Kentucky offers Alumni Game with a twist this year

Herald-Leader Staff ReportJuly 23, 2014 

  • Getting tickets

    Tickets for the Alumni Charity Classic go on sale Monday at 10 a.m.

    All seats are reserved. The prices are $101 (premium lower level), $31 (lower level), and $16 (premium upper level). Tickets can be purchased at the Rupp Arena box office, online at Ticketmaster.com, at any Ticketmaster Outlet or by phone at 1-800-745-3000. There is an eight-ticket limit per person. All orders will have additional fees attached.

    Fans must be 16 or older to buy tickets, and children under the age of 2 get in for free with a paying adult.

The University of Kentucky men's basketball team will hold its annual Alumni Charity Game with a new twist this year.

A team of former University of Kentucky pros will take on a team of pros who did not play at UK.

The game is scheduled for Aug. 24 at 6 p.m. in Rupp Arena, UK announced Wednesday.

Does this mean friend-of-the-program LeBron James could be making an appearance in Rupp Arena? What about Dirk Nowitzki, who was seen wearing a "Succeed and Proceed" T-shirt last April? No doubt Kentucky Coach John Calipari has the connections to pull in all manner of talent, but would he risk constructing a team that could beat his own UK guys?

These are among the questions UK followers will be asking, and these are the type of gimmicks that have made Calipari a successful showman, but fans might not receive all the answers until game night.

Calipari's charity games the first two years featured only former UK pros. This will be the first time non-UK stars will be involved.

UK says the players will be either current or former professionals but is not allowed to provide further detail.

Per NBA rules, UK cannot confirm individual players participating in the exhibition. Previous UK Alumni Charity Games have included many of the big-name stars from the Calipari era, such as Anthony Davis, John Wall, Michael Kidd-Gilchrist, Brandon Knight, Eric Bledsoe, Terrence Jones, Patrick Patterson and DeMarcus Cousins.

All proceeds from the game will go to charity.

UK wins second straight NABC academic award

Kentucky was among 129 men's basketball teams across all divisions honored Wednesday as winners of the Team Academic Excellence Award, presented by the National Association of Basketball Coaches.

The award, which was created last year, was the second straight for Kentucky.

The Team Academic Excellence Awards were created by the NABC Committee on Academics to recognize outstanding academic achievement.

The 129 winners posted a cumulative team grade-point average of 3.0 or better for the 2013-14 season.

Kentucky had a 3.11 cumulative GPA. Coach John Calipari's squad has tallied a 3.0 GPA or better in six of the last seven semesters.

Three Wildcats, Tod Lanter, Sam Malone and Jarrod Polson, were named to the NABC Honors Court on Monday. Malone received the Elite 89 award at the 2014 Final Four, which honors the student-athlete with the highest cumulative GPA participating in the Final Four.

Nine Wildcats were named to various Southeastern Conference honor rolls this season: Dominique Hawkins, Dakari Johnson, Lanter, Marcus Lee, Brian Long, Malone, Polson, Alex Poythress and Derek Willis.

Since Calipari's arrival, all nine players who have exhausted their athletic eligibility have graduated from UK including: Twany Beckham, Josh Harrellson, Ramon Harris, Jon Hood, Mark Krebs, Darius Miller, Polson, Perry Stevenson and Eloy Vargas. Also, Patrick Patterson and Polson completed their degrees in just three years.

Florida and South Carolina were the only other Southeastern Conference teams to win the Team Academic Excellence Award.

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