Graham tops Mykhailiuk in “Shooting for the Stars” 3-point contest
Former Jayhawk Devonte’ Graham’s strong year continued Friday night when he outlasted all competitors to win the Rock Chalk Roundball Classic’s “Shooting for the Stars” 3-point contest.
Friday’s event, which was shown on television sets throughout Kansas and online exclusively at KUsports.com, featured 10 of the top 12 3-point shooters in Kansas basketball history. And it came down to the only teammates to top the 100-make mark in the same season.
But unlike during the 2017-18 season, when Svi Mykhailiuk outshot Graham, 115-110, it was Graham’s hot hand in the finals that knocked out Mykhailiuk on Friday.
“No doubt the two old buddies will have a little trash talk session after Devonte’ beats his buddy Svi,” KU radio analyst Greg Gurley said during the broadcast.
After hitting 18 of 25 shots in the first round, the current Charlotte Hornet who enjoyed a breakout season in the NBA, made nine of 10 in the finals, choosing a spot that had special significance to get it done.
“For the finals, I’ve chosen the left wing because, in our historic comeback against West Virginia, this was my historic shot that I made,” Graham said of KU’s wild win in 2017.
That showing pushed Graham’s total to 27, leaving Mykhailiuk, who led everyone with 20 makes in Round 1, to need eight of 10 in the finals to take the title.
Mykhailiuk chose the right wing for his 10 finals shots, paying homage to the huge 3-pointer he hit to tie the game against Duke in the Elite Eight. But unlike that night in 2018, Mykhailiuk was not as fortunate on Friday. He made six shots in the finals and fell one shy of tying Graham for the crown.
Mykhailiuk tied for second with Tyrel Reed and Billy Thomas, who both hit 18 in Round 1 and eight in the finals. Kirk Hinrich (25) and Brandon Rush (24) rounded out the top six.
Mario Chalmers (16 in Round 1), Sherron Collins (15), Jeff Boschee (15) and Terry Brown (12) fell short of reaching the finals.
All proceeds from Friday’s contest will go to benefit the Rock Chalk Roundball Classic’s three beneficiary families, and fans interested in donating or bidding on KU memorabilia and other auction items, including several 30-minute Zoom calls with KU greats, can visit RockChalkRoundballClassic.com.
1. Devonte’ Graham – 27 (18 Round 1, 9 Round 2)
T2. Svi Mykhailiuk – 26 (20 Round 1, 6 Round 2)
T2. Tyrel Reed – 26 (18 Round 1, 8 Round 2)
T2. Billy Thomas – 26 (18 Round 1, 8 Round 2)
5. Kirk Hinrich – 25 (17 Round 1, 8 Round 2)
6. Brandon Rush – 24 (17 Round 1, 7 Round 2)
7. Mario Chalmers – 16
T8. Sherron Collins – 15
T8. Jeff Boschee – 15
10. Terry Brown – 12