Sep 6, 2012, 6:21 PM EDT
The Naismith Memorial Basketball Hall of Fame tipped off its induction weekend with an honor for one of the most influential figures in American basketball.
The Hall of Fame announced on Thursday that the trophy awarded to the winner of the Tip-Off Tournament would be named the Gavitt Cup in honor of the late Dave Gavitt.
Gavitt founded the Big East Conference and was also chair of the Division I Men’s Basketball Committee and president of USA Basketball at various points throughout his career.
Before founding the Big East Gavitt served as head coach at Providence, where he won 209 games from 1969 to 1979.
“The Hall of Fame is proud to announce the naming of the Tip-Off Tournament trophy in recognition of Dave Gavitt and his family,” John L. Doleva, President and CEO of the Basketball Hall of Fame.
“Dave impacted the lives of countless student-athletes and we are honored to celebrate his life and dedication to college basketball through the naming and presentation of this trophy.”
There are two separate four-team brackets in the Tip-Off Tournament, with all games to be played at Mohegan Sun Arena on November 17 and 18.
The Naismith bracket consists of Ohio State, Washington, Seton Hall and Rhode Island, while Albany, Loyola (MD), UMKC and Norfolk State make up the Springfield bracket.
The Naismith Memorial Basketball Hall of Fame will hold its enshrinement ceremony on Friday, and inductees include Reggie Miller, Ralph Sampson and Jamaal Wilkes.
Below is Gavitt’s 2006 Hall of Fame speech.
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