a basketball team battles with all their strength and wit for a trophy and award. The most prestige award to get in any basketball league or tournament is the MVP, most valuable player, award. Trophies and awards are praised, not just for the coloration and appearance, but for the feeling of accomplishment and success of the challenge that was faced by all the teams. The importance of a trophy and award varies depending on ones individual desires. A basketball trophy consists of the date of the accomplishment, the name of the team that has accomplished these astonishing feats, and an image that is placed on top of a plaque that signifies the sport. If you are interested in purchasing and customizing a basketball trophy you can call the office or fill out a form below for further information.

The most prestige basketball award that is attainable is the MVP, most valuable player, award. This basketball award signifies the most influential player on the team. This is significant because they say the basketball team would not have won the finals without this most valuable player. The most valuable player shows great shooting skills, assists, dribbling, blocks, steals, and team captaining. You can understand how challenging this position can be. The fundamentals of basketball and the importance of an MVP award is something our company understands and that is why we take pride in creating a unique MVP basketball award.

In this paragraph i will explain the different types of basketball awards that can be given. An assist basketball award is awarded to the player that helps another one of his players to score a point. Best sportsmanship basketball award is awarded to a person who shows fairness in the game, which sometimes even if it means costing them the game. The best defensive player basketball award is a person who applies so much coverage that the opposing team cannot move to set plays, and let alone score. A coach’s basketball award is awarded to the coach that led their team to win in a league or tournament. Most points scored basketball award is awarded to the person who scored the most in a season or tournament. A rebound king or rebound queen award goes to the person that has gotten the most rebounds in a basketball tournament or game. Most steals basketball award is awarded to a player who steals the ball the most in a season or tournament from the opposing team. A most improved basketball award goes to a person who has improved the most significantly in a basketball team. Best shooter basketball award is awarded to a person who has the highest shooting percentage in a season or tournament. Most blocks basketball award is a person who has the most blocks in a season or tournament.

 
 
 
Joe Lapchick - Original Basketball Player and Coach
Joe Lapchick - Original Basketball Player and Coach
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HISTORICAL BRONZE JOE LAPCHICK CHARACTER AWARD

The finely sculpted bronze Joe Lapchick Character Award was brought to life in three-dimensional form by Marble Classics and boasts an extreme detail honoring and immortalizing one of the founding fathers of basketball. The 2008 inaugural Joe Lapchick Character Award trophy was established by The Joe Lapchick Committee which includes: Anthony Adorante, Gus Alfieri, Nick D'Agostino Jr., Mel Davis, Ken Liberman, Bob Livingston, George Raveling, Brian Russo, Dan Sacco, Michael Sacco, and John Warren. The Lapchick Award Committee commissioned Dreamcatcher Global and Marble Classics to design and create the custom awards trophy in the likeness of Joe Lapchick for their first of many annual events. This award is unique in that it represents the first trophy that gives recognition and brings long-due attention to people of character, leadership and social responsibility in college basketball. Coach Joe Lapchick is recognized posthumously for all of his lifetime achievements and devotion to basketball and for the positive influence he had on the players he coached and fellow coaches both at the college level and in the NBA. The NCAA (National Collegiate Athletic Association) also supports the award in honor of outstanding coaches who have provided honesty, integrity, and achievement throughout their college basketball coaching career.

Joseph Bohomiel Lapchick was born at the turn of the century (April 12, 1900) in Yonkers, New York to Czech immigrants. As a boy in Yonkers, New York, he helped his struggling family make ends meet by scrounging for coal near the railroad tracks. At age 12 the youngster started playing basketball around his neighborhood, wearing a uniform his mother had made for him. Like many youngsters of the era, he stopped going to school after the eighth grade. While working as a golf caddy and in a factory, the 15-year-old found he could make $5 to $10 per night playing for local basketball teams. At age 19 he was suiting up for four different touring teams and pocketing up to $100 per game. "I played one manager against the other," Lapchick said years later. "I bargained with the managers for every game. When there was a clash of dates, I took the best offer."

As a ten year-old in Yonkers a young Lapchick was introduced to a new game that had worked its way down from New England: basketball. Lapchick picked up a basketball for the first time just two decades after the game was invented. It wasn't more than 4 years later that he dropped out of High School in 1914, which was rather common in that era, and soon thereafter pursued basketball professionally. At a staggering 6'5", he was a valuable commodity at a time when a jump ball was held after every basket.

