Tigers Youth Club
In 1953, a group called the "Has Beens" wanted to share their love of sports to the youth of the community. The Has Beens were a group of Nisei athletes who played baseball and basketball in the Japanese Athletic Union, currently known as the Nisei Athletic Union (NAU).
The group's goal was to channel the energy of youths into sports and thus help them from going astray. Not only did the Has Beens provide advice on the finer points of sports, but they also provided financial assistance. They bought uniforms, equipment and paid league and tournament fees so that these youths would have the opportunity to play a sport.
The Tiger Club began with one boy's baseball team, ranging in ages from 7 to 12. They accepted anyone who wanted to play, regardless of their playing ability or the ability to play.
The Tigers Club continued to grow as more baseball and basketball teams were formed. In 1962, a girl's program was started and it also expanded quickly. Eventually, the Tigers entered men and women teams into existing leagues.
In 1976, the Tigers held their first basketball tournament to raise money for scholarships for deserving high school seniors to aid them in continuing their education. By 1978, the Tigers formally incorporated into a nonprofit organization in the state of California.
For over seventeen years, the basketball tournaments were held in the San Fernando Valley. In 1994 this area was hit by an earthquake. Some of the school gyms were damaged by the quake so the tournament was moved to the San Gabriel Valley. Proceeds from the tournament were donated to the San Fernando Valley schools damaged by the quake.
Today, the Tigers have become one of the top Asian American athletic and community minded organizations in Southern California with over 50 youth and adult teams from Los Angeles, Orange and Ventura Counties.
The Tiger Tournament is one of the largest tournaments in the USA, with participation from over 500 youth and adult teams.