Kentucky alumni game brings out NBA stars
by Kyle Tucker, USA TODAY Sports
LEXINGTON, KY — The John Calipari Show rolled on with another rousing success Monday night at the University of Kentucky Alumni Charity Game, where an all-star cast of former Cats put on a show for an announced crowd of 19,255 at Rupp Arena and more than $1 million was given away to good causes. John Wall’s triple-double led the Blue team to a 111-95 win over Brandon Knight, Michael Kidd-Gilchrist and Anthony Davis’ White team.
Wall did not disappoint, delivering 40 points, 10 assists, 10 rebounds and an array of highlight-reel dunks. He said former teammate Eric Bledsoe told him “I wouldn’t go for 40, so I just tried to get 40.”
Wall and Kidd-Gilchrist – who finished with 26 points, 14 rebounds, five assists and four steals – had several back-and-forth flurries that brought the crowd to its feet.
Wall slammed off a steal, so Kidd-Gilchrist jammed following an offensive board. Wall threw down a 360-degree dunk, so Kidd-Gilchrist slashed to the bucket on the baseline. Later, he intercepted Wall’s attempted bounce-pass alley oop to Patrick Patterson and threw a lob to a teammate for a slam. Then Wall and Kidd-Gilchrist traded threes. On and on it went.
“How proud are you of these guys right here? How lucky have we been to see these guys in this building?” Calipari said to the crowd as he gathered all the former players at midcourt after the first quarter. A roar washed over them. “Here we are in September and all of you come to watch this. You’re crazy. I say that because you’re the best fans in the world. I’ve never seen anything like it.”
Davis, who had 12 points, 10 rebounds and just one of his signature blocks, also found a way to dazzle: he flung in two buzzer-beaters at the end of the first and second quarters, the latter on a nonchalant half-court heave. Knight poured in 30 points, 20 after halftime, to go with seven assists.
“It’s tough for us to just get out on the court and kind of just not play,” he said. “You want to make sure nobody gets hurt … [For more on Kentucky alumni charity game brings out the best in NBA stars, click here.]