The dinner was held at the Z Mansion downtown and the outdoor patio provided a luxurious setting for the night. KGUN 9 did a live broadcast and a number of current and former Wildcats were on hand.
Early in the evening Wildcat assistant coaches Josh Pastner and Jim Rosborough were on hand and later on new assistant Reggie Geary showed up. Former Cats Justin Wessel, Matt Brase and Matt Muehlbach were on hand, as were current Cats Hassan Adams and Kirk Walters. The three new freshmen, J.P. Prince, Marcus Williams and Fendi Onobun were also on hand. Rounding out the Wildcat family's representation were women's standouts Che Oh, Shawntinice Polk, Katrina Lidner, Anna Chapell and Dee Dee Wheeler.
The league's Director of Player Personnel and Scouting Kelvin Eafon spent the past year evaluating talent and the league's talent was given a final evaluation at an open tryout in early June.
"You look around here and everyone is in good shape," Eafon said, pointing out the players on hand at the dinner. "That's why we had the open run. We should have better players and be better prepared." Eafon was a former Arizona basketball and football player and played in the league last year. He is a personal trainer in Tucson and coaches basketball at the JV level for St. Gregory's Prep.
"We wanted it to be bigger and better this year," Williams said.
Williams, who is enjoying a pro career in Belgium, founded the league a year ago in an effort to get better summer competition. Last year the games were played at the JCC and the there was a lot of Wildcat talent on hand. Along with current players, guys like Jason Terry, Damon Stoudamire and Luke Walton showed up to compete.
The talent is spread around to the league's ten teams.
PLAYERS WITH WILDCAT TIES AND THEIR TEAMS
Players in italics are not expected to play every game.
Fendi Onobun, UA incoming freshman
Che Oh, UA women's sophomore
Jason Terry, Dallas Mavericks
Marcus Williams, UA incoming freshman
Kirk Walters, UA junior
Matt Brase, former UA player
Kevin Flanagan, former UA player
Ben Davis, former UA/NBA player
Jesus Verdejo, UA sophomore
Bennett Davison, former UA player
Luke Walton, LA Lakers
Jawann McClellan, UA sophomore
Felicity Willis, former UA women's basketball and softball player
Damon Stoudamire, Portland Trailblazers
Moore Law Firm
Joseph Blair, former UA standout playing overseas
Kelvin Eafon, former UA basketball and football player
Michael Dickerson, former UA/NBA player
Mohamed Tangara, UA sophomore
Prince, Onobun and Marcus Williams will leave the league in mid July to play in the Global Games. Walters will be leaving to return to Michigan for the summer in early July.Other former UA players are expected to play. Eafon also hinted that other college and professional players may compete in the league.
First weekend's games
Friday, June 17th
5:00 pm UBS vs. Magpies
6:00 pm Moore Law Firm vs. Williams & Assoc.
7:00 pm El Charro Café vs. Window Depot
Saturday, June 18th
2:00 McMahon's vs. Team Swoosh
3:00 Magpies vs. El Charro
4:00 Window Depot vs. Moore Law Firm
5:00 Team Jumpman vs. Saguaro Ranch
Sunday June 19th
2:00 Williams & Assoc
3:00 Saguaro Ranch vs. UBS Financial
4:00 Team Swoosh vs. Team Jumpman