First annual Basketball Tip Off Night to be held at Marblehead High School

For the first time ever, Friends of Marblehead Basketball in association with the Marblehead Girls Travel Basketball League, Marblehead Youth Basketball Association and Marblehead Recreation & Parks, will be hosting a Marblehead High School basketball tip off event that will be held in the school’s gymnasium on Friday, Dec. 9. The event will be celebrating the start of the season for all basketball programs including all high school and middle school teams, as well as the youth teams in Marblehead. 

At the event, which will take place from 7-9 p.m., both the boys and girls varsity basketball teams will be introduced.There will be multiple shooting competitions for kids in 4th through 12th grade to compete in, highlighted by a foul shooting contest in which one participant will be named “Best Free Throw Shooter.” Kids will also have a chance to take on the teaching staff in these contests as well. 

The Tip Off Night will raise money and awareness for all of Marblehead’s basketball programs, but just as importantly, it will bring all of the teams together, which is something that Bob Lemmond, one of the creators for the event, noted.

“The basketball community in Marblehead is in need of some additional resources and additional help in terms of creating awareness and excitment,” Lemmond said. “There’s all these wonderful programs and fantastic teams, but we’ve never really brought them together. So we thought with just starting with getting everyone together, and we thought the best way to do this was to come up with a Marblehead town tip off night.”

While the event is centered around basketball and highlighting all of the basketball programs in Marblehead, it was designed to bring together the entire community. Lemmond commented on this concept, and said that everyone is welcome to participate, not just those who play basketball. 

“Whether you play on the basketball team or not, come on up to high school. We designed the night so that everybody can have fun, whether you are a competitive basketball player or not,” he said. “Kids see basketball and they say to themselves ‘well I’m not a basketball player’, but we really designed it for everybody. It’s about basketball, but we’re hoping to truly make it a community wide event.”

In addition to the multiple basketball minigames, Kristofer “Kit” Ackermann, who performs as Boston Celtics Mascot Lucky the Leprechaun will be at the event as well as the Celtics 2008 NBA Finals trophy. Those that attend will be able to meet Ackermann and get autographs and photos with him as well as with the trophy. 

Dr. Timothy DiFrancesco, owner & operator of TD Athletes Edge, and former trainer of

The Los Angeles Lakers, will also be in attendance to host an interactive session on conditioning and nutrition. Along with DiFrancesco’s session, the event will hold multiple raffles where attendees can win tickets to Celtics, Red Sox, Bruins, and Patriots games, and NBA jerseys. 

Despite this being the inaugural event, Lemmond expects a huge turnout, and hopes that the tip off night can become a yearly ocassion.

“We think that we will have hundreds of kids, whether that’s 200 or 400, or somewhere in between I don’t really know, but we do expect a very large turnout, and that’s certainly our hope. 

The gym will open at 6:30 p.m. Admission to the event costs $20 dollars and comes with a t-shirt. All proceeds will go to the Friends of Marblehead Basketball, where the money will be used to invest in scholarships, equipment, tournament fees, and other items needed for Marblehead’s basketball programs.

Registration is now open for the event. Parents and fans are not required to register and are welcome to stay and watch the events. For more information, email Friendsofmhdbasketball@gmail.com.