Past WKU, UK players to square off in alumni game

Cole Claybourn

When Ty Rogers started planning

tonight’s “Big Red vs. Big Blue” alumni game, he said if everything

came together, it would be a special event.

In just a little more than two

weeks, Rogers, with the help of former Topper Anthony Winchester,

has seen the event come together exactly how he envisioned


“We knew it was a possibility to get

some of the guys to come back,” he said. “But to be honest, I don’t

know if I ever dreamed that it would be something where we got this

many guys that were able to come back to the Hill.”

The game will pit 10 former WKU

players against seven former Kentucky players.

In total, six NBA players will take

the court, with WKU great Jim McDaniels roaming the sidelines as

the honorary coach of the WKU team. Rogers said the coach for the

UK team hasn’t been decided yet.

The idea came to Rogers in early

October with the NBA Lockout ongoing. Rogers had to move quickly

because if the lockout ended before the game’s scheduled date, the

chances of it happening were slim to none.

“There were several times that I

told my wife that I was going to have to cancel it just because I

didn’t know if it was feasible in such a quick time frame,” he

said. “It seemed like every time I would say that, the very next

day something out of my hands would work out in our


Because the lockout could end at any

time, the rosters are still subject to change. Even so, Rogers said

he’s not surprised by the caliber of players that he was able to

get to commit.

Tyrone Brazelton and Chuck Hayes

were added just last week.


The game will be

played in four 10-minute quarters with music playing the whole time

to “add some excitement.”

Rogers said the game itself will

resemble that of an NBA all-star game.

That means plenty of fun and

excitement, but also some competitiveness.

“It’s definitely going to be a mix

of both, just because it’s two schools going against each other in

an alumni game,” Rogers said. “In that regard, it will be

competitive. In the same token, though, it’s going to be a fun game

— a lot of all-star quality.”

Tickets start at $10 for bleacher

seats. Rogers said he’s not sure how many tickets have been sold,

but said he’s hoping for a big crowd from WKU fans.

“The UK fans, I’m hoping they come out as well,” he

said “But I’m really happy for our Western Kentucky fans about the

roster we’ve been able to put together.”