10th annual Rock Chalk Roundball Classic promises to be bigger and better than ever

Members of the 2008 championship team gather at half court during the 2017 Rock Chalk Roundball Classic Thursday evening at Lawrence Free State High School. The annual charity event benefits local families fighting cancer

The 10th annual Rock Chalk Roundball Classic is fast approaching and event organizer and voice of the Jayhawks, Brian Hanni, has found a way to make this year bigger and better than the nine that came before it.

As always, the money raised from the game featuring some of the biggest names from Kansas basketball’s past will go to help with medical costs for five families battling pediatric cancer.

Last year, in what was a record-setting summer, Hanni and crew were able to raise more than $57,000 from the annual event. And this year, Hanni believes the number will be even bigger.

“As has been the case every year in our 10 years of doing the Rock Chalk Roundball Classic, we’ve always tried to make it bigger and better than the year before. And this year, being our 10th event, we decided to make it one big weekend.”

The game will still be on Thursday night — June 14 at Free State High, $10 tickets can be purchased at 23rd Street Brewery in Lawrence, at Jersey Mike’s on Wanamaker and Kansas Avenue in Topeka and at the KC Soda Company’s Legends and City Market locations in Kansas City — but after that Hanni’s organization has teamed up with Baby Jay’s Legacy of Hope and The Landen Lucas Foundation to create two more days of KU basketball fun, which will include a VIP event and dinner on Friday, June 15 and a celebrity golf tournament on Saturday, June 16.

Tables ($1,000 for a table of eight) or individual tickets ($100 per person) are still available for the VIP dinner and there is still room for a handful of teams to sign up for the golf tournament, which will feature a Jayhawk celebrity in every group, carts, greens fees, lunch and beverages for $800 per team.

“People know what the game is, they can imagine what the golf tournament will be like, getting to spend five hours on the course with some of your favorite Jayhawks, but the Friday night VIP dinner is a little unique,” Hanni said. “We’re going to have a celebrity at every table and then we’re going to do a five-person panel on stage telling some untold stories and talking KU hoops. These are some big time names and even bigger personalities.”

The Friday night event will also feature live and silent auctions and attendees who will be playing in the Saturday golf tournament will have a chance to bid on their KU hoops celebrity golfer for the next day.

While the basketball game remains the signature event and helping young people battling cancer the purpose, Hanni believes this year’s event, thanks to the partnering with two other great charities, will make Year 10 both the most enjoyable and successful Rock Chalk Roundball Classic to date.

While Hanni is still lining up guests and trying to confirm travel arrangements for a handful of attendees, he did say that first-time participants Walt Wesley and Ron Kellogg would be making their Rock Chalk Roundball Classic debuts next month.

“We’ve got upwards of 50-plus former players coming back to coach or play, 35-plus confirmed for the VIP dinner at The Jayhawk Club and 20-plus planning to play golf,” Hanni said. “The continued support of so many great Jayhawks is truly overwhelming and it’s so great that we get to have a weekend like this all in the name of a great cause.”

For more information on any of the events, check out the event’s web site for complete details about the upcoming weekend extravaganza.


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