KU’s Self hoping Jayhawks’ exhibition game influences other college programs

FILE: Kansas head coach Bill Self gestures in the second half of an NCAA college basketball...
FILE: Kansas head coach Bill Self gestures in the second half of an NCAA college basketball game against Oklahoma, Saturday, Feb. 11, 2023, in Norman, Okla. (AP Photo/Sue Ogrocki)(Sue Ogrocki | AP)
Published: Aug. 22, 2023 at 10:16 PM CDT
Email This Link
Share on Pinterest
Share on LinkedIn

OVERLAND PARK, Kan. (KCTV) - Kansas head basketball coach Bill Self has fond memories of Lahaina, Maui.

His Jayhawks have participated for several years in the Maui Jim Maui invitational just outside of the now devastated island town.

“It’s a quaint little town, a great shopping area, a ton of restaurants,” he remembered. “The people there have been so so good to us. One of our camp coaches is from right outside of Lahaina, and he’s told us that he just can’t believe what’s going on here. It’s so sad.”

Now, the Jayhawks are giving back with a charity exhibition game against the Fighting Illini in October. The last time the team participated in a charity game was in 2017. The rivalry matchup against Mizzou raised nearly $2 million for hurricane relief in Texas, Florida, Puerto Rico and the U.S. Virgin Islands.

Self is fairly certain they can match or even exceed that number to help Lahaina recover. He’d like to see it go a step further.

“Hopefully, what we’re doing with the game with Illinois will spearhead 50 other games. And if you spearhead 50 other games across America, and they’re good matchups, I’m hopeful that you can raise north of $50 million that we can send over there.”

That game is set for 5 p.m. on Oct. 29 at State Farm Center. It will be carried nationally on the Big Ten Network. KU is scheduled to compete in the Maui Invitational again this year. Asked if it would still happen, Self said it’s too soon to predict. He expects the leaders in Maui will decide as the November date draws closer.

“I’m sure the governor and the higher-ups will probably determine whether or not it would be possible and if it would be best for the island,” Self said. “I’m hopeful that it’s best for the people of Maui and the town of Lahaina to bring some tourism. If, in fact, it would be best for them, I know that our fan base would be all for to go.”

Self was in Overland Park Tuesday to promote the GEN6 Driver Challenge at the PXG golf store.