135 Year Anniversary, DECODANCE

On September 25th, LAAC members gathered in the Olympic Lounge in their fanciest dress for a champagne toast to 135 years of the Los Angeles Athletic Club.  While photographers snapped photos of members mingling, a harpist filled the air with festive music, anticipation was mounting for the main event.  When the ballroom doors opened, the members streamed into an Art Deco dining room while a jazz band played and ballroom dancers whirled around the dance floor.  During the evening, members enjoyed a four course dinner, a trumpet solo by world-renowned artist and fellow member Nolan Shaheed, and performances by dancers to music from the 1920’s to the 1950’s.  As dinner concluded, the guests joined the dancers on the ballroom floor.  Some guests moved to Invention Bar to hear one of downtown’s best DJs, and as the night went on, a small group gathered in the Blue Room to sip prohibition-themed cocktails and enjoy a live piano player.  The memorable evening was a wonderful tribute to LAAC’s heritage, and an exciting launch into the next century in our Club’s history.

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Blue Room

Once a catalyst for some of the city’s most influential friendships and business ventures, the historic fourth floor Blue Room has reopened its doors, reinvented and remodelled in partnership with British designer Timothy Oulton.

Cozy and relaxing, with an edge of drama and intrigue, the Blue Room retains a strong sense of its erstwhile allure in a fresh, modern setting. Huge comfortable leather wing chairs sit with repurposed Drum side tables, while vibrantly-coloured Chesterfields invite conversation under the glow of a chandelier crafted from real laboratory test tubes. Every nook reveals vintage curiosities, from sporting trophies to Timothy Oulton’s striking Match Point artwork, created from old wooden tennis rackets.

According to LAAC general manager Steve Hathaway: “The collaboration is a blend of two iconic brands that represent heritage, quality, and the celebration of a holistic lifestyle, which balances pleasure and productivity.”

The story of Timothy Oulton began in 1976 with a small antique shop owned by Tim’s dad. Profoundly influenced by his love of antiques, his father’s military background, and an inherent affection for British heritage, Tim created an authentic, visionary brand with a deep commitment, integrity and a passion to deliver the extraordinary. Today, Timothy Oulton is a world-wide luxury brand with a global presence.

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The Blue Room

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2015 John R. Wooden Award Presented live on ESPN

This year, for the first time since its inception, the presentation of the John R. Wooden took place away from the Los Angeles Athletic Club. The Award was presented as part of the inaugural ESPN College Basketball Awards Show presented by Wendy’s, which took place at Club Nokia at LA Live in downtown Los Angeles and was televised on ESPN2. Frank Kaminsky of Wisconsin and Breanna Stewart of Connecticut won the men’s and women’s John R. Wooden Award, respectively. The Wooden Award All American teams were also honored during the show along with San Diego State head men’s basketball coach Steve Fisher, who was presented the Legends of Coaching award. In addition, the Basketball Hall of Fame presented the inaugural positional awards, recognizing the top player of each position in college basketball.

The Wooden Award All Americans that were invited to Los Angeles were: Willie Cauley-Stein (Kentucky), Jerian Grant (Notre Dame), Frank Kaminsky (Wisconsin), Jahlil Okafor (Duke), D’Angelo Russell (Ohio State), Nina Davis (Baylor), Jewell Lloyd (Notre Dame), Tiffany Mitchell (South Carolina), Kaleena Mosqueda-Lewis (Connecticut) and Breanna Stewart (Connecticut).

During John R. Wooden Award Weekend, the men’s and women’s Wooden Award All American teams arrived in Los Angeles after the conclusion of the NCAA Tournament. On Thursday, the players and guests were welcomed to the Los Angeles Athletic Club with a rooftop reception prior to the annual Duke’s Dinner to kick off the weekend. On Friday, before the show, the Wooden Award All Americans went on the Players’ Experience, highlighted by a visit to Staples Center and the ESPN Sports Nation set and lunch at The Standard. On Saturday, the players served as coaches for the Wooden Award Special Olympics Southern California Basketball Tournament.

Founded at the Los Angeles Athletic Club in 1976 by former athletic director, Duke Llewellyn, the John R. Wooden Award is presented annually to the most outstanding player in men’s and women’s college basketball. The Women’s Award was established in 2004. Past winners include: Larry Bird (1979), Michael Jordan (1984), Tim Duncan (1997), Kevin Durant (2007), and Candace Parker (2007 & 2008). The winners are selected based on the criteria established by the Award’s founders, including the values of Coach Wooden and a cumulative grade point average of 2.00 or higher throughout the candidate’s college career. Since its inception, the John R. Wooden Award has contributed close to a million dollars to universities’ general scholarship fund in the names of the All-American recipients. The Award has also sent more than 1,000 underprivileged children to week-long college basketball camps in the Award’s name.

 

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Gentleman’s Supper

On a balmy evening in Los Angeles, eleven stylish gentlemen from the worlds of entertainment, art, sports, fashion and food came together in their finery dinner, stimulating conversation… and an impromptu game of hoops.

Dubbed the inaugural “Gentlemen’s Supper” by its hosts — shoe designer Brandon Day, film & television producer Jonas Bell Pasht and noted LA-based pop-up chef Octavio Olivas — the evening was sponsored by Generic Surplus. The festivities took place in the Trophy Room at the historic Los Angeles Athletic Club in DTLA.

The guest list included NBA star Baron Davis, menswear designer Mark McNairy, celebrated couturier Cameron Silver and TV boss Matt Hanna. Suits and neckwear were mandatory and the guests turned up in high style.

Following dinner, the eleven guests broke onto the storied LAAC basketball court, where a rowdy but debonnair game of basketball ensued until Club security cut short the fun at midnight.

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