DeMarcus Cousins wasn’t able to score 91 and Eric Bledsoe didn’t match the 85 he scored in his first annual Back-To-School Rally Charity Game last month, but the two Kentucky alums did put on a show – which included hanging on the rim together – this weekend in the annual Kentucky vs UNC Alumni Charity Game.
The Wildcats, coached by Anthony Davis, won the game 122-115 behind 33 points, 18 rebounds, 6 assists and 5 3-pointers (all in the first half) from Cousins.
“He’s the best,” Calipari said of Boogie making 5 of the team’s 17 3-pointers. “He was trying to show me that I should’ve let him (shoot more).”
“I thought I was shooting 2s” said Cousins after the game.
UNC (is that Jerry Stackhouse?!) was led by NBA champion Harrison Barnes who scored a game-high 39.
“(Cousins) was like, ‘Man, y’all really trying to win out here?’ And I was like, ‘Yeah, but you didn’t give us a shot,’ ” Barnes said. “We were kind of just joking – they’re like, ‘We got all these draft picks’ but I said, ‘Yeah, but the World Championship has been with the Tar Heels the last two years.’ ”
But the most important numbers from the game are the amounts in dollars it raised for multiple charities.
Through the alumni game and Calipari’s fantasy camp over the weekend, about $1.1 million was donated to 17 different causes: 4 Paws for Ability, the Starkey Hearing Foundation, Kids 2 Camp, St. Jude’s Children’s Research Hospital, Equip (John Maxwell Group), Golden Door Scholars, CISE, Stand Up to Cancer, Juvenile Diabetes Research Foundation, Louisville Zoo, Alltech Sustainable Haiti Project, United Way of Central Kentucky, UNC Children’s Hospital and Samaritans Feet.
Included in that total was a $200,000 donation to start a legacy fund at the Naismith Hall of Fame in memory of former Tar Heels coach Dean Smith. As Calipari announced that gift, he asked his fans to thank Barnes, who was responsible for getting the UNC team together. The crowd complied.