Saturday, August 09, 2008

Hey Now, You're An All-Star ...

Updates from the Jim Calhoun Charity All-Star Game at Mohegan Sun Arena:

**The White Team (i.e., the old guys) leads the Blue Team (the young guys), 65-60 at halftime.

**The rosters:
Blue Team – Oliver Macklin, Murray Williams, John Gwynn, Lyman DePriest, Souleyman Wane, Ed Nelson, Rod Sellers, Kevin Freeman, Rashad Anderson, Taliek Brown, Marcus Williams, Josh Boone (not playing), Charlie Villanueva, Rudy Gay, Ben Gordon, Emeka Okafor. Coach: Dave Leitao.
White Team – Dan Cyrulik, Rudy Johnson, Natambu Willingham, Kirk King, Tate George, Chris Smith, Scott Burrell, Hilton Armstrong, Travis Knight, Kevin Ollie, Cliff Robinson (not playing), Donyell Marshall, Ray Allen. Coach: Howie Dickenman.
No-shows: Rip Hamilton, Jake Voskuhl, Khalid El-Amin, Phil Gamble.
Lousest ovation (after Calhoun)? Allen, hands down.

**Prior to the opening tap, Calhoun dedicated the game to Robert "Spider" Ursery, who passed away last week after a long bout with Hodgkins disease. Ursery's widow, Maxine, was presented with a framed picture of the 1987-88 NIT championship team. All of the game's participants wore No. 31 on their wristbands in memory of Ursery.

**The only two current UConn players we've seen in the house have been Hasheem Thabeet and Jonathan Mandeldove. Thabeet has been taking quite a ribbing from Caron Butler, who's noticed that the big guy is going a little "Hollywood" – signing autographs, wearing sunglasses, etc.
Said Butler: "I feel like we have a future top-five pick next year with Thabeet. It looks like he knows that, because he's walking around with shades on right now."
Replied Thabeet, with a smile: "He's always giving me a hard time."

**Charlie Villanueva said he collects jerseys of UConn players who are currently in the NBA (there were 13 such players last season).
"We could have our own team," said Villanueva, who's about to enter his third year with the Milwaukee Bucks. "I always say UConn has the best pros. I think we do, and I definitely brag about that … One thing I always brag about is that I have a ring. I can always go to that line, 'I have a ring, do you have one?'"

**George Blaney tells a funny story of the first time he met Butler.
"I asked him, 'You want to come out and work on your shot or something?' I took him out, started talking to him, telling him what he needed to do. (Afterwards), Caron went to Coach and said, 'Who's this old white guy, telling me what to do?' Coach started laughing and said you might want to listen to him."

**Ed Nelson is loving life, making big bucks playing professionally in Argentina.

More updates to come after the game.

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