LEXINGTON, Ky. (WKYT) - It's annually brought the biggest stars in UK basketball back to the Bluegrass every August, but now because of other commitments and no doubt the serious leg injury suffered by the Indiana Pacers Paul George in the USA Basketball tryouts, the 2014 UK Alumni Charity Game, originally scheduled for Aug. 24, has officially been canceled. The decision was announced early Wednesday morning. Fans who purchased tickets for the game will receive a full refund.
“With what we’ve been able to do with bringing our guys back for our fans and raising money for charity, the UK Alumni Charity Game has turned into one of my favorite events at UK,” head coach John Calipari said. “Unfortunately, due to a number of circumstances out of our control, we are going to have to cancel this year’s game.”
A number of players were unavailable for the event including, DeMarcus Cousins and Anthony Davis who are participating with Team USA that's getting ready for basketball's World Cup, and John Wall, who was committed to a function in China. Additionally, the cancellation is out of respect to Paul George and many players’ uneasiness this summer as a result of his injury at the Team USA camp in Las Vegas in early August.
“We consider the alumni game to be a first-class experience, but without the presence of several of our key alums who had previous commitments, including to USA Basketball, we didn’t feel we could meet the standard that we have set for fans,” Calipari said. “We still had enough commitments to field our team, but it was becoming increasingly difficult to secure enough members for the non-UK team.
“While I’m disappointed for our fans and for the great organizations we were able to help with the game, I’m happy we will still be able to make an impact on our community with the proceeds from my fantasy experience.”
Patrons who had previously purchased a ticket to the event will be refunded in full. Tickets purchased in person need to be returned to the point of purchase, tickets purchased online or over the phone will be credited back to the card used for the original purchase. The Rupp Arena box office is open Monday-Friday from 10 a.m. to 6 p.m. ET.
Basketball will return to Rupp Arena when the Kentucky Wildcats host the annual start to the season with Big Blue Madness on Oct. 17. The Blue/White Scrimmage is slated for Oct. 27 at 7 p.m. ET.