John Malkovich to Narrate One-Hour Special Airing Final Four Weekend Sunday, April 1 at 5pm EDT

ATLANTA (March 23, 2018) – In honor of the 50th awarding of the Naismith Trophy, JUMA Entertainment and the Atlanta Tipoff Club have partnered to create a one-hour documentary reflecting on the rich heritage and tradition of the college basketball’s most coveted individual honor. The “Naismith 50 Celebration” presented by Werner Ladder is narrated by John Malkovich and will air on Sunday, April 1, 2018, 5-6 PM EDT on CBS.

Hours earlier, the 50th Citizen Naismith Trophy Men’s Player of the Year and the 2018 Werner Ladder Men’s College Coach of the Year will be announced. Both winners will be included in the final segment of the show on CBS.

Over the course of an hour, the program pays tribute to the winners through the decades, beginning with the inaugural honoree, UCLA’s Lew Alcindor, now known as Kareem Abdul-Jabbar, who won the first Naismith Trophy in 1969. The documentary will celebrate the key moments of the 45 unique winners from a total of 31 schools. The program tells the story of the last five decades through interviews with some of the sport’s biggest names including Bill Walton, Ralph Sampson, Charles Barkley, Kenny Smith, Christian Laettner, Isiah Thomas, Chris Webber, Shane Battier, Anthony Davis and Elton Brand.

“We are proud to recognize our former winners during this 50th celebration season and reflect on each of their accomplishments that led to them winning the Naismith Trophy,” said Eric Oberman, executive director of the Atlanta Tipoff Club. “Our history is rich with talent and prestige, and we look forward to continuing our legacy and honoring these players, as well as recognizing the next generation of talented players.”

“This documentary will definitely take viewers on a nostalgic 50 year college basketball journey, further positioning the Naismith Trophy as the Heisman Trophy of college basketball,” said Robert Horowitz, President of Juma Entertainment. “The cooperation we received from past players, coaches and announcers to help us tell the story was overwhelming.”

The Naismith 50 documentary is produced by JUMA Entertainment in conjunction with the Atlanta Tipoff Club. Robert Horowitz is the executive producer. Eric Oberman and Peter DeVita are co-executive producers. Craig Shapiro is the producer.

Celebrating 50 Years of the Citizen Naismith Trophy

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, which have become the most prestigious national honors in all of college basketball. Named in honor of Dr. James Naismith, inventor of the game of basketball, the Naismith Trophy recognizes the top Men’s and Women’s College Basketball Players of the Year. Other Naismith Awards are presented to the Men’s and Women’s College Basketball Coaches of the Year, Boys’ and Girls’ High School Basketball Players and Coaches of the Year, Basketball Officials and Outstanding Contributors to the game.

Celebrating its 50th year by honoring past winners, the Citizen Naismith Trophy was first presented to UCLA’s Lew Alcindor (later known as Kareem Abdul-Jabbar) in 1969. Old Dominion’s Anne Donovan won the inaugural Women’s Citizen Naismith Trophy in 1983.

Media Contact:
Traci Messier
Jackson Spalding for the Atlanta Tipoff Club