Oklahoma basketball legends weekend received a big boost when Los Angeles Clippers star Blake Griffin announced he was going to be in attendance.
But nobody knew he was also going to play. Griffin scored 13 points in the first half before having to leave at halftime of the third annual legends basketball game Saturday afternoon at Lloyd Noble Center.
Griffin got the crowd going early with four dunks in the first five minutes and said it meant a lot to him to return to support OU coach Lon Kruger.
“He’s doing an amazing job,” Griffin said. “He’s getting the tradition going and bringing the guys back. I definitely wanted to get back.”
The weekend honored all of OU’s all-Americans and its 2,000-point scorers, and OU legends Alvan Adams, Hollis Price and Stacey King were among those who either played in the game or participated in the weekend’s events.
Griffin said NBA life takes him to a lot of cool and different places, but his two years as part of the Sooners is something he will never forget.
“Earlier today I was about the run we had and how much fun that was for us,” Griffin said. “It’s something I’ll never forget.”
Before Griffin left, he addressed the OU fans over the P.A. and let them know how much their support has meant to him.
Griffin thrived under former OU coach Jeff Capel, but the last couple of seasons of Capel’s tenure were filled with disappointment and controversy.
With Kruger being able to get the Sooners back to the NCAA tournament last season, Griffin said it’s an exciting time to be an OU basketball fan once again.
“I love where it’s headed,” said Griffin about the direction of the program. “Whenever a new coach comes in – it took Capel a couple of years and now you see what Kruger is going. I’m genuinely excited to watch the games again.”
In the legends game itself, Ebi Ere scored 36 points to lead Team Cream to a 102-99 victory against Team Crimson. Ere was named the game’s MVP.