Friday, June 17, 2011

‘No harm done’: Boxer Victor Ortiz relishes charity hoops game

Former Kansas players and one local boxing celebrity hit the hardwood for charity at the Rock Chalk Roundball Classic on Thursday, June 16, 2011 at Free State High School.


Victor Ortiz to finish college at KU

WBC welterweight champion Victor Ortiz intends to complete his college degree at Kansas University.

Top play of the 2011 Rock Chalk Roundball Classic?

One play in particular at the Rock Chalk Roundball Classic was a favorite former Jayhawks Jeff Graves and Lester Earl.

“Vicious” Victor Ortiz’s agent, handlers and promoters of Sept. 17’s dream boxing matchup between Ortiz and Floyd Mayweather, Jr. had to breathe collective sighs of relief after Thursday’s Rock Chalk Roundball Basketball Classic at Free State High.

Ortiz, the current WBC World Welterweight champion, did not —repeat, did not — get injured while scoring four points off 2-of-12 shooting in the KU basketball charity all-star game. Ortiz’s Cole Aldrich-led Red squad fell to the Tyrel Reed-led Blue team, 114-102.

“I actually did let them know beforehand. They did say, ‘Victor, tape up your hand, tape up your wrist, your ankles.’ I was like, ‘Do you want me to wear a helmet?’ It was fun. No harm done,” the 5-foot-9, 24-year-old Ortiz said with a laugh.

Ortiz, a huge KU basketball fan who was born in Liberal and raised in Garden City, admits it was strange driving the lane against the likes of former KU big men Jeff Graves (18 points) and Scot Pollard (11).

“It felt like monster trucks coming at me,” Ortiz said. “Scot was looking at me. I was like, ‘Gee, he’s huge.’ I was scared. Honest, I was scared. I said, ‘I’ve got to get rid of this ball.’

“I just winged it, man. I had a lot of fun. People were very cool to me, nice around me. I begged them to let me score.”

Ortiz had some hard news to report Thursday. He plans to earn a college degree — at KU.

“I always wanted to go to a university, and this is the university I wanted to attend, but obviously I had a whole different calling,” said Ortiz, who wears the Jayhawk logo on his trunks in the ring. “I still want the diploma, not because I have to have it. I just kind of want it. This is the university I’m going to finish my college at and earn my degree.”

Oklahoma City Thunder center Aldrich hit 14 of 21 shots en route to 31 points for the Red. He had a vicious dunk off a drive down the lane as well as a three-pointer. Former KU guards Brady Morningstar and Russell Robinson chipped in 21 and 20 respectively in a losing cause.

Robinson, who played professionally in Spain last season, has a workout with the NBA’s Charlotte Bobcats next week.

“I loved Spain. It was a great experience,” Robinson said, adding, “It’s great to come back and hear the ‘New York, New York’ (chant during player introductions) and feel the energy at KU.”

The starting guard on KU’s 2008 NCAA championship team has let his hair grow out. KU coach Bill Self, in fact, rubbed Robinson’s mop-top before the opening tip and teased him a bit.

“Everybody’s not used to the hair. It’s a new look for me. I’m trying to be a little more mature,” Robinson said.

Former KU guard Reed led the winning Blue team with 33 points. He hit 13 of 18 shots, including six made threes. Graves — who last played in the NBA Developmental League two seasons ago and plans to resume his career overseas next season after battling back from injury — hit nine of 17 shots en route to his 18 points. Former KU guard Billy Thomas hit five threes, good for 15 points.

The Roundball Classic was a benefit for the Souter family of Lawrence and children’s cancer research. Cancer claimed the life of “Baby Jay” Souter at the age of 5.

“I think the fans were the star of the game,” said Morningstar, who hit nine of 20 shots and made three threes inside the packed FSHS gym. “We are a family at KU, and we are proud to come out and support a good cause. It’s the fans who came out and supported it as well.”


Jeffery Barrett 11 years, 3 months ago

Wow! No comments yet?! I feel like I'm in a giant empty warehouse. anyone out there? I really don't have much to say about the article it would have been very cool to be at the game.

cmm889 11 years, 3 months ago

no worries I'm here...

