Kansas will visit Illinois for an exhibition game before the 2023-24 season begins to raise money for victims of the wildfires in Maui.
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The game, slated for Oct. 29, will mark the first time Bill Self coaches in Champaign, Ill., since he left Illinois for the Kansas job in 2003.
The two programs were already planning to play a closed scrimmage, common for Division I teams during the preseason.
“(Illinois coach Brad Underwood) and I discussed how our private scrimmage could become an exhibition game to raise money to benefit the so many affected by the recent catastrophic fires in Maui,” Self said in a news release. “We both felt this would be a great way for our programs to create awareness to help this cause.”
The game will be broadcast on the Big Ten Network. All proceeds from the game will be donated to the Hawaii Community Foundation Maui Strong Fund.
The wildfires have left at least 111 people dead in the town of Lahaina, on the island of Maui.
A regular-season college basketball tournament, the Maui Invitational, is played in Lahaina each season. Plans for this November’s edition are now uncertain. The Jayhawks, who are expected to earn a top ranking in the preseason polls, are among the teams scheduled to participate this year.
Illinois has also participated in the Maui Invitational during Underwood’s tenure.
“It is heartbreaking to see the loss of life and devastation from the fires that have ravaged Lahaina,” Underwood said in a news release. “The Maui Invitational is an integral part of college basketball, and we are thinking of everyone on the island of Maui who have felt the impact of this tragedy. Bill and I talked immediately about how we could come together to help, and turning our closed scrimmage into a charity exhibition is a way we can use our sport to make an impact.”
“The spotlight of this game, heightened by Bill’s return to Champaign, should raise meaningful dollars that will go directly help the community of Lahaina.”
—Field Level Media