Exhibition hoops game to benefit Maui wildfire charity

FILE - A general view shows the aftermath of a wildfire in Lahaina, Hawaii, Aug. 21, 2023. Hawaii’s electric utility acknowledged its power lines started a wildfire on Maui but faulted county firefighters for declaring the blaze contained and leaving the scene, only to have a second wildfire break out nearby and become the deadliest in the U.S. in more than a century. (AP Photo/Jae C. Hong, File)

EAST LANSING, Mich. — Michigan State and Tennessee will meet in an exhibition basketball game to raise money for relief efforts in the aftermath of the deadliest U.S. wildfire in more than a century.

Michigan State announced Wednesday that it will play the Volunteers on Oct. 29 at the Breslin Center and all proceeds will be given to the Hawai’i Community Foundation Maui Strong Fund.

Maui’s historic seaside community of Lahaina was devasted by a wildfire, leaving more than 100 dead and an unknown number of people missing.

Michigan State has played in the Maui Invitational five times, and is scheduled to return to the tournament in 2024.

“The Maui Invitational and the city of Lahaina have always held a special place in my heart,” Michigan State Tom Izzo said. “The images we’ve all seen and the stories we’ve heard following the wildfires have touched so many of us in the college basketball world and I know that our thoughts and prayers are with all of those who have been affected.”

It is unclear what the status is of this season’s Maui Invitational.

“Our main concern right now is the safety and well-being of our Maui ‘Ohana and the first responders that we know are doing everything in their power to keep the island safe,” a message reads on the tournament website. “We will share more information as it becomes available.”

Tennessee hosted Michigan State in a scrimmage last year and the programs previously planned to face off again this year. Recently, both coaches agreed to allow the public to watch them play in a charity game.

“While we certainly need to continue to pray for the families in Maui who have been impacted, this benefit game will enable us to offer tangible support toward the restoration of Maui and its beautiful spirit,” Vols coach Rick Barnes said.


AP college basketball: https://apnews.com/hub/college-basketball

  1. Heidi September 7, 2023 2:08 am Reply

    Alrights. Michigan State. Bring me back to my college years. I played volleyball for UCLA. Took up a few in UCLA. Nutrition and biology. I played 3 years at UCLA. And now I’m in Hawai’i. Wow.

    I should have been a pro surfer. But I settled as a hair dresser on Oahu.

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