2012 Joe Lapchick Character Award
On November 15th, four members of the Naismith Memorial Basketball Hall of Fame were honored with the 2012 Joe Lapchick Character Award. Honorees, C.M. Newton, Pete Newell, Cathy Rush and Morgan Wootten brought a record crowd to the New York Athletic Club (NYAC) for the 5th annual Character Award Ceremony held by the Joe Lapchick Character Award Foundation. The crowd of former players, coaches and fans listened in admiration to stories about these accomplished coaches.
C.M. Newton, unable to attend due to the flu, participated in the the events via teleconference and it was clear in Newton’s southern accent echoing through the hall that he was truly humbled by the award. The former Alabama and Vanderbilt University coach will be presented with the award at an Alabama game in Tuscaloosa on January 22nd.
The late Pete Newell was also honored and the award was accepted by his son Greg Newell and presented by former Cal star Darrall Imhoff who both shared humorous stories about the legendary coach.
Cathy Rush, who was presented by former player and successful coach Therese Grentz, shared their inspiring story of Immaculata College and their improbable run to 1972, ’73 and ’74 AIAW championships in the early days of women’s collegiate basketball.
Legendary Demathia high school coach Morgan Wootten may have drawn the biggest supporting crowd of former players since Lou Carnesecca in 2008. Wootten’s character shined in front of the packed room at the NYAC who showed their appreciation for the coach with several standing ovations. James Brown, the host of NFL Today on CBS, was a former player of Wooten’s and presented the award to his coach, sharing some very amusing stories.
It was yet again a very successful event held by the volunteers at the Joe Lapchick Character Award Foundation. A private party at the NYAC followed where more stories were shared among former players and fans. The coaches were then honored at halftime of the 2K Sports Classic benefiting the Wounded Warrior program.
Check back in August for the Foundation’s announcement for the 2013 Joe Lapchick Character Award winners. Get your tickets now .