|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.