The Alice Lloyd College Eagles, under the direction of Coach JR Hammond, played an exhibition matchup against the elite Kentucky Pros team in front of a packed house at Knott County Central High School on Sunday. The Eagles delighted the crowd by giving the Pros all they could handle before eventually succumbing 115-87.
The Pros fielded a star-studded lineup that included former Kentucky Wildcat players, veteran NBA players, and new NBA draft picks. Among the pros who participated were Sacramento Kings center DeMarcus Cousins, Boston Celtics guard Rajon Rondo, Detroit Pistons guard Brandon Knight, Orlando Magic guard DeAndre Liggins, Houston Rockets forward Chuck Hayes, and New York Knicks center Josh Harrellson. Also joining the team were Morehead State star and future New York Knick Kenneth Faried and Butler University star and future Washington Wizard Shelvin Mack.
Despite the impressive field of talent that they faced, ALC came out of the gates undaunted by their big name opponents. Sparked by senior guard Casey Dalton’s 18 first half points, the Eagles only trailed by 8 at intermission.
With only 3:30 remaining in the contest and trailing by just 14 points (99-85), Coach Hammond elected to clear his bench and give every player on the squad a chance to play. The Pros then closed the contest on a 16-2 run to set the final score.
Unofficially, Faried led all scorers with 33 points and Cousins tossed in 31.
Dalton led the Eagles with 29. Issac Wilson and Clint Stepp added 19 and 9 points, respectively. Brent Hall and Terry Muse each chipped in with 8.
After the game, Coach Hammond commented, “I felt that this was a great opportunity for our school and community. I am very pleased to see how hard my kids battled against such an incredible collection of talent. The team responded well and did a lot of good things. I feel that we can build on the effort that we had today and use it to help us get stronger over the regular season.”
Coach Hammond added, “I appreciate the fact that the Pros treated my team so well. They spoke with the boys and offered them a lot of encouragement. That meant a lot to each kid on my team.”
In closing, Coach Hammond said, “I feel that all the NBA players were outstanding, and playing against them is a once in a lifetime opportunity for us. However, I do predict that Kenneth Faried will win a slam dunk championship during his NBA career. That man is an incredible leaper!”