40th Annual Tiger Tip Off Tips Off

The 40th Annual Play-It-Again Sports Tiger Tip-Off Boys Basketball Tournament tips off on Thursday, November 29 and wraps up on Saturday, December 1 at Westgate Collegiate and Vocational Institute. For the first time ever, local basketball fans will be able to see both Senior and Junior divisions competing for early-season basketball supremacy. See page 2 for the history of the Tiger Tip Off!

Junior action begins Thursday morning and wraps up on Friday evening, while the Seniors take to the court on Friday and continue until the final on Saturday night.

The first Junior Games begins at 8:30 a.m. on Thursday, November 29 when the Gryphons from Superior Collegiate and Vocational Institute will be taking on the team from Blaze Basketball and will continue through the evening. The tournament starts again at 8:30 a.m. on Friday, November 30 and concludes with the championship game at 5:30 p.m. on Friday.

The Seniors hit the court on Friday, November 30 with Hammarskjold taking on St. Patrick’s at 1:00 p.m. The final Friday game is at 4:00 p.m. Action resumes on Saturday, December 1 at 9:00 a.m. and concludes with the championship game at 5:00 p.m.

Tickets are available at the door for $2.00. Tournament passes can also be purchased for $5.00.

For more information:
Bruce Nugent, Communications Officer 625-5214
Lakehead Public Schools
The History of Tiger Tip-Off


The annual Westgate Tiger Tip-Off Tournament was the idea of then-teacher and basketball coach Larry Krawchuk and his colleagues Randy Wilkie and Jim Romano in 1978. Held every year at the beginning of the season, the tournament was a great way to assess each school’s rosters along with raising funds for the basketball program. Mr. Krawchuk was fortunate enough to secure financial support from McDonalds Restaurants, mainly due to the generosity of the McCauley family and the help of their community representative Kathy Bukovy.

Once the local McDonalds restaurants switched to corporate ownership, Play It Again Sports co-owner Mike Fonso stepped up and has been providing his support and enthusiasm ever since. Other sponsors have included Jostens, Mama Alfa’s, Mallon’s Corporate Impressions (Mike Forrester), Westfort Coney Island (Mrs. Mary Saites) and Thunder Bay Blaze Basketball (Corey Keeler). In keeping with tradition of local community involvement, we are proud to have The Sal Restaurant, owned and operated by former Tiger basketball standout Aaron Gillingham, hop on-board this year to sponsor The “Sal-ebration of the Game”!

What is probably most remarkable about this event is the level of involvement of both staff and students in making this tournament a success year after year. Hundreds, if not thousands of people have contributed to media and advertising, art and graphics, supervision and security, scoring and timing, tickets and door and concessions over the 40 years of Tip-Off. What is probably most rewarding is seeing some of the same people return year after year, many of whom were once participants and are now the parents and grandparents of current players.

Tiger Tip-Off is not just another basketball tournament…it’s an EVENT to showcase our school. Although there are too many memorable moments to recall, I encourage everyone to reflect on their own memories of Tip-Off over the past 40 years. To the younger people attending their first tournament, it’s time to make your own memories. Best of Luck to all participants and here’s to the next 40 years!

Mark Nowak
Tournament Convenor