Former University of Kansas and Missouri basketball players will stage a rematch of last year’s high-scoring “Rivalry Renewed” KU-MU alumni game on July 28 at Silverstein Eye Centers Arena.
The “Rivalry Renewed II” contest, which will again feature brothers Kareem Rush of Mizzou and Brandon Rush of KU, will tip at 6 p.m. Pre-game activities, which will include a three-point shooting contest for children and a VIP pre-game shootaround with 20 fans, will start at 4 p.m.
A “storm the court” in which fans can meet the players will take place right after the contest.
Tickets for Rivalry Renewed II are available through ticketmaster.com and the Silverstein Eye Centers Arena website. Also, a VIP event will be held from 6-10 p.m. July 27 at Repeal 18th (1825 Buchanan St. in North Kansas City) with tickets available at the Alumni Basketball League website.
Last summer, Brandon Rush outscored Kareem, 46 points to 14, as the Jayhawks claimed a 109-101 victory. Mario Chalmers scored 21 points, Travis Releford 16, Tyrel Reed 13, Brady Morningstar 12 and Jeff Graves five for KU. Leo Lyons scored 34 points, Stefhon Hannah 26 and Rickey Paulding 14 for MU.
Steve Gardner, the game’s co-event organizer with Kareem Rush, says those KU players will return along with Drew Gooden, Jeff Hawkins and Nick Bradford. Releford will play if he’s available. Releford and several former Jayhawks are playing in The Basketball Tournament for “Self Made” on July 25-28 in Wichita. TBT is single-elimination with the regional final set for the 28th in Wichita.
MU’s Rush will lead a Tiger team that will include Arthur Johnson, Thomas Gardner, Albert White, Kim English and Julian Winfield as well as the Tigers who participated in last year’s contest.
“We will have a stronger overall list of names this year because of the success of last year’s game,” Steve Gardner said. The initial Rivarly Renewed contest drew 2,500 fans with Gardner and Kareem Rush hoping for 4,000-plus in the 5,800-seat arena this year.
A portion of game proceeds will go to Boys & Girls Clubs of Kansas City as well as Reconciliation Services.
This game marks an “official introduction” to the Alumni Basketball League, which will be launching in the summer of 2020.
The Alumni Basketball League in its first year will consist of approximately eight teams of former college players, who will be representing their individual schools. Steve Gardner envisions KU, Missouri, Kansas State and Wichita State basketball alumni players forming their own teams. It’s possible schools from the old Big Eight Conference will field teams, Gardner said.
“Our teams will be owned by the players. We’ll have alumni teams around the U.S.,” Gardner said of initial plans. “Guys are looking for things to do in the summer. This gives players an opportunity to reconnect with their fans,” Gardner added.
It’s possible a game or two would be played on the campuses of KU, KSU, MU and WSU.
A year ago, Kareem Rush explained to The Star his vision of alumni teams from various schools throughout the country meeting in games on college campuses.
“The biggest goal is to renew this rivalry and expand, kind of create the first-ever alumni basketball league,” Rush said a year ago. “You know, for the summer time. So that way guys have something to do … It’d be great to get the schools involved and have it back on campus, two games a year.”