Sports Briefs

Former Wildcat Marvin Stone dies

Former UK and Louisville center Marvin Stone collapsed and died yesterday of an apparent heart attack at halftime during a professional game in Saudi Arabia, according to a U of L news release.

Stone, 26, scored 11 points in the first half of the game before collapsing at intermission. He was playing for Al Ittihad Jeddeh in the Saudi Arabia Elite Cup semifinals at the time.

A McDonald’s and Parade All-American out of Grissom High School in Huntsville, Ala., Stone averaged 4.6 points and 3.8 rebounds as a freshman and 6.0 points and 4.6 rebounds as a sophomore for the Cats.

Stone left UK nine games into his junior season and transferred to U of L, where he started 23 games and averaged 10.3 points, 7.1 rebounds and 1.5 blocks a game per game as a senior in 2002-03.

“It really saddens all of us at U of L to see a young man like Marvin lose his life at such a young age,” said Louisville coach Rick Pitino in the news release. “Our deepest sympathies go out to the Stone family.”

Cats, Cards settle on football date

After a month-long dispute over when to play the Governor’s Cup, UK and Louisville have decided on a date for the annual football rivalry game. The two teams will meet Sunday, Aug. 31 at 3:30 p.m., and the game will televised by ESPN.

Controversy over the game’s date has been ongoing for several years. U of L has said it would prefer to play the game on the first weekend of the season because of television exposure. UK has openly disagreed, saying that it would rather play later in the season. Last year the two schools agreed that the home team would be allowed to choose the date of the game.

The Cardinals had proposed a Monday night game at the request of ESPN as a part of the network’s Labor Day college football coverage. But UK Athletics Director Mitch Barnhart would not agree to the proposal, saying it put the Cats at a disadvantage for their following Saturday game against Norfolk State University.

The decision to play the game on Sunday finalized UK’s 2008 schedule.

The Cats defeated the Cardinals 40-34 in Lexington on Sept. 15, which was the third week of the season last year. The game was televised on ESPN Classic.

Hopson commits to Vols

University Heights Academy senior Scotty Hopson verbally committed to play basketball for Tennessee while on an official visit at the school yesterday. UK had offered a scholarship to Hopson, a 6-foot 5-inch wing player from Hopkinsville, Ky. Hopson, who originally verballed to Mississippi State but reopened his recruitment after not signing in the fall, was also considering offers from Mississippi State and Texas.

According to most recruiting services, Hopson was billed the No. 2 recruit in the 2008 class left unsigned. The senior averaged 24.4 points and 11.1 rebounds and was named a McDonald’s All-American.