Joe Lapchick even surprisingly played basketball with the likes of Babe Ruth, in an era of bygone protective knee padding and basketballs that were "oversized lopsided and blackened by dirt and old age," said Lapchick in his own words, balls that wouldn't last for an entire game. He was the Kareem Abdul-Jabbar of his time. When the height of an average professional basketball player might have been 5'8" or 5'9". At a time when team captains often agreed to unlimited personal fouls, so fans could see the stars play [thus, the necessity of knee pads]. At halftime in the dressing room, under the Madison Square Garden main floor, it was not uncommon for Lapchick to drink a Coke and smoke Lucky Strikes cigarettes while his players bummed smokes off of him. There was no game clock or electronic scoreboard yet. Some old basketball gyms still used a chalkboard and a scorer who rewrote numbers in chalk asthey were tallied. The official scorer at mid court was also often the timekeeper as well. It was his duty to fire a starter pistol at halftime and at end of the game.

A pioneer with the barnstorming Original Celtics out of New York. A basketball team that was actually the second incarnation of the New York Celtics who had disbanded during World War I. The Celtics joined the American Basketball League (ABL) in 1926 and won two straight titles. So dominant were Lapchick, Nat Holman, and the rest of the Celtics that the league insisted the team disband. It did, in 1928. Lapchick and two other former Celtics thenjoined the ClevelandRosenblums, a team owned by a department store magnate who had named the team after himself. With Lapchick starring at the pivot, the "Rosenblum Celtics" basketball team won two straight ABL titles. However, the Great Depression forced an end to the ABL in 1931.

Conditions were spartan in those times. When a large cut on Lapchick's wrist became infected with uniform dye, a teammate rubbed off the scab with a towel and doused the wound with whiskey. Luckily for Lapchick, the treatment worked.

First in many ways, Lapchick had the first sneaker contract with a company that eventually become known as Footlocker and he represented them throughout his life. In his time, Footlocker was known as the Kinney Shoe Corporation until 1974 when they formally adopted the Footlocker name. In the photo you can see canvas a pair of old basketball shoes with the name of Joe Lapchick on the ankle patch.

 
 
 
Madison Square Garden NCAA Coach Awards Trophy
Madison Square Garden NCAA Coach Awards Trophy
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Three Joe Lapchick Character Award Trophies were presented at "The World's Most Famous Arena," Madison Square Garden floor in New York at halftime of The Coaches vs. Cancer Kick Off Classic on November 20, 2008. Madison Square Garden was considered the center of the basketball universe from the 1920's to the 1960's spanning Joe Lapchick's career. The fourth custom award trophy is headed for the Basketball Hall of Fame.

With the "blessing" of the National Association of Basketball Coaches (NABC) and the National College Athletic Association (NCAA), the Joe Lapchick Character Award Trophy was presented the day of the semifinals of the 2K Sports Classic benefiting Coaches vs. Cancer. The trophy award is sponsored by Nike, D'Agostino Supermarkets and HEI Hotels.

MARBLE CLASSICS TROPHY AWARDS SCULPTING SERVICES

Utilizing a combination of the latest in state-of-the-art technology and time-honored sculpting and engraving techniques Marble Classics has the in-house ability to accomplish almost any custom trophy award imaginable! Our art department can recreate sculptures from the most basic pictures, drawings, corporate logos, and computer graphics and make out of them complex three-dimensional completed sculptural artworks. Our artists can sculpt busts and full figure statues of historical figures, government officials, corporate officers, celebrities, athletes and nearly anyone you would like to commemorate and immortalize with a special trophy award or custom sculpture of virtually any size. We look forward to every custom trophy award we get commissioned to create. Finished sculpted figures, busts, and other art forms can be reproduced by our art department in a wide variety of specialty mediums including a full range of metallic finishes: eye-catching bronze, aged silver metal, antiqued copper, or classic marble, black marble, red marble, and even wood textures, or have a custom finish created for you based on a color sample that you provide us. Once we cast a mold of your artwork it is then available exclusively to cast future trophy pieces on demand, when you need them most.

