Lexington- On Tuesday, the Kentucky Men’s Basketball team welcomed fans to the Rupp Arena to attend an open practice and telethon to raise money for victims of the massive flooding in eastern Kentucky.
Both the men’s and women’s basketball teams came to the event, but it was the men’s team that took the floor for open practice.
The event was sparked by an idea of guard CJ Fredrick who played his high school basketball in Kentucky with Covington Catholic and his teammates.
“This one looks a little different because I’m out of state,” Frederick said Monday. “When I saw the devastating things that were happening, it immediately dawned on me and the whole team what we can do to help.”
“I just came up with the idea right away, but I really want to emphasize that we’ve done this as a team. I came up with it first, but they’ve also all been great bringing ideas and stuff.”
The event raised $2.4 million.
Open practice session
After going through routine drills, the Cats held a scrimmage. Notable performers from the scrimmage included. Oscar Tshiebwewho had a dunk and after a Adou Thiero to steal, Jacob Toppinwho scored a fadeaway jumper matched with Tshiebwe and Daimion Collins who converted on several dunks.
The team also went through a shoot-around and then held a Q&A with the fans in attendance.
News and Notes
There were also a few tidbits to break during the event. Point guard Sahvir Wheeler addressed the crowd, announcing that the men’s annual Blue and White Game will be played in Eastern Kentucky in October instead of the Rupp Arena.
Exact details about where in eastern Kentucky the game will be played have not been worked out yet, but Pikeville is a possible location.
Lance Ware did not participate in any of the lawsuits as a coach John Caliparic announced that he has an injury.
Halfway through training, Gonzaga head coach mark little connected to the team on Zoom. He praised the Wildcats’ efforts to benefit Eastern Kentucky and then confirmed that the Wildcats and Bulldogs will play a home and home series with Gonzaga.
Kentucky heads to Spokane on Sunday, November 20, and the Bulldogs will visit the Wildcats during the 2023-24 season.
Gonzaga has entered the NCAA tournament as the No. 1 overall for the past two seasons. Few’s schedule finished second to Baylor in the 2021 National Championship match and reached the Sweet 16 last season.
This season game will be just the second all-time matchup between Kentucky and Gonzaga. The first came at the Maui Classic Invitational in 2002, where Kentucky took an 80-72 win, led by an 18-point performance from Keith Bogans.