NORMAN — The third annual OU men's basketball Legends Alumni Game featured a record amount of talent for the event. And it took an individual event scoring record from former Sooners guard Ebi Ere to lead the Cream team to a 102-99 win Saturday afternoon in front of an estimated crowd of 3,500 at Lloyd Noble Center.
Ere, who played on OU's 2002 Final Four and 2003 Elite Eight teams, scored 34 points with the help of 4-for-7 3-point shooting, and added four assists to earn MVP honors. He was followed on his team by Hollis Price's 15 points (13 in the second half) and Darryl "Choo" Kennedy's 13 (11 in the first half on 3-for-3 3-point shooting).
Ere still plays professionally and last week left Tulsa to report to his team in Italy. He returned to Norman on Friday night for alumni weekend festivities and flies back to Europe on Sunday.
"It is very important to me," Ere said of coming back this weekend. "This is my school. This where most things started in my life. This is where I learned about the importance of playing hard, being a good person, being a good student. I learned all that here."
As far as his performance on Saturday, a grinning Ere said he wasn't surprised.
"I expected to come out and play that well. Me, Hollis (Price) and Kelley (Newton) all had a talk last night about who was going to win MVP, and I said I was."
Eduardo Najera and Newton scored 20 points apiece to pace the Crimson team. Najera was 3-for-5 from 3-point range and Newton was 4-for-7. Chris Black added 14 points and Sam Grooms 13.
The Crimson team was bolstered in the first half by surprise participant Blake Griffin. The Los Angeles Clipper and two-time NBA All-Star played a good chunk of the first half and tallied 13 points on 5-for-7 shooting. He had four dunks in the game's first five minutes and added a lay-in and long 3-pointer, as well as five rebounds.