John Wall and DeMarcus Cousins, stars on Coach John Calipari’s first University of Kentucky team in 2009-10, will go head-to-head in Rupp Arena this fall.
Wall’s Washington Wizards will take on Cousins’ Sacramento Kings in an NBA exhibition game on Oct. 15.
The 7 p.m. game is scheduled one night after UK celebrates the start of basketball practice with its annual Big Blue Madness in Rupp Arena.
The Kings, who also feature former Wildcats Rajon Rondo and Willie Cauley-Stein, return to Lexington for the second year in a row. Sacramento beat New Orleans and ex-Cat Anthony Davis 107-98 in a preseason game in Rupp Arena last October.
“Getting a chance to play at Rupp in front of the Kentucky fans is always a good feeling,” said Cousins, who was named to the All-NBA Second Team for the second straight season last week. “Kentucky fans are the best fans in college and have supported me my entire career so it is great to come back and give them a show.”
Cousins averaged a career-high 26.9 points, 11.5 rebounds, 3.3 assists, 1.5 steals and 1.4 blocks per game this past season.
Wall, who teamed with Cousins to lead Kentucky to an appearance in the NCAA Elite Eight in 2010, just completed his sixth season with the Washington Wizards, who drafted him No. 1 overall that same year. Wall established career-high averages this season in points (19.9), rebounds (4.9), assists (10.2) and steals (1.9).
“Rupp Arena holds a special place in my heart and I look forward to playing in front of the best college basketball fans in the country,” Wall said.
Tickets range in price from $10 to $250 and go on sale June 10 at 10 a.m. They can be purchased at the Rupp Arena box office, www.ticketmaster.com or www.RuppArena.com, or by calling Ticket Master at 1-800-745-3000. The game’s organizers are the Blue Grass Sports Commission and Global Sports Management.
John Wall was named the recipient of the NBA Cares Community Assist Award on Wednesday. He is the fifth-ever winner of the season-long award, which is accompanied by a $25,000 donation from Kaiser Permanente and the NBA to a charity of the recipient’s choice.
Wall will donate his winnings to the John Wall Foundation and the money will be donated for a new playground sponsored by the Bright Beginnings, Inc., in Washington, D.C. The Raleigh, N.C., native will also match the donation with his own money to a charity in his hometown which he will designate at a later date.
The John Wall Foundation aims to improve the quality of life for disadvantaged families and at-risk youth.
Wall was joined by fellow former UK standout Anthony Davis as a finalist for the award.
Previous winners include Pau Gasol (2012), Dwayne Wade (2013), Stephen Curry (2014) and Russell Westbrook (2015).