Former Jayhawks Take Part in Rock Chalk Roundball Classic
June 17, 2011
LAWRENCE, Kan. –
For the third-consecutive year some of KU’s best basketball players from the last 20 years took the court for charity as they participated in the Rock Chalk Roundball Classic on Thursday night at Lawrence Free State High School.
This year the event raised money for the Souter family of Lawrence, who recently lost their five-year-old daughter, Jayden, to cancer. A silent auction also helped raise money which included such items as signed jerseys from former Jayhawk greats Danny Manning and Drew Gooden, tickets to a Oklahoma City Thunder game courtesy of Nick Collison and signed boxing trunks from “Vicious” Victor Ortiz, Welterweight World Champion and die-hard Kansas fan.
The game brought a wide variety of former players back to Lawrence who played in both the Bill Self and Roy Williams eras. Notables on the blue team included Scot Pollard, Billy Thomas, Greg Gurley, Jeff Graves, Moulaye Niang and Tyrel Reed. The blue team was led from the bench by Kansas legend Bud Stallworth.
The red team was comprised of Russell Robinson, Cole Aldrich, Lester Earl, Brady Morningstar, Jeff Hawkins, Victor Ortiz and even Wayne Simien saw some action. The coaches for the red team were former Jayhawk Roger Morningstar and KU baseball coach Ritch Price.
“This is really about giving back to the people and community that supported us throughout our playing careers,” said the Oklahoma City Thunder’s Cole Aldrich. “It really means a lot.”
On a night filled with high-flying dunks and deep three-pointers, the highlight came when the blue team subbed in former radio-broadcasting legend Max Falkenstien. Falkenstien, who spent 60 years covering Kansas basketball from the radio both, got the ball on the first possession and was quickly fouled by Cole Aldrich. He went to the line and made 1-of-2 free throws. Falkenstien called it a night after that, satisfied with his contribution to the blue team’s scoring effort.
In the end, the Tyrel Reed-led blue team defeated the Cole Aldrich-led red squad 114-102. The final score, however, meant very little on a night that was meant to celebrate the memory of five-year-old Jayden “Baby Jay” Souter who, in April, lost her two-year battle with cancer. The proceeds made from the Rock Chalk Roundball Classic went to Jayden’s family who hope the event will raise awareness for children’s cancer and give people from around Kansas ways they can help the cause.
After the game fans got a chance to get autographs and interact with the players who didn’t mind lending their time and talents to help raise money for a good cause.
“We’re just out here to help out a good cause and try not to get injured and sprain something in our old age,” said Scot Pollard, who played for the Jayhawks from 1994-97. “It was fun. We had a good time out here, and most importantly, it was for a great cause.”