KNOXVILLE, Tenn. (WATE) — In the wake of the deadly wildfires in Maui, the Tennessee men’s basketball team will participate in a charity game to raise money for recovery efforts in Maui.
Michigan State will host Tennessee on Sunday, Oct. 29. All proceeds from the exhibition game will be donated to the Hawai’i Community Foundation Maui Strong Fund, providing financial resources to the relief efforts from the devastating Maui wildfires.
In November, Tennessee is scheduled to participate in the Maui Invitational for the first time since 2016. It will be the Vols’ fourth appearance in the competition and the fifth by head coach Rick Barnes.
“First, I appreciate coach Izzo and Michigan State for hosting this game, which will benefit a community that means so much to the world of college basketball,” Barnes said. “While we certainly need to continue to pray for the families in Maui who have been impacted, this benefit game will enable us to offer tangible support toward the restoration of Maui and its beautiful spirit.”
Details including broadcast and ticketing info will be released at a later date.
The wildfires that broke out in Maui earlier this month killed at least 115 people and destroyed 2,000 structures, making it the deadliest U.S. wildfire in over a century.
“The Maui Invitational and the city of Lahaina have always held a special place in my heart,” Michigan State head coach Tom Izzo said. “The images we’ve all seen and the stories we’ve heard following the wildfires have touched so many of us in the college basketball world and I know that our thoughts and prayers are with all of those who have been affected.
“We’ve had plans to scrimmage Rick’s team since last Fall, and we spoke about what we could do to help and honor the city of Lahaina and the people there who are in need. I’m hopeful that our Spartan family will pack the Breslin Center for what will be a great game, but will have an even greater mission, and that’s to help the Lahaina community as much as we can.”
CJ Moore and Sam Vecenie from The Athletic ranked Tennessee No. 5 and MSU No. 6 nationally in their preseason college basketball top 25. Tennessee will play a home exhibition on Oct. 31 against Lenoir-Rhyne before the season begins in Knoxville on Nov. 6 against Tennessee Tech.