Got the basketball blues? Suffering withdrawls ever since the NBA locked its doors and the NCAA season came to an end? Longing for the good old days?
Fear not, hoop fans. Help is on the way.And so, too, are former Utes and Cougars. Past greats from the University of Utah and BYU will square off in the 1998 Legends Game Friday at 7:30 p.m.
in the Huntsman Center. Reserved tickets are $10 and $7 in advance, $12 and $8 at the door.
Proceeds will benefit the Utah Youth Village, a non-profit organization that serves more than 400 abused and neglected children as well as 200 troubled families in the state each year. Spokesperson Beth Wolfer said the fund-raiser, which could become an annual event, has already paid dividends for boys in a Kearns group home.
Ex-Utah coach Jerry Pimm, who will guide the Ute alumni in the game, visited the youth facility last Sunday and was bombarded with en-thus-iasm.
"It's so neat for them," Wolfer said. "They're so excited."
Besides the opportunity to meet the athletes, children from the Utah Youth Village will have plenty to do on game day. Some will sing the national anthem, while others will serve as ball boys and ball girls or throw out mini-balls. At halftime, the children will be introduced along with dozens of former Utes and Cougars who aren't participating in the game.
Steve Gasser of the Icon Sports Agency, which is presenting the event, said organizers hope to raise enough funds to pay for new furnaces in at least two of the Utah Youth Village's group homes. In addition to ticket sales, money will be gathered through program sales, a pledge competition during the game, corporate donations and halftime activities.
Utah Youth Village board chairman Gary Crocker said the game offers the best of two worlds - a chance to help children in need and an opportunity to do so while watching basketball.
Though Keith Van Horn and Danny Ainge declined invitations because of previous commitments, 57 others have committed to attend. Coaches Pimm and Frank Arnold each chose 15 of the players for the game, while the remaining legends will participate in a fund-raising 3-point contest at halftime. A slam dunk competition is also planned.
Recent Orlando Magic draftee Michael Doleac of Utah and former BYU standout Brian Taylor will join sportscaster Craig Bolerjack and certified official Clint Barnes as referees for the 40-minute contest. Bill Marcroft and ex-Ute George Furgis will serve as masters of ceremony. Among others expected to attend are BYU coaches Ladell Anderson and Steve Cleveland, as well as Bill Foster and Jack Gardner of Utah. The late Lynn Archibald will be represented by his wife, Anne.
A look at the players expected to attend (see accompanying box for Legends Game rosters):
BYU: Nathan Call, Bob Caapener, Jeff Chatman, Jay Cheesman, Harold Christensen, Mark Durrant, Jim Eakins, John Fairchild, Tom Gneiting, Greg Kite, Shane Knight, Russell Larsen, Mike Maxwell, Roland Minson, Dick Nemelka, Kevin Nixon, Craig Raymond, Doug Richards, Fred Roberts, Scott Runia, Kevin Santiago, Tom Steinke, Terry Tebbs, Gary Trost, Steve Trumbo, Jim Usevitch, Justin Weidauer.
UTAH: Paul Afeaki, Tony Block, Larry Cain, Ben Caton, Jerry Chambers, Tom Chambers, Tommy Connor, Greg Deane, Arnie Ferrin, Ken Gardner, Danny Hawes, Manny Hendrix, Merv Jackson, Jeff Jonas, Jeff Judkins, Jimmy Madison, Pace Mannion, Buster Matheney, Billy McGill, M'Kay McGrath, Wat Misaka, Mike Newlin, Mark Rydalch, Jimmy Soto, Doug Terry, Danny Vranes, Byron Wilson.
UTES: Coach Jerry Pimm, Paul Afeaki, Larry Cain, Ben Caton, Tom Chambers, Manny Hendrix, Jeff Judkins, Jimmy Madison, Pace Mannion, Buster Matheney, Mike Newlin, Mark Rydalch, Jimmy Soto, Doug Terry, Danny Vranes, Byron Wilson.
COUGARS: Coach Frank Arnold, Nathan Call, Bob Capener, Jay Cheesman, Mark Durrant, John Fairchild, Tom Gneiting, Greg Kite, Shane Knight, Russell Larsen, Dick Nemelka, Doug Richards, Scott Runia, Andy Toolson, Gary Trost, Jim Usevitch.