This seems like a really great event, and I'm praying every single day, twice- no three times a day that ortiz will beat mayweather jr. ( I realize thats a bit of a stretch, but a man can dream can't he? )

anyways, great to see a Jayhawk fan with other life avenues wanting to come back for his degree..

and I hope to see RussRob playing in the NBA soon.

bradynsdad 11 years, 3 months ago

I was watching the NBA draft combine last night. Not a whole lot of great comments about selby. The analyst kept saying he has an upside but noone has seen it. Hopefully Josh does have a good career. The one thing that was that stuck with me was "it would have only helped to stay for one more year". They thought if he stayed one more year he was an easy top ten pick but now he might be a first rounder if not early second round. The difference is only a couple million dollars. The good news is they were going on and on about the twins game was elevated so much in thanks to Danny manning. Hopefully the twins and Josh go first round it can only help the program.

baldwinjhawk 11 years, 3 months ago

How cool would it be to have a bunch of our alums practicing in lawrence if the nba lockout happens. A Scout team of Aldrich Gooden Pollard Pierce Chalmers .. That would be some good practice for our 2012 squad.!

Jeff Coffman 11 years, 3 months ago

Um...Heinrick, Collison, Morris Twins, Selby as well

nuleafjhawk 11 years, 3 months ago

bradynsdad - I'm not a basketball guru. I love the game, especially when it comes to KU, but I respectfully disagree. Maybe. I assume that when you say that if the twins and josh get picked in the first round it can only help the program, you mean that it will help attract high profile recruits to Kansas. That would be great if they would stick around 3 or 4 years and mature and really HELP us. Not so great if they're the one and done types.

bradynsdad 11 years, 3 months ago

Nule, your on the same path as I am. If a highly rated recruit doesn't think he can come to Kansas because of what happened to selby than that hurts our program. The problem is everyone wants a top five recruiting class then they want them to stay all four years. Things just don't work that way anymore. A top twenty recruit only plans on being in college one year, now sometimes they stick around like Harrison barnes or sullinger but most of them are looking to the NBA. If the rules don't change this will always be the way college basketball gets short changed. I like when we stick to recruits outside of the top twenty. They know they have to put in the work to get a top draft spot, inside the twenty just kind of assumes they will be a lottery pick. This of course is just my opinion. I will say if selby does not get picked early it will look somewhat bad on our program. After all with everything in life more people hear about the bad than good. For instance did you see on espn when they scrolled tyrell reeds name across the bottom for being an academic all American? Of course not because the general public didn't care but I bet you saw when Mario littles name came across for being arrested. No matter anyone's feelings on selby or the twins, we need them to go high in the draft.

nuleafjhawk 11 years, 3 months ago

brady- I read most of your posts and think that we generally have a lot of common ideas. You express yours much better, but I'm right there THINKING a lot of the same things! Oh well.

One thing that I have appreciated so much about our program over the years is how many young men DO stay four years. I may be old fashioned, and I've said it before, but give me the Jerod Haase, Kirk Hinrich (and so many others) type players who just bust their butts every time out, diving after loose balls, playing smothering defense the whole time they're out there. That's the type of player that I really admire - and the type that I think really defines Kansas Basketball. I really don't care about the one and dones - they certainly haven't helped our program much and from what I've seen ( and excuse my extremely short memory ) they haven't helped hardly anyone else's programs either. Lone exception that comes to mind, I don't even want to say it, but you all know who I'm talking about. Carmelo. Dang it.

You're right though - the times, they are a'changin'. The one and two and dones are here to stay whether we like it or not. At least until it dawns on the coaches and fans that their teams seem to win more and go deeper into the tournament when they are heavily senior and junior laden. Hello Butler.

You're also right about the Tyrel / Mario Little stories. It's too bad that our society has come to that, but it is what it is.

