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National champs raise big bucks for charity

DeMarcus Cousins

White squad’s DeMarcus Cousins shoots a 3-pointer during the Kentucky alumni charity basketball game at Rupp Arena in Lexington, Ky., Saturday, Sept. 15, 2012. Cousins plays for the Sacramento Kings NBA basketball team. (AP Photo/James Crisp)


Whatever knock you might want to put on John Calipari, his heart is often in the right place. Yes, he blinged out the Wildcats’ locker rooms, but he also went to great lengths to put together this weekend’s charity basketball game, which brought former ‘Cats back to Rupp for a couple of basketball games that served a dual purpose - to make fans happy, and to raise big bucks for charity.

Per, several charities will benefit from the reported $400,000 raised.

  • West Liberty, KY tornado relief: $110,000
  • $60,000 to provide service dogs for wounded veterans
  • $55,000 to Starkey Hearing Foundation, which provides hearing aids to those who need them
  • $50,000 to improve financial literacy in the Commonwealth
  • $25,000 to the Lexington/Fayette County Urban League.

Kentucky beat writer Jerry Tipton provided some details from the game action via his Twitter feed. The first game, which pitted fantasy camp schlubs against veterans from the ’96 national title team, ended in a 103-43 rout, despite the fact that, according to Tipton, the campers put 12 men on the floor against the Tony Delk-led old-timers.

The second game was headlined by a more competitive group of recent ‘Cats.

DeMarcus Cousins was the star of the second game, on the court and in print. According to Tipton, he scored 42 points and hit five three-point shots. He quipped afterward that Cal “finally admitted he was holding me back,” while Cousins was playing center for the Wildcats. Cousins also gave his shoes to fans after the game.