Although the final score may have read 112-106 in favor of the White team, everybody was a winner Friday night at Jim Calhoun’s Charity All-Star Game.
The legendary UConn coach, who’s spot on the bench now resides with the University of St. Joseph, was more than excited to host this year’s game, now in its 20th year.
“You guys have your Christmas in December, I have mine in August,” Calhoun said in his pregame meeting with the media.
Every other year, Calhoun invites former UConn basketball players to the Mohegan Sun Arena to take part in a friendly game during an entire weekend of fundraising. All proceeds benefit the Pat and Jim Calhoun Cardiology Center at UConn Health in an effort to battle heart disease.
For the players, this event is like a walk down memory lane.
“We have the opportunity to see so many fans,” Ray Allen said, a soon to be Hall of Fame Inductee. “It’s like that song or food you ate growing up that sparks nostalgia.”
“It’s basically like deja vu all over again,” Amida Brimah said, a first-time participant and 2014 National Champion.
The game spanned four, 10 minute quarters that included alum from the women’s program in the second and third quarters. This was the second time that the men were joined by their female counterparts.
“UConn basketball is more than just men’s basketball,” Allen said. “Obviously the women have done some incredible, incredible things.”
While the action was not quite on par with a regular college/NBA game, there were still plenty of highlights for the 5,323 UConn faithful in attendance. Stanley Robinson showed off his athleticism with a steal and fastbreak dunk in the second quarter. Ryan Boatright hit a buzzer-beating three-pointer to end the third quarter and keep the Blue team in the lead. Hilton Armstrong joined in on the action with a put-back slam off of a Rodney Purvis miss.
Although the Blue team led for the majority of the game, the White team, led by Allen and Calhoun, ended the game on top after a major fourth-quarter push.
Ryan Boatright won the men’s MVP for the game with 11 points and six assists while Kalana Greene took home the honors for the women with eight points.
Fans were allowed to come down to the court after the game for an autograph and picture session with the players and coaches, capping off another successful night for UConn basketball and the UConn community.
“I look forward to being a part of it for many more years,” Rodney Purvis said, another first-time participant and 2014 National Champion.
Kevin Arnold is a campus correspondent for The Daily Campus. He can be reached via email at firstname.lastname@example.org.