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Calipari provides additional Alumni Game information

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In late August, UK Athletics announced it would hold an Alumni Charity Game featuring former Wildcats now playing professionally. Since then, more details about the event - which will be hosted at Rupp Arena on Sept. 15 - have been released. On Tuesday, John Calipari spoke at length about the Alumni Game for the first time with reporters.

The genesis of the game was last fall when Coach Cal's Dominican Republic team faced off against a squad of current professionals.

"The beginning of it was last year when we did the Dominican game," Calipari said. "And those guys said, 'Let's do something every year where we can all come back and get together.' "

The purpose of the game last year was to prepare the Dominicans for their bid to qualify for the Olympics, with the added benefit of providing entertainment for fans. The entertainment factor will remain, but all proceeds from the game will go to charitable causes, including Samaritan's Feet, 4 Paws for Ability, the West Liberty Recovery Fund and Everfi Financial Literacy. Checks will be given by former Wildcats to representatives of the charities at the game.

The Alumni Charity Game will tip off at 2 p.m., but doors will open at 11 a.m. to allow fans to watch members of UK's 1996 national championship team face an all-star team from the John Calipari Fantasy Experience.  

"We were stunned; nine of them are coming back," Calipari said. "And the guys that I saw, to be honest, look really, really good physically. I imagine the wheels are slower than they were, but physically they look good."

Tony Delk, Derek Anderson, Anthony Epps, Walter McCarty, Jared Prickett, Jeff Sheppard, Wayne Turner, Oliver Simmons and Antoine Walker are the members of the 1996 team set to play. According to Calipari, a "majority" of the 23 former Wildcats currently playing professionally will participate in the main event, but he sees this year's event as just the beginning.

"What happened last year when we did this - that sellout and people went crazy - was just a neat thing," Calipari said. "And I think that every we'll do something. We just want to get this thing started and then we can figure out each year what are we doing."

Tickets to the game are on sale now. All seats are reserved and priced at $100 (premium lower level), $40 (lower level) and $20 (upper level). Tickets can be purchased only at the Rupp Arena box office, online at Ticketmaster.com, at any Ticketmaster Outlet or by phone at 1-800-745-3000. There is a four-ticket limit per person. Online orders and phone orders will have additional fees attached.

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