Mission Statement: The Birmingham Tip Off Club exists to help restore, educate, and advance the game of Basketball in the greater Birmingham area.
Restore: The Birmingham Tip Off Club uses its resources to help restore basketball equipment around the greater Birmingham area.
Educate: The Birmingham Tip Off Club aims to educate its members and others through its ongoing speaker series which includes prominent basketball minds from across the country.
Advance: The Birmingham Tip Off Club helps to advance the game of basketball through the support of first class basketball events and assisting in the AHSAA Final 48 State Championships.
History of the Club:
The Birmingham Tip-Off Club was organized in 1973. The Club was the brainstorm of a handful of men who sensed a growing interest in the game of basketball in the Birmingham community. The Club still exists as a testimony to their vision. We began with a charter membership of 211 basketball fans. The first President of the Tip-Off Club was Leon Marlaire, a former member of the University of Alabama’s “Rocket Eight.” Marlaire remains very active in the Club today and we give an annual award in his name to the Tip-Off Club member who works most unselfishly to promote the Club’s goal of elevating interest in the game of basketball. The speaker line-up in those first few years included such notables as Adolph Rupp, Bobby Knight, C.M. Newton, Dale Brown and Babe McCarthy.
The impact of the Birmingham Tip-Off Club continues to grow today. The Club’s membership is made up of basketball enthusiasts with alumni affiliations from all over the country, and we support a raucous contingent of Alabama, Auburn, UAB, Samford, Kentucky and Princeton fans! The Club is responsible each year for presenting awards to the SEC Coach of the Year and the Conference USA Coach of the Year. In 1994, two of the Club’s charter members, Edgar Welden and John Clements, came up with the idea to combine the Alabama state high school boys’ and girls’ basketball championship tournaments and play them at one site at the same time in a final-four format. Thanks to the Alabama High School Athletic Association’s willingness to try their idea, this tournament is now one of the most successful state high school basketball championship events in the country. Not only has the tournament promoted basketball throughout the state, many observers believe it also has encouraged participation by better athletes, resulting in an increase of talented high school players coming out of Alabama each year. Tip-Off Club members serve as the volunteer force that makes this tournament possible.