|FROM SIMPLE GRAPHIC TO SCULPTURAL MASTERPIECE
Marble Classics had their in-house sculptor produce this 3-dimensional figurine of coach Joe Lapchick in a formal suite standing next to a young 10-year old male basketball player with a team uniform number provided by the client. The Lapchick Committee provided Marble Classics with a two-dimensional web graphic containing nothing but a black silhouette of their logo: coach Lapchick and a young player. Our artist then used multiple stock photographs of Joe Lapchick from his carrier as a basketball coach that clearly showed his facial expressions, likeness, attire and essence which was then artistically projected into an 18" tall set of figurines by our top sculptor Karoy.
STEP-BY-STEP SCULPTURE AWARD APPROVAL PROCESS
As the iconic basketball figurines were being sculpted in clay, and throughout this sculpting process, the Lapchick Committee was provided with pictures of the "work in progress" for review to see if any changes were necessary, to satisfy our client, before it was shipped. This allows clients' of Marble Classics to check the status of their projects and make additions to the sculpture while it is being made, something few companies are willing to do. Once the final art piece is approved a mold of the basketball trophy figurines was made and then it was used to reproduce castings of the finished trophy award statues which were then painted with "aged" faux bronze, just one of our thirty plus classic faux finishes available.
TROPHY AWARD HEADED FOR THE BASKETBALL HALL OF FAME
After we presented the final pictures of the trophy awards for approval, our craftsmen then assembled the finished faux bronze basketball trophies, custom black acrylic base, and an uniquely engraved brass plaque attached to the front of each of the four Joe Lapchick character awards for 2008. Each individual trophy was then shipped to Madison Square Garden overnight to make it in time for the Joe Lapchick Character Award ceremony. The Joe Lapchick Character award trophies were received with great pride and honor by three legendary basketball coaches honored in the 2008 awards presentation - which had national media attention. Meanwhile, the fourth basketball award trophy is on its way to be installed in the Basketball Hall of Fame.
PAT SUMMIT, LAPCHICK CHARACTER AWARD WINNER
Pat Summitt, Lady Vols head basketball coach, Tennessee
"It is an honor to have been selected as the first recipient of the Joe Lapchick Character Award. He was a legendary figure on both the collegiate and professional level of our game," said Summitt. "I am humbled to accept an award which bears his name." Accepting the Joe Lapchick award on her behalf were Tennessee women's AD Joan Cronan and the Washington Post's Sally Jenkins (author of books about Pat Summitt and Dean Smith). Cronan cited Summitt for not only winning eight national championships, but also for graduating every player who played four seasons for her.
Summitt had planned to attend but couldn't after her freshman-laden Volunteers lost at their home opener basketball game Monday to Virginia, something Tennessee women's AD Joan Cronan half-jokingly called "a crisis," and she felt she could not leave her team for a day. Smith is known for requiring her players to point at the teammate who made the good pass, whether or not the shot went in, which may or may not explain her two National Championships.
Summitt has a career record of 983-182 in 34 seasons at Tennessee, making her the winningest coach in college basketball history. Summitt is also known for making her Lady Vols players sit in the first three rows of class, which may have something to do with her eight national titles.
DEAN SMITH, LAPCHICK CHARACTER AWARD WINNER
Dean Smith, basketball coach at Chapel Hill, North Carolina, led North Carolina to 11 Final Fours and two National Championships in his 36 seasons there, compiling an 879-254 record. When he retired, he had the most wins in Division I history, a mark since eclipsed by Bob Knight. Ninety-six percent of the lettermen who played under coach Smith have graduated.
The Long Island native, former UNC star and current LA Lakers general manager (GM) Mitch Kupchak, in his tribute to Dean Smith recalled how some coaches promised recruits a starting role as a freshman, but that Smith promised he would look after Kupchak and make sure he got a degree, which was why he chose North Carolina, and prospered. "He told me basketball would take care of itself," Kupchak said. "All he promised was that he would look after me like a son and make sure I graduated."
Regarding the Lapchick Trophy, "This is a great award", Dean Smith said, "I never really think about awards, but this is something special," and finished by saying, "It's a great honor..."
LOU CARNESECCA, LAPCHICK CHARACTER AWARD WINNER
Lou Carnesecca, St. John's Coach and St. John's graduate, New York City native, assistant coach under Lapchick and winner of 526 games as St. John's coach in the 70s, 80s and 90s. Coach Carnesecca, a young 83 year old, was enthusiastically greeted with a chant of "Lou! Lou! Lou!" by the friendly crowd as he went up to the podium to accept the Joe Lapchick Character Award.
Lou recalled that Joe Lapchick was so respected around the country that at a 1964 tournament at West Virginia he received a standing ovation from more than 8,000 fans as he walked out to the team bench before the game. "When you walked with coach Lapchick, you really were in the presence of royalty," Carnesecca said.
He went on to praise Lapchick, for whom he was an assistant at St. John's from 1957 through 1965. He recounted how after a game one night in the late 1960's, early in his reign as coach, at Madison Square Garden, coaches would go to the watering hole on East 45th Street called Danny's Hideaway to unwind. Carnesecca was feeling pretty giddy that night, whereupon Joe Lapchick, his predecessor, his mentor, and his friend handed him a business card that said: "Peacock Today, Feather Duster Tomorrow." That taught him, as the old business card suggested, that basketball coaches should never take themselves too seriously.
As assistant basketball coach to Lapchick for nine years and succeeding him following the 1964-65 season, Carnesecca continued to coach at St. John's from 1965 to 1992 (not including a detour to the A.B.A. for 3 seasons in the early 1970's). For 24 seasons he coached basketball at his alma mater, each ending with a post-season appearance, including the 1985 Final Four. Carnesecca finished with a record of 526-200 at St. John's and was inducted into the Naismith Memorial Hall of Fame in 1992 and is still the University's leading ambassador in Spanish, Italian and New Yawkese.
"Carnesecca said, 'If you come here, I'll make sure you become a better man,'" Mel Davis recalled as the pitch that sealed his decision to go to St. John's. Coach Carnesecca said he learned important lessons about integration and blending varying personalities from Lapchick.
Lou Carnesecca finished his acceptance speech by theatrically pulling out his wallet and removing the same tattered piece of paper (almost 50 years later) with a message that he attributed to Joe Lapchick, "Peacock Today, Feather Duster Tomorrow." Carnesecca pondered what words of wisdom Lapchick might impart today, and he said, "If he was here today, he would say to the young players, 'Don't take the ball out of bounds because you'll never get it back.' "