Womhoops Guru

Mel Greenberg covered college and professional women’s basketball for the Philadelphia Inquirer, where he worked for 40 plus years. Greenberg pioneered national coverage of the game, including the original Top 25 women's college poll. His knowledge has earned him nicknames such as "The Guru" and "The Godfather," as well as induction into the Women's Basketball Hall of Fame in 2007.

Tuesday, October 25, 2011

Guru Report: Longtime AAU Girls Basketball Icon Bill Tipps Passes Away

(Guru’s Note: If you are reading this thru links to melgreenberg.com and was looking for the Guru musing about Elena Delle Donne and the next WNBA draft, which was drawing higher traffic, click on mel’s blog to go back in the blogspot archive since only the most recent post shows at this link. Just trying to be reader friendly as always).

By Mel Greenberg

The Guru has been busy doing the organizational updates and such and not blogging on a daily basis for a bit, but here are some items he needs to get out there with updates to come as soon as possible.

First, Bill Tipps, a longtime leader in the AAU Girls Basketball program passed away early Sunday morning after battling health issues in recent years.

The Guru worked with his niece Linda K. Harris, now living in Atlanta, at The Inquirer back in the day and she coincidentally mentioned him just before the Guru actually met Bill for the first time several days later on a trip to Knoxville, near where he lived.

The Guru is still gathering details. Bill had been a member of the board of the Women’s Basketball Hall of Fame, perhaps worthy of induction as soon as is possible.

But as Nan Elrod, a board member and former official with the Hall who also worked for the Women’s Basketball Coaches Association, among many other positions, noted, “AAU Girls Basketball wouldn’t be where it is today if it weren’t for Bill.

“I remember when I worked for the WBCA and went to my first national (AAU) tournament, he went out of his way to make sure I had all the rosters and information on everything that I might need.

“He is going to be really missed.”

Tipps’ wife Ann, a longtime AAU volunteer, passed away in 2007 after a battle with cancer.

Mighty Macs’ Movie Debut

Well, upon further review, the Guru was incorrect earlier in the day Monday when he tweeted that the Mighty Macs movie debut over the weekend about Immaculata’s first championship looked good on the box office report in terms of being No. 12 (actually it looks like 15 overall) and the top draw of theaters below 1,000.

“People who were planning to go, especially if they were taking groups, really need to get out there this week,” said an official connected with the marketing of the film.

“It’s going to be an uphill climb. The problem is that with so many movies opening, it really has to look like a good buy for theaters to keep The Mighty Macs on their screens.”

Paranormal Activity 3, which appeared on over 3,000 screens, shocked those who follow these movie trends with the largest October opening ever, according to the numbers at boxofficemojo.com.

“The Mighty Macs actually beat Paranormal in Philadelphia (near the campus of Immaculata) but nowhere else, obviously.”

Reviews have been favorable and even if one critic gave it mixed blessings in a major market, there have been more positive citations in publications in the same location.

The Guru was unable to make a clean cut-and-paste copy of the chart here so go to boxofficemojo.com/weekend to look at the numbers.

And if further clarification is needed, he will update this post earlier in the day.

Atlantic 10 Outlook

Up next on the docket beyond breaking news is Wednesday’s annual teleconference from the Atlantic 10 at which time the preseason coaches’ picks for team and player honors will be released.

The Guru has been asked to make another of his frequent guest appearances in The Inquirer with the report.

With the graduation of former Xavier stars Amber Harris and Ta’Shia Phillips and the move of Kevin McGuff to Washington in the Pac-12, a new frontrunner is likely to head the 14-team field for the first time in several seasons.

The guess here is Dayton or Temple might become the new target of note.

-- Mel

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