BY PAUL HINES
MT. VERNON —
Kent Williams piled up plenty of points during his Rams basketball career.
About a month from now, he and numerous former basketball players will try to do the same while raising money to benefit Relay For Life.
Williams, who is Mt. Vernon's all-time scoring leader and current assistant coach at the University of Tennessee, organized a basketball game that will feature former players. The event will be at 6:30 p.m. Saturday, Sept. 21 in Changnon Gym. The cost for spectators is $5 and all the money raised will go to Relay For Life.
“Mt. Vernon is a huge basketball town, and they've always respected basketball being played the right way and coming out and supporting their teams, showing more support than most high schools around,” Williams said. “We just want them to come out and continue to support and get to watch good basketball and relive some memories that we've created over our lives and just have a good time with it.”
The basketball game will have a Rams vs. Cancer theme. The disease is a personal one for Williams and his family. His mother, Barbara, is a breast cancer survivor. This year marks the 20th anniversary of her being a cancer survivor and is the primary reason for Williams organizing the game.
“Me being away from home, I miss everything so I don't get to do a lot of the things she does for her (Relay For Life) team,” Williams said. “So I wanted to take something on that would be fun and help raise some money for her Relay For Life team and also honor her for her 20th year of overcoming the cancer that she went through.”
Current Mt. Vernon boys basketball coach Scott Gamber along with Waltonville boys basketball coach Brian Gamber will play in the game. Mt. Vernon Athletic Director Doug Creel will be a player/coach. Tim Holloway, who played basketball for the Rams, and now coaches the school's baseball team is also on the roster.
Other players include: Kyle McClure, James Wilson, Chad Hammons, Jeff Houston, Ryan Maurer, Jared Sledge, Scott Williams, Derek Harlan, Matt Morris (McLeansboro), Bryce Kujawa, David Spann and Kevin Bowen.
The roster was hand picked by Williams. He said his goal was to create a competitive atmosphere with players who respected the game of basketball. He also wanted to keep the numbers to a minimum so players who traveled to Mt. Vernon would get a chance to play significant minutes.
“They respected Mt. Vernon,” Williams said. “They respected the high school, and they have always carried themselves in a great way. That means something to me too.
“We're going to play basketball the right way. It's not going to be goofing around, silly stuff. People are coming to watch, they're coming to watch a basketball game.”
Flyers with information about the event will be available around Mt. Vernon in the coming days, Williams added.