LAWRENCE, Kan. – Nearly 50 former KU basketball players returned to Lawrence to play in front of a sold-out crowd at the Lawrence Free State High School gymnasium for the 10th annual Rock Chalk Roundball Classic to fight childhood cancer on Thursday evening.
The annual fundraiser celebrated its 10th anniversary this year. The radio voice of the Jayhawks, Brian Hanni, hosts the event that benefits local families affected by cancer.
“It was great this year to look back on some of our favorite moments from previous Roundball Classics and also to see what the future might hold as we look to future years,” Hanni said. “But to have this many guys come back, nearly 50 former players and to have this type of turnout – a sellout yet again with the passion in the stands – it was awesome. I’m really grateful to all of the fans that helped us raise what we think will be our biggest total ever.”
Current Memphis Grizzlies guard and former KU All-America selection, Ben McLemore highlighted the basketball exhibition game, scoring 52 points, to lead Team Crimson to victory over Team Blue, 128-109.
“I just love coming back,” McLemore said. “Like I told everybody, all five years I’ve been a part of this have been terrific and I love coming back here.”
Former KU great Jeff Hawkins has participated in each of the Rock Chalk Roundball Classics over the last 10 years.
“Coming into my 10th year, there was a great chance that I could’ve missed it going to my son’s youth basketball tournament,” Hawkins said. “I’m actually about to drive to Dallas right after this, but it’s one of those deals that is such a great event and that you want to make sure that you’re a part of. It’s something that’s bigger than basketball.”
Fans can learn more about the Rock Chalk Roundball Classic, its assistance to benefit local families fighting cancer and how to donate to the cause by visiting www.RockChalkRoundball.com.