The rematch of last year’s Kansas-Missouri men’s alumni basketball game will take place after all.
Former players from KU and Mizzou will tangle in Rivalry Renewed II — to tip approximately 8 p.m. Friday, Aug. 30, at Hy-Vee Arena.
A team of former Kansas State players will meet former Arkansas players in the first alumni exhibition game of the night, to tip at 6 p.m., co-event organizer Steve Gardner told The Star on Thursday.
It was announced Monday that MU’s alumni team would not be attempting to avenge last year’s 109-101 loss to KU, but instead would be playing Arkansas; and KU would play K-State on Aug. 30 in a preview of what’s to come in the new Alumni Basketball League next summer. Now it’s back to KU-MU and KSU vs. Arkansas.
About 16 teams are expected to play a handful of games in the alumni league next summer, former MU player Kareem Rush (o-organizer with Gardner of Rivalry Renewed II and the league) told The Star on Monday.
As far as this year’s KU-MU and KSU-Arkansas twinbill, Gardner said Thursday: “It’s two things (regarding the most recent change). Getting players’ schedules is challenging. A couple KSU players were unable to make the first game but we got that worked out.”
Also he acknowledged fan feedback. Some tickets had been sold for Rivalry Renewed II, which originally had been a single game between KU and MU, set for July 28 at Silverstein Eye Centers Arena, site of last year’s KU-MU alumni game.
That date wound up conflicting with alumni games in The Basketball Tournament, thus the switch to Aug. 30 at Hy-Vee Arena.
“We got some blowback,” Gardner noted. “We were not flooded (with complaints) but had some folks saying, ‘What happened to KU-MU?’ In the course of our conversations we were able to make the scheduling work. For the league (next summer) it’ll be a bunch of teams and not always KU-MU obviously.”
Gardner added: “As a KU guy I love KU-MU ... absolutely. The players are great about it: ‘OK no problem, just let us know when we’re playing.’’’
A year ago, Brandon Rush of the Jayhawks outscored Kareem Rush, 46 points to 14, in the Jayhawks’ 109-101 victory over the Missouri Tigers in what was billed as the first-annual Rivalry Renewed alumni exhibition basketball game at Silverstein Eye Centers Arena.
“I hope the teams put on a good show so this blows up next year,” Kareem Rush told The Star on Monday. “Next year we’ll both be part of the Alumni Basketball League,” Rush added of KU and Missouri. “This is a kickoff for the league which will open play next year.”
KU and K-State had alumni teams go 0-1 in the recent TBT regional in Wichita. Arkansas dropped its only TBT game in Memphis. Missouri did not have a team in the $2 million single-elimination, winner-take-all TBT.
Brandon Rush, Chalmers and Drew Gooden are slated to headline the KU team on Aug. 30, Kareem Rush said Monday. Other Jayhawks to compete: Travis Releford, Nick Bradford, Brady Morningstar, Tyrel Reed, Jeff Graves, Jeff Hawkins and others. The Missouri team is expected to be led by Kareem Rush, Leo Lyons, Stephon Hannah, Albert White, Kim English and others.
K-State’s TBT team this season included Marcus Foster, who had 36 points in a loss to University of Colorado alumni. Other Wildcats included Justin Edwards who had 18 points and Stephen Hurt who had 10. KSU players expected to compete vs. Arkansas include Jordan Henriquez, Nino Williams, Thomas Gipson, Jevon Thomas, Martavious Irving, Hurt and others.
The Arkansas TBT team included Michael Qualls, who had 18 points in a loss to Louisiana United. Jabril Durham had 11.
Names of participants will be announced leading up to the Aug. 30 game on the Alumni Basketball League Facebook page. An autograph session will take place on the court after the second game.
A VIP event will be held from 6 p.m. until 10 p.m., Thursday, Aug. 29 at Repeal 18th (1825 Buchanan in North Kansas City) with tickets available at the Alumni Basketball League website.