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Charity hoops battle for CU Buffs to aid Marshall Fire victims

Buffs, Nebraska complete home-and-home preseason series Oct. 30


Last summer, when the men’s basketball programs from Colorado and Nebraska first announced a home-and-home, charity exhibition series, the focus of CU’s side of the agreement was set to be determined later.

The Buffaloes, after all, would host the second game of that two-game arrangement. Technically, CU had a year to settle on the recipients of its portion of the charity showcase. Unfortunately for the entire Boulder community, that fundraising target became disturbingly clear months later.

On Thursday, CU announced the details of its home exhibition match with the Cornhuskers on Oct. 30, a Sunday. Ticket proceeds are set to go to victims of last winter’s Marshall Fire, which killed two people and destroyed 1,084 homes.

In a collaborative effort between CU athletics and the Community Foundation of Boulder County, ticket proceeds will go to the Boulder County Wildfire Fund.

“While the challenging recovery process continues, our friends and neighbors impacted by the Marshall Fire still need our help,” CU head coach Tad Boyle said in a release. “That’s why I’m proud that we can host this exhibition that will help provide necessary recovery services, and a fun evening of basketball, for so many that are still in need. I encourage our community to come out and show their continued support for this important, and ongoing, recovery effort.”

The Oct. 30 game will tip off at 4 p.m., with gates opening at the CU Events Center at 3 p.m. Season ticket holders can purchase tickets through their online accounts beginning Tuesday at 10 a.m. Tickets for the general public go on sale on Sept. 26 ($20 chairback seats, $15 bench seats).

The charity series began last October in Lincoln, with the proceeds going to three Lincoln-are charities — the TeamMates mentoring program, the Nebraska Greats Foundation, and the YWCA of Lincoln. The Cornhuskers routed the Buffs 82-67 in a contest that was never close, but the early showcase between the former Big 12 rivals didn’t foreshadow the upcoming season. The Buffs went 21-12 with a 12-8 mark in the Pac-12, while Nebraska finished 10-22 overall and 4-16 in the Big Ten.

Assuming a fully healthy roster, the preseason matchup will mark the first CU game action for redshirt freshmen Quincy Allen and Javon Ruffin, who were injured last season, in addition to freshmen Joe Hurlburt and RJ Smith and transfers Jalen Gabbidon, Ethan Wright and J’Vonne Hadley.

“We were able to help several local charities with our exhibition with Colorado last season, and we are honored to make the return trip to help people in the Boulder community affected by the last year’s Marshall Fires,” Nebraska coach Fred Hoiberg said in the release. “Coach Boyle’s teams are always well coached and disciplined, and it will provide our team with a good test in what is one of the toughest environments in the Pac-12. More importantly, the ticket proceeds of this game will directly benefit the people who are still dealing with the aftermath of the fires.”