Celebrating Prep and Collegiate Basketball Excellence
The Atlanta Tipoff Club (ATOC), a 501© (3) organization, was founded in 1956 as a way for Atlantans to celebrate the love and enjoyment of basketball. The organization’s mission is to promote and expand the passion, tradition and heritage of basketball, and honor those who have achieved excellence and positively impacted the game both locally and nationally.
The ATOC was founded by Atlantans Bob Eskew, Frank Johnson, Steve Schmidt, Virlyn Moore, Bob Storey, Whack Hyder and Dwight Keith, who strived to create an organization united by local basketball passion, with an eye on growing the game into the future.
In 1969, the founders sought to grow the brand nationally, and ultimately created the Naismith Trophy to be presented to the nation’s top men’s basketball player. Lew Alcindor, better known today as Kareem Abdul-Jabbar, won the inaugural award. He and his UCLA coach, John Wooden, traveled to Atlanta to receive the trophy.
As a result of the dedication, hard work and creativity of past leadership, the ATOC has experienced extensive growth since its inception. The ATOC looks forward to continuing to build a dynamic organization that provides recognition on the local, state and national levels.
The ATOC is made up of a dynamic Board of Directors, reflective of the hospitality and corporate industry, professional teams and national media. In addition, the organization garners support from its general membership and backed by the community and academic institutions.
The ATOC annually recognizes the top high school and college players, coaches, officials and administrators in metro Atlanta, the state of Georgia, and nationally through the Naismith Awards.