Joe Lapchick [NBA coach honored posthumously for his professional integrity] Character Award Trophy Presentation involved a trophy made of Joe Lapchick, the legendary early professional basketball player and successfull coach of the NBA Knicks and St. John's college. as the subject for a Faux bronze trophy casting with an engraved plate on a black acrylic awards base made of Aquaresin with an antiqued faux bronze finish on a black acrylic engraved trophy base. Karoy [a Bulgarian based sculptor], our Marble Classics Artist sculpted the Professional and College basketball coach Joe Lapchick and a young basketball player statue right next to him using a Plasticine maquette with an internal wire frame. Notice the matchbox for scale in the basketball statue photo. Eventually a modern concept maquette for the Joe Lapchick Character Award that was scrapped in favor of the more realistic sculpture concept: A basketball trophy version of the famous Hollywood Oscar award based on Joe Lapchick.

CUSTOM AWARD SERVICES BY OUR TROPHY SCULPTORS

Marble Classics specializes in making unique and exclusive custom sculpted awards in almost any form and medium! We take special pride in creating one-of-a-kind beautifully detailed lifetime awards that help to memorialize and celebrate special moments and give recognition in our client's lives and for your highly valued special events.

"The Garden" is a fitting location for dispensing the trophy awards since Joe Lapchick not only coached there, as the first coach of the New York Knicks, but also played at Madison Square Garden when he was an Original Celtic round ball player which predated, by over 15 years, the Boston Celtics basketball team. That's at a time when balcony seating at a basketball game in Madison Square Garden would cost a mere 25 cents.

Joe Lapchick's importance in basketball history can't be overstated, first as a star professional player in the 1920s, a college coach in the 1930s, 1940s and 1960s, and a key figure in establishing the early popularity and integrity of the National Basketball Association (NBA). Permanently enshrined in the Naismith Basketball Hall of Fame initially in 1966, Joe Lapchick is in the Hall of Fame, both as a player with the Original Celtics in the 1920's, commonly regarded as the best center of his era, and as a coach. The trophy award, the idea of former St. John's player Gus Alfieri, was established to recognize basketball coaches who have shown the character and coaching ability of Hall of Famer Joe Lapchick, who coached at St. John's and with the New York Knicks.

In an era rife with recruiting transgressions and questionable behavior by coaches and players on and off the court, Lapchick's "ethical and moral ways" should be recognized, said Bob Livingston, who is on the board that selects future recipients of the Joe Lapchick Character Award. "There could not be a better time to focus attention on character in sports... and Joe Lapchick is the model for the person we should look to," said Alfieri, who was a star player on Lapchick's 1959 NIT championship team.

The trophy awards were given to three of the most decorated college basketball coaches in history, Hall of Famers with prodigious win totals. But their selection to become the first recipients of the Joe Lapchick Character Award had only a little to do with their victories on the basketball court. Instead, the trophy is awarded for showing uncommon character and integrity in basketball coaching and is given to recognize their impact on shaping people, both inside and outside of their sports programs, not just for winning championships.

CONTEMPORARY OF COACH LAPCHICK: BOB KNIGHT

"Some of the most important hours in my coaching career," said Bob Knight (West Point Basketball Coach), "were in discussions with Coach Joe Lapchick. He had an intellect that far transcended the game of basketball. He knew more about human nature and how to motivate kids than anybody I have ever known. The answers to my questions and the advice he gave me over a period of five years until he passed away in 1970 will always remain an incomparable treasure for me. If ever a man had a PhD in understanding human behavior it was him. He would be among the most intelligent people I have ever met, the most sincere people I have ever met and the most caring people I have ever met. My relationship with him is among the greatest experiences I have ever had. Nothing ever said to me meant more than when I took Clair Bee and Nat Holman to his wake and Mrs. Lapchick took me aside and said, 'while you didn't play for Joe you have been one of his favorite boys.' "

AUTHOR OF THE BOOK ABOUT JOE LAPCHICK: GUS ALFIERI

Gus Alfieri, author of "Lapchick: The Life of a Legendary Player and Coach in the Glory Days of Basketball." A 228 page non-fiction book published by Lyons on July 01, 2006. Gus played point guard under Lapchick for St. John's 1959 Championship team. He also coached state championship basketball teams at St. Anthony's High School on Long Island. During one winning streak his teams won 49 games in a row without a single loss and accomplished two state championships.

Mr. Alfieri holds a Ph. D. in American Cultural History. And successfully directed one of the premier teaching basketball camps in America. The All-American Basketball Camp has been in existence on Long Island for more than thirty years. He presently teaches in Stony Brook University's graduate school. He also writes a column for Long Island's Ultimate Athlete magazine, is a motivational speaker, a sports clinician, and offers instructional sports seminars.

 
 
 
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