Former WKU star Rogers sets date for ‘Big Red vs. Big Blue’ game

Cole Claybourn

After announcing tentative plans for an exhibition game featuring former WKU and Kentucky men’s basketball players, former star Ty Rogers on Monday confirmed the game is officially happening.

Rogers told the Herald that the “Big Red vs. Big Blue” game is scheduled to take place on Oct. 25 at Diddle Arena, tentatively at 7 p.m., and the goal is to showcase “high-profile” athletes from both Bluegrass schools.

Partly for surprise, and partly to not give fans false hopes, Rogers said he’d hold off on announcing who will participate until he knows for sure.

“Dealing with these type of athletes, I have to be 100 percent certain I can trust them,” Rogers said. “I will advertise if I feel 100 percent trustworthy. At this point, I’m just going to keep the names to myself probably.”

On Thursday, Rogers got his first official commitment from former UK star Josh Harrellson, now a member of the NBA’s New York Knicks.

He said he’d announce participants “one day at a time” via his personal Twitter account.

Rogers did say, however, that he has received “commitments” from Courtney Lee and Jeremy Evans — now both NBA players — and confirmed that former Topper Matt Maresca has agreed to participate.

Rogers told the Herald on Monday that he’s mainly focusing on the roster that will consist of former UK players. 

He said he’s hoping to have around six or seven players and coaches for both teams.

The idea for the game came to him just four days ago, and he said he’s had to move quickly to get the event set up.

“I had seen all this stuff going on with UK I just started thinking, ‘There’s no reason not to have that at our school,” Rogers said. “We’ve got athletes just like other places do.

“I made a few phone calls, first to Courtney and Jeremy and they seemed interested. So it just seemed like a good idea. I think it’s going to be good for our community and I think it’s great for our university as well.”

The event itself is not affiliated with WKU in any way. Rogers said he’s handling it all by himself. He said he’s working with WKU Athletic Compliance to make sure nothing happens that shouldn’t happen.

Rogers told the Herald on Thursday that tickets will go on sale Friday morning. Prices will be “just like a WKU game,” Rogers said.

However, students won’t get in free like they do at home games but could possibly get a discounted price.

All proceeds will go toward Sharp Shooters Academy — Rogers’ basketball academy — and the WKU W-Club.

He said more concrete details will be announced in the coming days.

“If all goes well, it’s going to be a huge event,” Rogers said. “It’s going to be very entertaining without a doubt.”