Syracuse Legends Reunite on the Court for the CBT Celebrity Classic Basketball Game

Syracuse University athletes return to campus for the second Coming Back Together (CBT) Celebrity Classic. The game will feature Syracuse University legends and fan favorites, who will be led by coaches Derrick Coleman and Billy Owens. Proceeds from ticket sales will help support the Our Time Has Come Orange Legend’s Scholarship fund, which is awarded to underrepresented students attending Syracuse University.

Syracuse, New York

Syracuse, NY, Aug. 30, 2021 (GLOBE NEWSWIRE) -- Tickets are now on sale for the second Coming Back Together (CBT) Celebrity Basketball Classic. The game, which features memorable names from Orange athletics, takes place Thursday, Sept. 9. Tickets can be purchased online at or by calling 888 DOME TIX. 

“This year’s game promises to be extremely exciting as it will take place in our newly renovated stadium,” said Rachel Vassel, associate vice president of Multicultural Advancement at Syracuse University.  “All money raised will go specifically to the Orange Legends Scholarship, which is an Our Time Has Come fund created by Syracuse University athletes who want to make an impact for students from underserved communities.”

The game serves as a kickoff for the 13th annual CBT, the triennial on-campus celebration in honor of our Black and Latino/a alumni.  Recently, some of the athletes returning to campus got together to talk about the game, its impact, and their love for getting back together.  It’s obvious they enjoy one another’s company and their memories of playing in front of the fans.

“For me personally as a kid who grew up in Pioneer Homes just a short distance from the stadium, there are certain things that make you smile,” said Rob Drummond, a former NFL running back who attended Syracuse in the mid-1980s and will be taking part in the CBT Celebrity Classic.  “My last game at the stadium the fans gave me a standing ovation. I had tears in my eyes. I won’t forget that moment nor the love I have for my teammates and the people here today. That’s what this is all about. It’s about family.”

An orange family.  A family that knows it's stronger together. 

“I think the cause, to bring underrepresented students to Syracuse University, that’s the joy all of us get out of this,” said former NBA and Syracuse basketball player Derrick Coleman, who will serve as one of the team captains.  Billy Owens, who also played in the NBA and for Syracuse, will serve as the other.  This time around there is a bit of a revenge factor, as Coleman’s squad defeated Owens team at the first Celebrity Classic in 2017.  “It was great for everybody to come together,” said Owens. “I’m looking forward to this year and bringing the trophy home for Team Owens.”

Ultimately though, the players are doing this for students like Taylor M. John, a senior who is studying global health policy, citizenship and civic engagement, with a minor in Chinese language.  John is an Our Time Has Come scholar, one of nearly 1,500 hundred OTHC scholarship recipients awarded since the program was founded at Syracuse University in 1987. The scholarships help provide opportunities for underrepresented students at Syracuse.  “For me, it’s all about community and mentorship,” said John.  “It’s about bringing students and alumni together to network and share what it means to bleed orange.”  

Here are some of the people taking part in the CBT Celebrity Classic:

Tyrone Albright: Men’s Basketball

Ryan Blackwell:  Men’s Basketball

Roosevelt Bouie:  Men’s Basketball

Derrick Coleman:  Men’s Basketball

Eric Devendorf:  Men’s Basketball

EJ Dowdell:  Football

Rob Drummond:  Football

Danene Hopson: Women’s Basketball

Will Hunter: Football

Mookie Jones:  Men’s Basketball

Vera Jones:  Women’s Basketball

Jamont Kinds: Football

Duane Kinnon:  Football

Felisha Legette-Jack: Women’s Basketball

Sue Ludwig:  Women’s Basketball

Don McPherson:  Football

Lawrence Moten:  Men’s Basketball 

Demetris Nichols: Men’s Basketball

Billy Owens:  Men’s Basketball

Duke Pettijohn:  Football

Mark Pryor:  Men’s Track & Field

Lazarus Sims:  Men’s Basketball 

John Wallace:  Men’s Basketball

Al Wooten: Football