Kareem Rush has bigger plans for Rivalry Renewed
Instead of trying to guard his brother, Brandon, former Missouri Tiger Kareem Rush will watch the former Kansas Jayhawks wing play basketball on Friday, Aug. 30 at Hy-Vee Arena.
“I get to play against Brandon all the time. People saw our game last year. We’ll give them something new,” Kareem Rush said of the fans in the stands at Rivalry Renewed II — a one-day doubleheader opening with MU’s alumni team against a squad of former Arkansas Razorbacks at 6 p.m. KU’s alumni team, which for a second straight summer will be led by Brandon Rush and Mario Chalmers, will tangle with in-state rival Kansas State approximately 7:30 p.m. in the newly-renovated building formerly known as Kemper Arena.
“I hope they lose, as always,” Kareem Rush added of the Jayhawks, adding some good-natured trash-talking to the proceedings.
A year ago, Brandon outscored Kareem, 46 points to 14, in the Jayhawks’ 109-101 victory over the Tigers in what was billed as the first-annual Rivalry Renewed alumni exhibition game at Silverstein Eye Centers Arena.
“I hope the teams put on a good show so this blows up next year,” Kareem stated. “Next year we’ll both be part of the Alumni Basketball League,” Rush added of KU and Missouri. “This is a showcase for the league which will open play next year.”
Rush and KU graduate Steve Gardner are organizing a 16-team “Alumni Basketball League” which hopes to include teams from KU, K-State, Missouri, Wichita State, Arkansas and others in the summer of 2020.
“Each Alumni Basketball League team will be owned by a former player (of that school),” Rush said. “That’s the plan. We’ll put on this event, then hit the ground running. I do envision some games on campuses with the Final Four in Kansas City.”
Of the alumni league, Kareem said: “Most of the summertime it’s dead on campuses. Why not have alumni play three or four games? We get well-known alums. It be exciting summer basketball.”
Kareem said it’ll be easy to attract alumni squads to play in the new league.
“In the TBT this year, 27 teams were alumni teams. We are looking forward to having 16 locked in the first year,” Kareem said.
KU and K-State had alumni teams go 0-1 in the recent The Basketball Tournament 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 will headline the KU team against K-State on Aug. 30, Kareem Rush said. Other Jayhawks likely to compete: Travis Releford, Nick Bradford, Brady Morningstar, Tyrel Reed, Jeff Graves, Jeff Hawkins and others. The Missouri team will be led by Kareem Rush, Leo Lyons, Stephon Hannah, Albert White, Thomas Gardner, 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. KSU players expected to compete vs. KU include Jordan Henriquez, Nino Williams, Thomas Gipson, Jevon Thomas, Martavious Irving, Stephen 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 doubleheader. 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.