Monday night just may have been the official end to the highly successful year of Gamecock basketball. And what a year it was.
The Carolina Tip-Off Club held their last meeting of the season in the Frank McGuire Club Room of the CLA. The guests of honor were Dawn Staley, Frank Martin and their coaching staffs.
The men's East Region trophy from Madison Square Garden and the women's national championships trophies were on display. A very tangible way to show that the season really did happen and it will live forever in the minds of Gamecock fans.
After speaking to the Club about their historic seasons both coaches received $1,000 to their favorite charities. Staley received a big check for her Innersole movement which awards elementary classrooms with new shoes as long as they show improvement academically. Martin's check will go to the South Carolina Center For Fathers and Families which helps provided assistance and programs to support and develop responsible fathers to strengthen families.
Martin said he can get used to these types of events because of humble beginnings.
"I remember five years ago when I got hired I met with Carey Rich and Judge Casey Manning and a big heartache for everybody was that the Tip-Off Club no longer existed. One of my first initiatives was to put my thumbprint on it and say let's go with this let's get it started again because it meant so much to so many people. Five years later we're in here celebrating a Final Four run," Martin said.
USC's men's head coach has also seen the Tip-Off Club grow.
"Now we got all kinds of age groups. We used to be just coach Frank McGuire fans but now we got basketball fans from all the decades and that's a whole lot of fun."