Your browser may not support display of this image.

Hall of Fame Teams Up With Tyler Ugolyn Foundation To Refurbish Court For YMCA in Detroit 

Tribute to former Columbia University NCAA Student-Athlete lost on 9/11 will create lasting opportunities for youth to play the game he loved 

Detroit, Michigan – March 31, 2009 – The Naismith Memorial Basketball Hall of Fame announced today it will proudly continue a partnership with the Tyler Ugolyn Foundation and will assist the Foundation in its mission to provide children nationwide the opportunity to participate in basketball.  This partnership includes refurbishing urban courts in cities and towns from coast to coast as well as sponsoring motivational basketball clinics for children.  The unveiling of the newest “Tyler’s Court” will be held at the Boll Family YMCA of Detroit on Sunday, April 5th at 11AM.    

“We are extremely proud to be able to continue to assist 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”, stated John L. Doleva, Hall of Fame President and CEO.  “Thanks to the Ugolyn Foundation there will now be a ‘Tyler’s Court’ in this Final Four city, and because of Tyler’s love of basketball and his giving spirit, thousands of Detroit children will be able to shoot for their own dreams at the YMCA 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, the YMCA of the USA, and the NCAA. Our beloved Tyler loved the game of basketball and while a student-athlete at Columbia helped establish a basketball clinic for Harlem area youngsters. 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 dedication ceremony of “Tyler’s Court” at the Detroit YMCA will be held in conjunction with a basketball motivational and skills clinic for YMCA member youth.  The project provides a needed renovation for the Boll Family YMCA basketball gymnasium, including new scoreboards, bleachers and message boards and many additional amenities to provide a first class playing facility for the served YMCA population.  The City of Detroit, site of the 2009 NCAA Men’s Final Four, was selected as a “Tyler’s Court” site in consultation with the Tyler Ugolyn Foundation, the NCAA and the Hall of Fame. The "Tyler's Court" dedication ceremony is part of the NCAA Community Initiatives taking place in Detroit during the week of the Final Four and is sponsored by the NCAA and The Tyler Ugolyn Foundation.

“YMCA of the USA is thrilled to be a part of the ongoing effort to create ‘Tyler’s Courts’ around the nation celebrating the wonderful game of basketball and all of the youth who enjoy it.” said Neil Nicoll, President and CEO of YMCA of the USA.  “The YMCA has a long history with the sport of basketball.  We share Tyler Ugolyn’s passion for the game and are honored through the Boll Family YMCA to be a part of his legacy of giving.”   

The Foundation, named in honor of 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, was established seven years ago by Tyler's parents, Victor and Diane, and his younger brother, Trevor, to provide support to 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, provides the court refurbishments, 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 at each court 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.  Tyler Ugolyn was born in Springfield, MA - the same city where basketball was born and home of the Basketball Hall of Fame.  This court in Detroit represents the third “Tyler’s Court” made possible by the Tyler Ugolyn Foundation.  Court renovations were made in San Antonio, Texas at the 2008 NCAA Final Four and in Springfield, Massachusetts during Enshrinement Weekend 2008. 

For more information about this dedication ceremony, please contact the following:

Basketball Hall of Fame- Paul Lambert,

Boll Family YMCA of Detroit- John Harris,

The Tyler Ugolyn Foundation- Victor Ugolyn- 203-733-7710 



YMCA of the USA- Sally McMillan, 

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 or call 1-877-4-HOOPLA. 
YMCA of the USA is the national resource office for the nation’s 2,686 YMCAs, which serve 21 million people each year, including nearly 10 million children under the age of 18. YMCAs respond to critical social needs by drawing of their collective strength as one of America’s largest not-for-profit community service organizations.  Through a variety of programs and services focused on the holistic development of children and youth, family strengthening, and health and well-being for all.  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.  Visit to find your local YMCA. 

Back to Ty's Home Page