Rosters set for Thursday's Rock Chalk Roundball Classic in Eudora

Tyshawn Taylor greets Dagen Korynta, 7, as Dagen runs through a lineup of former KU players during the 2017 Rock Chalk Roundball Classic at Free State High School. The annual charity event benefits local families fighting cancer. Dagen was diagnosed with cancer in 2015. As of January 2017, Dagen is in remission.

Thursday night, the Rock Chalk Roundball Classic will be heading east and bringing with it one of the biggest and best crops of former Kansas basketball players ever.

Now in its 11th year of existence, Brian Hanni’s annual charity game which raises money for families of children fighting pediatric cancer, for the first time ever will be played at Eudora High.

Doors open at 5:30 p.m. and the game is set to tip off at 7 p.m.

When it does, Hanni’s Crimson-versus-Blue scrimmage will feature more than 50 former KU greats doing battle and putting on a show that promises to deliver highlights, laughs and lots of money for families in need.

“We’re really excited to watch this game — and now this full weekend of events — continue to grow,” Hanni said while previewing this year’s event. “We’ve been so blessed over the years by the generosity of Jayhawk Nation and these KU ambassadors for giving their time and talents to come back each June. Now, with the full weekend format and our best rosters ever, we’re aiming to raise dollar amounts that will have a profound impact on these local cancer-fighting families.”

The weekend of fun includes the game on Thursday, a VIP dinner on Friday at Abe & Jake’s Landing in Lawrence and a celebrity golf tournament on Saturday at Lawrence Country Club.

Last year, the expanded format pushed the fundraising efforts into the six-figure range. And, in all, the Rock Chalk Roundball Classic website boasts a total of $412,000 raised to help more than 20 local families fighting cancer in its 10-year history.

This year’s VIP dinner and golf tournament are sold out, but tickets remain for Thursday’s game in Eudora High and can be purchased for $10 apiece at 23rd Street Brewery in Lawrence, Jersey Mike’s on Wanamaker in Topeka, AuBurn Pharmacy in Eudora and the KC Soda Company’s locations at Legends at City Market.

What began in 2009 as a way to help one Lawrence family has expanded to the point where Hanni and company pick a “Starting Five” each year and the children and their families are treated like the stars of the show throughout the game.

“That’s the best part of the night,” Hanni said. “To see those kids be celebrated and be a part of the starting lineup and run out onto the court and forget all about the hand they’ve been dealt for a couple hours is just wonderful.”

This year’s Starting Five includes 12-year-old Nicholas, 11-year-old Sergio, 10-year-old Dontez, 8-year-old Nathan and 2-year old Taylia.

Hanni said several members of past Starting Fives and their families have remained involved with the event and often attend the big game each June.

For more information on the event or to find out how you can get involved, log on to

— Crimson Team —

Frank Mason III

Jeff Hawkins

Russell Robinson

Keith Langford

Jeremy Case

Billy Thomas

Monica Engleman

Stephen Vinson

Wayne Simien

Mario Little

Travis Releford

Sasha Kaun

Michael Lee

Perry Ellis

Kevin Young

Dezmon Briscoe

— Crimson Coaches —

Bud Stallworth (head coach)

Alonzo Jamison

Ray Bechard

Brennan Bechard

Mark Randall

Jeff Gueldner

Lafayette Norwood

David Lawrence

— Blue Team —

Sherron Collins

Tyshawn Taylor

Scooter Barry

Brady Morningstar

Tyrel Reed

Mario Chalmers

Elijah Johnson

Kenny Gregory

Clay Young

Nick Bradford

Ben McLemore

Brandon Rush

Brandon McAnderson

Jeff Graves

Natalie Knight

Cole Aldrich

— Blue Coaches —

Calvin Thompson (head coach)

Lester Earl

Dave Robisch

Darrell Stuckey

Brad Witherspoon

Brett Ballard

Matt Kleinmann

David Johanning

Wayne Selden


Eliott Reeder

Wow! Very impressive line-up of former players showing up for a great cause. Love it!

4 months, 4 weeks ago


Titus Canby

Dezmon Briscoe and Brandon McAnderson are playing? Can we get Reesing to play PG to throw them some passes?

Wish I could make it to see this incredible collection of former players. Ditto what Eliott Reeder said. Wow!

4 months, 4 weeks ago


Bryce Landon

I used to live in Eudora when I was a boy. Glad to hear that they are getting the Roundball Classic.

By the way, I've heard very little about the damage Eudora suffered from the monster tornado that went through the area last month. I know southeast Lawrence was hit, and I know Linwood was virtually wiped off the map, but what about Eudora?

4 months, 3 weeks ago


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