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Former UK stars return to Rupp to help raise money for charity, aid victims of Hurricane Harvey

By Keith Taylor
Kentucky Today

It was a reunion to remember Friday night.

Former University standouts, featuring legends and a crop of current NBA players, took part in the annual UK Alumni Charity Game, which raised approximately $1 million for various charities, including the American Red Cross to benefit victims of Hurricane Harvey, which made landfall late Friday night in Texas.

Kentucky coach John Calipari allocated $150,000 to the Red Cross that will be sent to Houston immediately ahead of the Category 4 storm.

Former Kentucky coach Joe B. Hall and current Wildcats coach John Calipari react to a play during the Legends game Friday night at Rupp Arena. The event raised more than $1 million dollars for charity. (Tammie Brown/Kentucky Today)

Overall, Calipari made donations to 17 charities, but his main concern was Hurricane Harvey.

“Keep everybody in your prayers,” Calipari told the crowd of 12,754 that watched the two contests.

In addition to former top draft pick and Minnesota Timberwolves star Karl-Anthony Towns, who scored 33 points and grabbed eight rebounds to lead the White team to a 115-109 victory over the Blue squad, the list of NBA attendees included Darius Miller, DeMarcus Cousins, Tyler Ulis, Alex Poythress, Rajon Rondo, Eric Bledsoe, Jamal Murray and Trey Lyles.

Towns said it was “special” to play with former teammates Lyles, Ulis and Poythress again.

“It’s a blessing, an honor to be back here in Lexington, Kentucky, playing in the one and only best place in the world, Rupp Arena, with the best fans in the world,” Towns said. “It was really fun to be able to have a chance to go out there and play with present and past. It’s awesome to combine timelines.”

The old-timers agreed.

“It was fun to be back out there,” Dale Brown said. “I know I’m an old guy and I don’t really get up and down the court anymore. I play with the guys every now and then, but it was fun. I was looking forward to it. I caught myself trying to condition for it like three weeks prior to. It didn’t do me any good, but it was great. Nothing like Kentucky basketball.”

Derek Anderson, a member of the school’s 1996 national championship team, tallied 25 points for the Blue team, three less than Poythress, who led the way with 28 points. Former Kentucky standout Dwane Casey head coach of the Toronto Raptors, coached the White team, while Walter McCarty, a current assistant with the Boston Celtics, was in charge of the Blue team.

“I think we’ve got five, six decades represented out here,” former UK star Rex Chapman said. “It really is family. Going back to the ‘70s to Malik Monk.”

In the Legends contest, Bobby Perry poured in 17 points in a 65-59 win for the White team over the Blue squad. Jon Hood tallied 13 points to lead all scorers on the Blue team, coached by Chip Rupp, grandson of legendary Kentucky coach Adolph Rupp. Joe B. Hall called the plays for the White team.

Alumni Game
WHITE (115) —
Rondo 13, Bledsoe 15, Towns 33, Murray 8, Lyles 14, Delk 2, Chapman 3, Bogans 7, Daniels 4, Magloire 16.
BLUE (109) — Cousins 17, Jones 11, Ulis 5, Poythress 28, Bradley 18, Mulder 2, Anderson 25, Crawford 3.

Legends Game
WHITE (65) —
Moss 10, Polson 2, Perry 17, Stevenson 8, Prickett 6, Mays 3, Carter 12, Obrzut 5, Estill 2.
BLUE (59) — Hawkins 5, Hood 13, Macy 2, Riddick 10, Evans 8, Alleyne 13, Givens 2, Brown 5, Walker 1.

Keith Taylor is sports editor for Kentucky Today. Reach him at keith.taylor@kentuckytoday.com or twitter @keithtaylor21.

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