Vocational’s Marzell Tiffith in the first half of the CPLBCA all-star game.

By: Eric Van Dril   |   April 11, 2017

If you’re looking for what motivates Marzell Tiffith on the basketball court, look down — at the tattoo on his right forearm.

Tiffith’s tattoo, as you can see above, reads “R.i.p. Dad”.

Tiffith’s tattoo honors his father, Marteace Tiffith, who died in March of 2016. He was shot multiple times outside of the family’s home in Auburn Gresham. Marteace Tiffith, a father of five who worked at UIC, died from his injuries a little less than two weeks later.

Marzell Tiffith played for his father throughout his senior season at Vocational. He once again played for him on Saturday, April 8, when he finished with 36 points and nine rebounds in the CPLBCA all-star game.

“I did it for my dad,” Tiffith, a 6-foot-3 combo guard, said afterward. “This game, it’s an all-star game, so I felt like I can have fun and play well. I do this for my daddy, though.”

Tiffith had a somewhat inconsistent senior season, he added.

“I was kind of up and down when my daddy passed,” he explained, “but I’m starting to do better — way better — and playing through it.”

The CPLBCA all-star game showed what Tiffith is capable of on the court. The South-Central trailed by 17 at one point in the first half, but Tiffith led his team’s comeback. He knocked down three 3-pointers in the first half. He also got to the rim effectively both in transition and in the half-court, and then finished well in the paint.

Tiffith scored 28 points in the first half — a juncture of the game when his team needed somebody to step up. The North-West ended up winning 134-120, but Tiffith’s performance in the first half brought the South-Central back into the game. His scoring outburst made sure the game wasn’t a blowout.

“We fought,” Tiffith said. “I was pushing. … I got a little tired (after scoring 28), but I don’t use that as an excuse. I still tried to play hard in the second half. I love basketball. I love it.”

Tiffith hopes to continue playing in college. His recruiting remains open.

If he gets the opportunity to play at the next level, he’ll continue to honor his father every time he steps onto the court.

“I do it for him,” Tiffith said.


Four of Tiffith’s South-Central teammates reached double figures on Saturday, April 8.

Perspectives-Calumet senior LaShaun Gist Jr. had 18 points. Longwood’s Jenzel Steward and Kenwood’s Cameron Bowles scored 16 apiece. Harlan senior guard Quentin Randle finished with 10 points and seven rebounds.

In the day’s third and final all-star game, Vocational senior guard Yah Bentzedek scored eight points and grabbed three rebounds.