KANSAS CITY, Mo. (TNS) — Renewing the rivalry between Kansas and Missouri isn't the only thing that Kareem Rush wants to do.
On July 28, Rush was instrumental setting up the Kansas-Missouri alumni basketball game for charity, entitled "Rivalry Renewed." While the game got off to a start, Rush was excited to see the possibility of some movement in the program.
Getting the game set up was easy enough, as Rush had the idea brewing in the back of his head for years.
"I've been thinking about this idea for about two years. Now I started steamrolling it after seeing the hurricane relief game this past year," Rush said. "Obviously, being a Kansas City native, I know how big the KU-MU rivalry is."
After linking up with Steve Gardner, his idea became a reality. "Rivalry Renewed" was a mission accomplished. The game was held at Silverstein Eye Centers Arena in Independence.
But Rush isn't going to stop there. Though this will be the first time that this series has started, Rush has no plans of stopping it anytime soon.
Rush wants to expand the games to more than just Kansas and Missouri.
"Next year, we are looking for four to eight teams," he said. "I was thinking KU versus K-State, MU versus Illinois for the second game. If it all goes well, then we will expand it to eight teams. Hopefully, expansion is in the cards."
The game benefited both the Boys and Girls Club and Rush's Rush Forward Foundation. The former Missouri basketball player is excited to see how much everything progresses throughout time.
The turnout for this game is part of the factor, though. While there is interest from players of playing next year, Rush also looks at the crowd.
"Last week, I heard from a lot of former guys about playing next year," he said. "We just want to make sure the first event is a success, put a game on for the fans and go on from there."
Since leaving the NBA, Rush has looked for ways to stay active and around his community. While he doesn't get back to Columbia as much as he wants, he still looks out for ways to follow the programs.
Recently, the Rush Forward Foundation got another boost forward. After getting his foundation inducted into the Boys and Girls Club Hall of Fame, it helped nail down Kansas City for the location of this year's alumni game.
Even though this is a charity-focused game, Rush is looking for ways to expand this idea even after this year.
"The biggest goal is to renew this rivalry and expand, kind of create the first-ever alumni basketball league," Rush said. "You know, for the summer time. So that way guys have something to do ... It'd be great to get the schools involved and have it back on campus, two games a year."
And as far as Kansas City goes, they look forward to keeping this series here in some capacity.
"Obviously, with the KU-MU rivalry being kind of big here, I decided to start it here. It's obviously going to be here regarding how big it gets, I'd always want to have the final four here, regardless of how big it gets."