Free Throws Down the Stretch Decide Fourth Annual Rock Chalk Roundball Classic
June 14, 2012
LAWRENCE, Kan. – For the fourth-consecutive time 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. The event was held at Lawrence Free State High School Thursday night and like the ‘Legends of the Phog Game’ last fall, this classic showdown of former Jayhawk greats also ended in a tie. Keith Langford’s three-pointer with five seconds left knotted the score up at 110 and forced a free-throw shooting contest between the Red team’s head coach Scot Pollard and the Blue squad’s Bud Stallworth. Ultimately Stallworth’s sure hands at the charity stripe preserved the Blue team’s victory and kept his perfect Roundball Classic coaching record intact with a final score of 111-110.
This year’s contest raised money for three local kids affected by cancer. Aiden Turner of Lawrence, Taylor Gabel from Topeka and Adam Tallent also from Topeka were on hand as event emcee and SportsCenter anchor Neil Everett brought them out to mid-court to be recognized for their courageous battle with the disease. A silent auction also helped raise money for the trio, which included such items as signed jerseys and memorabilia from Jayhawk greats from the past and present.
A packed Free State gymnasium saw a game which brought a wide variety of former players back to Lawrence that played in both the Bill Self and Roy Williams eras. Notables on the blue team included Keith Langford, Conner Teahan, Christian Moody, Aaron Miles and Darnell valentine, while Lester Earl, Jeff Hawkins, Ryan Robertson, TJ Pugh and Ron Kellogg also saw action for head coach Bud Stallworth.
The red team was comprised of Russell Robinson, Brady Morningstar, Tyrel Reed, Jordan Juenemann, Greg Gurley, Julian Wright, Matt Kleinmann and Nick Bradford. They were led on the bench by former Rock Chalk Roundball player turned coach Scot Pollard.
Following some powerful dunks and fancy passes, both teams put on a three-point shooting show as Tyrel Reed’s trey with a little more than three minutes on the clock evened the score at 100. Brady Morningstar’s three-point bucket with just 45-seconds remaining gave Pollard’s Red team a brief 108-107 lead, but it was ultimately Langford’s hot hands in the waning seconds of the game that tied the score at 110 and put his coach at the line for a chance at victory.
The final score, however, meant very little on a night that was meant to celebrate three courageous children and their battle with cancer. The proceeds made from the Roundball Classic will go to those kids and their families during this tough time.
Following the game fans were able to get autographs and interact with players like Langford, who just got back from playing ball in the Middle East, where he won his second an Israeli League title.
“When I heard what the charity was, there was no way I could say no to something like that. What they are going through is more important than any game that any of us will play.”