The winningest player in Kansas University basketball history drilled the game-winning shot in Thursday’s Rock Chalk Roundball Classic charity game in Free State High’s gym.
KU Med School physical-therapy student Tyrel Reed — who was part of 132 victories against 17 losses in his four-year KU career — accepted a pass from Tyshawn Taylor and swished a three-pointer from the corner with :45 left in overtime to give the KU alumni Blue team a 100-97 victory over the White squad.
“I love that shot,” 24-year-old Burlington native Reed said of the three from the side. “I was telling Ty he had to get it to me at the end. He knew he needed to. It worked out,” added Reed, who finished with 15 points off five threes.
Sherron Collins (11 points) and Conner Teahan (nine) both missed threes that would have forced a second overtime in a game played for charity in a sold-out gymnasium.
“It felt great. It felt like I was playing a little again, out of retirement,” said Reed, who played at KU from 2008-11, following that with a short stint as a professional in Belgium.
“I miss basketball. I definitely do,” Reed added. “I played it my whole life. It’s what I love to do. I knew there was a time I needed to step away. Now I just have fun (playing basketball).”
The White team’s Kevin Young led all scorers with 22 points. Other White team members in double figures:
Wayne Simien (17), Jeff Hawkins (13), Collins (11). Jeff Graves led the Blue team with 19 points. Reed had 15, Billy Thomas 12 points, Taylor and Mario Little 11 and Jordan Juenemann 10.
Ortiz has blast: Former WBC welterweight boxing champion Victor Ortiz did not score for the White squad.
“I had fun, though,” said Ortiz, the 2013 “Dancing with the Stars” fan favorite who danced at halftime with four women who donated a fee for charity.
On the court, Ortiz bobbled the basketball on three or four possessions but never turned it over.
“I have bad hands because I was super-nervous around everybody here. This is way out of my comfort zone,” Ortiz said. “I thought ‘Dancing with the Stars’ was, but this is way worse.”
Ortiz, who lost his last fight when he suffered a broken jaw against Josésito López, said he will fight in September against a yet-to-be-determined opponent.
“There have been some names tossed around, but I’m not really sure,” Ortiz said of his upcoming foe. “I am in training camp. I’ll be world champion this year. I have no doubt in my mind. Rock Chalk,” added Ortiz, a huge KU basketball fan.
He explained his throwing in the towel because of his broken jaw.
“I broke it in the fourth (round). I fought five more rounds with it broken and hanging, me holding onto it with my glove,” Ortiz said. “I got criticized for that, heartless, gutless, whatever. At the end of the day, I was being cautious with my own safety.”
Young in Vegas: Former KU forward Kevin Young has been working out in Las Vegas in hopes of catching on with an NBA team this summer.
“If not, I’ll go overseas to play,” said Young, who said he’d yet to receive an invitation to work out for any NBA teams in advance of the June 27 draft.
“Eventually I’ll be teaching little kids,” added Young, who wants to be a teacher. “I enjoy giving back to little kids, helping in the community. That will be a perfect way to do it.”
Of playing against other draft hopefuls and pros in Vegas, he said: “It’s been a lot of fun. There are a lot of guys there to go up and down the court with.”
Thomas still can shoot: Former KU guard Billy Thomas, head coach at Barstow (Mo.) School, drilled four threes for the winning Blue team.
“I joke with the (high school) kids. I’m tempted to get back in shape to make a comeback,” Thomas, 37, said. “I tell ’em I can still shoot it. It’s the cardio, conditioning and legs. I’ve got to work on that.”
He said he’d someday like to be a college coach.
“Ultimately ... that’s the dream,” Thomas said. “I feel I’m in a real good spot now. I’m getting a chance to learn, be a head coach, make decisions that affect our entire team. I take great pride in it. I think I’m getting the right experience.
“I’ve got a talented bunch,” he added. “We’re young. I’m still trying to teach them how to play the right way, to think about it as a team sport, everybody contribute in their own little ways. For the most part, everybody is buying in, but I’ve got a couple older kids still feel like it’s about them. I’ve got some work still to do. I’ve still got a job,” he added, laughing.
This, that: KU coach Bill Self, who attended Thursday night’s Spurs-Heat NBA Finals game in San Antonio, said at the KVC Heroes luncheon he expected freshman Andrew Wiggins would arrive in town this weekend. ... Power forward Wayne Simien hit a deep fade-away shot and had two vicious dunks. Simien also passed off the backboard to a trailing Young for a slam ... Collins took it the length of the court for a layup, a move immediately answered by Taylor. ... Nick Bradford threw a one-handed alley-oop pass that swished for a three. He hit a conventional three on the next possession for six quick points. ... Perry-Lecompton coach Jeff Hawkins scored 13 points. ... Blue team coach Scot Pollard at one point stepped on the court and stole the ball, hitting a layup.
Blue 100, White 97, OT
Kevin Young 22 points, Wayne Simien 17, Jeff Hawkins 13, Sherron Collins 11, Conner Teahan 9, Scooter Barry 8, Nick Bradford 8, Brady Morningstar 6, Cooper Woestendick 4 points, Victor Ortiz 0.
Jeff Graves 19, Tyrel Reed 15, Billy Thomas 12, Mario Little 11, Tyshawn Taylor 11, Jordan Juenemann 10, Carolyn Davis 6, Ryan Robertson 5, Stephen Vinson 3, Brandon McAnderson 3, Scot Pollard 2, Jakob Askins 2, Brennan Bechard 0. x-points unofficial; they do not add up.