Kansas basketball: Rock Chalk Roundball Classic is much more than basketball

Head coach Bill Self of the Kansas Jayhawks with the Big 12 Championship Trophy (Photo by Jamie Squire/Getty Images)
Head coach Bill Self of the Kansas Jayhawks with the Big 12 Championship Trophy (Photo by Jamie Squire/Getty Images) /

Former Kansas basketball players are headed to Lawrence Free State High as the annual Rock Chalk Roundball Classic returns for this year.

I recently hosted the “Voice of the Jayhawks”, Brian Hanni on “The Beat of KC”.  I wanted to have Brian on because how much he is involved with the community.  A perfect example of that is on August 5th, 2021 at 7 p.m. the annual Rock Chalk Roundball Classic will be returning in person at Lawrence Free State High.

Brian Hanni is the Director of The Rock Chalk Roundball Classic.  This is an event that occurs yearly where Kansas basketball alumni participate in a game in which they raise money for local families battling cancer.

The event originated in 2009 for one young man named Brandon White.  Brandon was a youth pastor who lived in Lawrence, Kansas, and unfortunately lost his life to cancer.  Brian took that opportunity to raise awareness and use his platform he has within KU Athletics.

Brian wanted this message to resonate with former KU players, and let them know that even after their playing time at Kansas University they still had an influence within the community.  When I asked Brian to talk about The Rock Chalk Roundball Classic he immediately reaches over, and grabs a picture off the wall.  Brian said “this is one of our previous beneficiaries, this is Grit” you could see the passion and the pride he had knowing Grit was a beneficiary “I look at him every day, this is a gift the family gave me.”

This will be the 13th Annual Rock Chalk Roundball Classic and that includes 2020 which was conducted differently due to the pandemic.  It was nice to see the event still take place in the form of a virtual 3-point contest of the top 10 shooters from 3 in KU history, still raising awareness, and money to for the families.

Kansas basketball: Check out the Rock Chalk Roundball Classic as it helps serve others

This event “has benefited 38 kids over the course of 12 years, and this year our 13th year we have three more kiddos in what we are calling the big three” Brian said in the interview.

The big three are Briella, Riley, and Matthew.  According to rockchalkroundballclassic.com “Each year, we select families who need support on their journey.  These are kids and families facing harrowing medical diagnoses.  We want to help by easing their financial burden, allowing them to focus on healing.”  This message was clear in the interview with Brian.

An additional event on August 6th will be hosted called the Rock Chalk Round Bowl Classic.  This will be the first ever Rock Chalk Round Bowl Classic.

The event will take place at Royal Crest Lanes.  Brian said “we’ll have a different Jayhawk star on every lane bowling with fans.  PBA professionals offering to bowl for you for a $10 donation to help the kids.”

Some of the recent Jayhawks returning to the court are Ben McLemore, Devonte’ Graham, and Svi Mykhailiuk.  This is such a tremendous way to give back to families in need while getting to enjoy basketball, and bowling.

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