"I make my living off the evening news, just give me something-something I can use. People love it when you lose, They love dirty laundry."

bradynsdad 11 years, 3 months ago

very nice don Henley reference. I appreciate the input. I would love to see the rules change to stay three years or draft out of high school but for some reason I just don't see it happening. Oh well, I will always be along for the ride either way.

yates33333 11 years, 3 months ago

Let's pray that Robinson makes it with the NBA. He's a good kid.

Randy Glenn 11 years, 3 months ago

Hey Victor-since ur done playin basketball how bout gettin ur butt back to GC for the KU alumni golf tourney tomorrow???????????????

madamhawk 11 years, 3 months ago

Victor Ortiz's story is very inspirational to our youth. Another great story of a badazz boxer in our own backyard is Marcus Oliviera. He had a hard life growing up, ended up living with foster parents south of Lawrence and got into boxing. He is 19-0 with 15 KO's. He signed with Don King a couple years back. He fought Otis Griffin in 2009 and KO'd him in the 2nd round. If you get a chance, watch the fight on youtube. It is one hell of a punch! I was never a boxing fan until I got to know Marcus back in 2008. I WILL be supporting Victor on Sept 17th. I bet he had the time of his life during this bball game as much as he loves KU.

P.S. Good luck to RussRob with the Bobcats!

Tony Bandle 11 years, 3 months ago

You know what they say.....slime always rises to the top!!

knightmare34 11 years, 3 months ago

It just means they'll celebrate it a second time (or maybe even a third, given the rate at which he vacates wins - without doing anything wrong, of course).

Tony Bandle 11 years, 3 months ago

Can you all believe that a hill-billy, toothless, backward, in-bred, redneck bunch of arrogant administrators at UK tried to argue that since Calipari was not proven guilty specifically, the 42 vacated wins should count on his record and the NCAA should validate his 500 victories!!!

For once, the NCAA acted like men and didn't back down. Kentucky blinked so now they have to eat crow and remove those victories from Calislimy's coaching record.

They deserve each other!!!

jayhwkr77 11 years, 3 months ago

this calipari story is so stupid. i'm not a supporter of him or kentucky, but to make kentucky come out with statement saying that it was wrong to celebrate his 500th win is laughable.

the games that had to be removed were PLAYED. you can't erase memories. if anyone should be apologizing, it's the NCAA for making us listen to stories about another school being "investigated" EVERY week. (auburn, ohio st, kentucky, etc.)

obviously, the system needs to be changed because something isn't working.

Robert Robinson 11 years, 3 months ago

I've never been real interested in watching a couple dudes beat the crap out of each other. Not real sure why. But I will definitely tune in to a fight hes in. By the way. I was watching "how I met your mother" the other day and marshal was wearing a KU jayhawk shirt.

Jeff Coffman 11 years, 3 months ago

Isn't this the fighter that wants to have a fight scheduled in the future at Allen Fieldhouse?

jaybate 11 years, 3 months ago

"Some Reasons UK Might Have Given to Persuade the NCAA to Allow Cal to Count the 42 Forfeited Wins:"

~Cal may have covered his eyes, during player's intros to their surrogate SAT test takers and so may not have seen what was going on.

~Cal may have covered his ears, while a person named Alumnus X told the players the date the surrogate test takers would take their SATs, and so may not have heard what was going on.

~Plausible deniability has gotten lots of persons out of pickles and so why not let by-gones be by-gones and give him the 42 wins?

~Reading is an overrated academic skill for college. Cut our guy some slack here.

~SATs are biased against illiterates, so, c'mon, count the 42, to be mensches.

~You let us count a lot of wins in seasons when some of our players were caught point shaving, so why not let us count his wins playing some guys apparently not smart enough to pass their own SATs.

(Note: All fiction. No malice.)

jaybate 11 years, 3 months ago

How about Ortiz stages a fight to get the rules back to Allen Field House and we give him an honorary doctorate for his trouble?

OPJayhawk 11 years, 3 months ago

"Ortiz had some hard news to report Thursday. He plans to earn a college degree — at KU."

"Hard news"? What? Edit?

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