WICHITA, Kan. – The Kansas State men’s basketball alumni team – dubbed the Purple & Black – begins action in The Basketball Tournament (TBT) on Friday night (July 22) against the Lone Star Legends at 6 p.m., CT in the Wichita Regional at Koch Arena. The game will be broadcast on ESPN3.
The No. 3 seed Purple & Black will take on the No. 6 Lone Star Legends, which is a collection of former players from the state of Texas making their first TBT appearance in 2022. If Purple & Black advances to the second round, they will face No. 7 seed Bleed Green (North Texas alumni) on Sunday (July 23) at 5 p.m. CT. The Wichita Regional Championship Game is set for Monday (July 25) at 8 p.m. CT.
Other teams in the Wichita Regional include the Aftershocks (Wichita State Alumni), Stillwater Stars (Oklahoma State Alumni), Air Raiders (Texas Tech Alumni) and We Are D3 (collection of Division III stars).
The Purple & Black Team, which is organized by former Wildcats Jordan Henriquez and Martavious Irving, is in sixth year competing in the TBT. Henriquez will serve as the team’s head coach for the second straight summer. Both Henriquez and Irving will also be on the active roster as well. The duo is a part of the winningest class in school history (101 victories) as well as the first team to win a conference championship in 36 years in 2013.
Aside from Henriquez and Irving, the squad includes a number of notable Wildcats including the school’s last consensus First Team All-American Michael Beasley (2007-08), all-time leading scorer Jacob Pullen (2007-11), Henry Walker (2006-08), Thomas Gipson (2011-15), Justin Edwards (2014-16), Kamau Stokes (2015-19) and Mike McGuirl (2017-22).
Considered one of the greatest players in school history, Beasley left quite the mark in his lone season as a Wildcat before being the No. 2 overall pick by the Miami Heat in 2008. He posted the third-most points (866) and the second-most rebounds (408) by a freshman in NCAA history. En route to averaging 26.2 points and 12.4 rebounds per game, he became just the second consensus First Team All-American in school history, along with the consensus National Freshman of the Year and unanimous Phillips 66 Big 12 Player and Freshman of the Year.
The school’s first 3-time captain, Pullen scored 2,132 points in his 135-game career and was twice named an All-American. Along with Beasley and Pullen, Walker helped spark the turnaround of K-State basketball fortunes during his 2-year playing career from 2006-08. As a redshirt freshman, Walker averaged 16.1 points and 6.3 rebounds per game in 2007-08.
Gipson scored 1,232 points in his 4-year career on 53.3 percent shooting and grabbed nearly 500 rebounds. A transfer from Maine, Edwards was a Wildcat for two seasons, averaging 12.7 points and 5.9 rebounds as a senior in 2015-16. One of the best point guards in school history, Stokes scored 1,242 points in his 4-year career, connecting on 207 made 3-pointers to go with 415 assists.
The team also includes Trevor Gaskins (Ole Miss/Louisiana Tech), Khalid Thomas (Southern Idaho/Arizona State/Portland State), Terrence Joyner (Mississippi Valley State) and Tavrion Dawson (Cal State Northridge).
Pullen return to the Purple & Black for the first time since 2017, while Beasley and Walker will be making their TBT debut.
The winner of the Wichita Regional will face the winner of the Omaha Regional in the quarterfinals in Wichita on Wednesday, July 27. Semifinals will be in Dayton, Ohio at UD Arena on Saturday, July 30, and the $1M winner-take-all championship game on Aug. 2.
For more information on Purple & Black and tickets for this year’s TBT, visit TheTournament.com.