Hall of Fame Teams Up With Tyler Ugolyn Foundation To Refurbish Court For YMCA in Springfield
“Tyler’s Court” a Tribute to SpringfieldN and Columbia University Player Lost on 9/11; Will Create Lasting Opportunities for City Youth
Springfield, MA – August 18, 2008 – The Naismith Memorial Basketball Hall of Fame has announced it will partner with the Tyler Ugolyn Foundation to refurbish the Lower Liberty Heights basketball court at the YMCA of Greater Springfield’s Chestnut Street branch. A dedication ceremony and youth basketball clinic will be held to officially open Tyler’s Court on Thursday, September 4th at 3 p.m.
The Tyler Ugolyn Foundation was established to honor Tyler Ugolyn, a former basketball student-athlete at Columbia University who, at the age of 23, was a victim of the terrorist attack in New York City on September 11, 2001. The Springfield court is the latest in a series of nationwide renovation projects funded by the Foundation, and furthers the Foundation’s mission to provide children in urban settings from coast-to-coast the opportunity to participate in the game of basketball.
The Springfield court refurbishment project has a unique significance to the Foundation, as Tyler and his younger brother, Trevor, were both born in Springfield as was their father, Victor. Both parents, Diane and Victor, were raised in the city. In addition, Victor serves as a member of the Hall of Fame Board of Trustees, and the Foundation has also partnered with the Hall of Fame to renovate a YMCA court in San Antonio during the NCAA Final Four in that city this past April.
“We are extremely proud to continue assisting the Tyler Ugolyn Foundation in their efforts to celebrate Tyler’s passion for basketball and further his lifelong desire to share his love of the game with children in our nation’s cities, and now our own community”, stated John L. Doleva, Hall of Fame President and CEO. “Thanks to the Ugolyn Foundation there will now be a ‘Tyler’s Court’ in the city where basketball was first played, and because of Tyler’s love of basketball and his giving spirit, thousands of Springfield children will be able to shoot for their own dreams at the YMCA Lower Liberty Heights court for generations to come”.
Tyler's father, Victor Ugolyn, said: "On behalf of our family, we are very appreciative of the wonderful support of the Naismith Memorial Basketball Hall of Fame and the YMCA. Our beloved Tyler loved the game of basketball, and while a student-athlete at Columbia helped establish a basketball clinic for youngsters in Harlem. We gain some comfort from Jackie Robinson's epitaph which states that “The value of one's life is not determined by the number of years but by the number of lives you've touched."
The Tyler’s Court project in Springfield provides a much needed renovation for the Lower Liberty Heights basketball court, including a new playing surface, new goal stanchions, team benches, fan seating, improved landscaping and many additional amenities to provide a first class playing facility for the thousands of Springfield children served by the YMCA.
In a joint statement, Neil Nicoll, President and CEO of YMCA of the USA, and James O’S. Morton, President and CEO of the YMCA of Springfield, stated, “The YMCA is grateful for this generous gift from the Ugolyn Foundation, a gift which will not only honor the memory of Tyler Ugolyn, but also contribute substantially to the holistic development of children and youth in Springfield. Through this gift, the Tyler Ugolyn Foundation supports the YMCA in building strong kids, strong families and strong communities. “
The Tyler Ugolyn Foundation was established six years ago by Tyler's parents, Victor and Diane, and his younger brother, Trevor. The Foundation is committed to providing support to youth basketball, with an emphasis on court refurbishment and providing character building educational programs and skills clinics to children in urban settings. All courts nationwide funded by the Foundation are named “Tyler’s Court’, so noted with a special plaque installed at each court along with the words “I just love playing the game’, a quote attributed to Tyler while a high school player.
For more information about the Tyler Ugolyn Foundation and the dedication ceremony in Springfield on Thursday, September 4th at 3:00 p.m., please contact the following:
Basketball Hall of Fame- Molly Large (413).231.5513 or firstname.lastname@example.org
Greater Springfield YMCA- James O’S. Morton, President/CEO, at 413.739.6951
The Tyler Ugolyn Foundation- Victor Ugolyn- 203-733-7710
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 worldwide – professional, collegiate, men and women. For more information, please visit our website at www.hoophall.com or call 1-877-4-HOOPLA.
YMCA of the USA is the national resource office for the nation’s 2,663 YMCAs, which serve nearly 20.2 million people each year, including 9.4 million children under the age of 18. Through a variety of programs and services focused on the holistic development of children and youth, health and well-being for all and family strengthening, YMCAs unite men, women and children of all ages, faiths, backgrounds, abilities and income levels. From urban areas to small towns, YMCAs have proudly served America’s communities for nearly 160 years by building healthy spirit, mind and body for all.
Activate America® is the YMCA’s response to our nation’s growing health crisis. YMCAs are redefining themselves and engaging communities across the country to better support Americans of all ages who are struggling to achieve and maintain well-being of spirit, mind and body. Visit www.ymca.net to find your local YMCA.