Renovation Continues the Tradition of Giving Back to the Local Community Amidst Naismith Awards’ Final Four Weekend Activities

Atlanta (Feb. 27, 2024) – The Atlanta Tipoff Club (ATOC) today announced a community engagement program with the Watts Family Maryvale YMCA in Phoenix that will leave a legacy after the conclusion of the 2024 Men’s NCAA Basketball Championship. The ATOC, administrators of the Naismith Awards, high school and college basketball’s most prestigious awards, started this program in 2020 when the Final Four was scheduled to be in Atlanta and has continued giving in New Orleans (2022) and Houston (2023).

The beneficiary will be the Watts Family Maryvale YMCA, of which more than 75% of their member families receive financial assistance. Additionally, 33% of Maryvale families live in poverty, and 42% are single-parent families.

The work in the gymnasium includes:

  • Deep cleaning of existing backboards and rims
  • Installing new standard wall pads
  • Installing new basketball rims
  • Installing new backboard pads
  • Replacing lighting
  • Painting gym walls
  • Refinishing gym floor

The renovations began earlier this month and will be unveiled on April 6, 2024, in a special dedication ceremony that includes a youth basketball clinic. Former Jersey Mike’s Naismith Trophy winners will join current award finalists to participate in the clinic.

On Sunday, April 7, 2024, at the Phoenix Art Museum, the ATOC will announce and honor its 2024 national Naismith Award winners, including the Jersey Mike’s Naismith Men’s College Player of the Year and the Werner Ladder Naismith Men’s College Coach of the Year, among several others.

Basketball was invented in 1891 by Dr. James Naismith at a YMCA in Springfield, Massachusetts. Since then, basketball has grown exponentially to become a game played internationally. At the local level, the sport is played in YMCA gyms nationwide, encouraging physical activity and sportsmanship in youth.

“We’re thrilled to be able to give back to the Phoenix community,” said Eric Oberman, president of the Atlanta Tipoff Club. “Since basketball was invented at a YMCA, this is a natural fit for us and will expose more kids to the sport we love. We’re proud of what has become an annual tradition at the Final Four.”

“The Valley of the Sun YMCA is a grateful partner of the Atlanta Tipoff Club and Naismith Awards,” said Valley of the Sun YMCA Vice President of Operations and Programs Garrett Brolsma.” This is an incredible opportunity to uplift and support our Watts Family Maryvale YMCA and the many community members it serves. We’re excited to see a refreshed gymnasium that will be used to serve members through youth sports, day camps, pickleball, active older adult classes, and so much more.”


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 AXIA Time, Jersey Mike’s and Werner Ladder.  For more information, visit


Established in 1892, The Valley of the Sun YMCA is one of the largest human service nonprofit organizations in Arizona. As one of the oldest nonprofits in the state, the YMCA serves local communities in Maricopa County, Yuma, Flagstaff, and Prescott, offering more than 250 programs and 26 social services at its statewide locations. Members are welcome regardless of gender, religion, or ethnicity. Financial assistance is also available to those who qualify. The YMCA aims to provide all members with the opportunity to reach farther and improve their lives and the lives of those around them. Through youth development, healthy living, and social responsibility, the YMCA’s goal is to inspire positive and lasting social change. For more information, visit


Media Contacts:
Mallory Hadaway, Atlanta Tipoff Club
[email protected]
(256) 682-0599

JT Turner
Executive Director of PR & Communications
Valley of the Sun YMCA
[email protected]
(602) 317-1287