Alum game could be tool for recruiting

todd.dybas@thenewstribune.comJune 22, 2013 

Looking at what the University of Connecticut put together made Washington men’s basketball coach Lorenzo Romar wonder.

UConn, thanks to its oodles of NBA players who spent time there, was able to put together an annual basketball alumni event. It’s a full weekend with a golf outing and other high jinks preceding the game.

Turns out, Washington has churned out enough pros to put together its own version.

The Huskies will have the inaugural UW alumni game Sunday at Hec Edmundson Pavilion. In addition to a bevy of former Romar players suiting up for the alumni game, there is also a legends game, plus a 3-point shooting contest and a dunk contest between Terrence Ross and Nate Robinson, each NBA All-Star dunk champions.

Romar has been coy about whether his lefty stroke will be on display during the Legends

game. Some former players, including Eldridge Recasner, have taken to Twitter to tout their predicted success in the game. Others, such as Jason Hamilton, are going the Romar route of picking a new ailment almost daily as an excuse not to play.

Romar used 2009 as the line of demarcation for the alumni game rosters. The pre-2009 team includes Will Conroy, Spencer Hawes, Robinson and Tre Simmons. Brandon Roy is also with that group and, despite ongoing knee problems, is expected to play.

The post-2009 team features Tacoma’s Isaiah Thomas, Ross, Tony Wroten and Jon Brockman, among others.

There was some consternation about which team Brockman, who played from 2006-09, would be on — presumably because the other players didn’t want to have to visit the dentist or plastic surgeon after game. Brockman broke more than one nose at practice during his time with the Huskies.

Participants for the 3-point contest are still being sorted out, as is the future of the event.

Washington is eager to see what kind of turnout the event brings. This could become a recruiting tool.

“We’re hopeful that a lot of people come out and watch, and we would take it from there,” Romar said. “Any time you can create a platform and you have guys of this caliber coming out and they all played at the same school, I don’t think it hurts your recruiting.”

Arizona uses its annual Red-Blue scrimmage as a huge recruiting tool. The Wildcats sell out the scrimmage each year and have it sponsored by a national chain restaurant. Recruits are seated in the front row and get to rub shoulders with numerous former Arizona players who went on to the NBA.

This will be Washington’s first step toward an event of that level.

todd.dybas@thenewstribune.com blog.thenewstribune.com/uwsports @Todd_Dybas

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