Former Vol Bobby Maze to team up with Kevin Durant for charity game at Hardin Valley

Kevin Durant

Photo by Sue Ogrocki

Kevin Durant

Bobby Maze

Photo by Adam Brimer

Bobby Maze

In the late 1990s, Jamar Board, Bobby Maze and Kevin Durant were everyday kids on the unforgiving streets of Washington, D.C.

Board was two years older than Maze. Maze was two years older than Durant. Like most kids in the neighborhood, they all came together on the basketball court, shooting together through the years.

All this time later, Board, who became a never-made-it-out of D.C. playground legend, is dead; Maze, who starred at Tennessee and lives comfortably as a professional playing overseas, is trying to honor Board; and Durant, a bona fide global superstar for the NBA’s Oklahoma City Thunder, is trying to help.

This is the preface for the 2013 BMaze Celebrity Basketball Game on June 22 at Hardin Valley Academy.

The event is the brainchild of Maze, a two-year starter for the Vols from 2008-10. Its lineup is headlined by Durant and bolstered by fellow D.C.-area NBA players Ty Lawson, Michael Beasley and Jarrett Jack, and friends of Maze such as DeMarcus Cousins. Former UT standouts Tyler Smith, Chris Lofton, Tobias Harris and Scotty Hopson are also expected to attend.

The game is being played in honor of Board with a portion of the proceeds benefiting Big Brothers Big Sisters of East Tennessee.

“We’ve been doing charity games like this for years in D.C. and I’ve always thought about bringing one to Tennessee,” Maze said Wednesday.

Last year, Maze mentioned the idea of a charity game in Tennessee to Board, his cousin and lifelong best friend. Board was a street ball legend in D.C., dubbed “Silent Assassin” for his stealth jump shooting. He pledged, as he always did, to do anything Maze asked of him.

“We dreamed of doing this,” Maze said.

Board died on Dec. 29, 2012. A bullet wound to the head was ruled a suicide. There was no note and results of an autopsy were never revealed. He left behind two children.

“I still wanted to have the game, even though he’s not going to be on the court playing with me,” Maze said. “He can watch from above. I wanted to keep my word. That’s why I wanted to have it in Tennessee. This can still help his family.”

Maze is hoping for a full house at Hardin Valley in two weeks. Durant’s presence should all but assure that. The three-time NBA scoring champion told Maze, “Of course. Wouldn’t miss it for anything,” when asked to attend, according to Maze.

“Kevin is Kevin, like my little brother,” said Maze, who played in Cyprus last year, averaging 14.2 points per game for Keravnos Strovolou. “I know he’s blown up into this superstar and it’s totally different, but he’s family.”

Durant has told Maze the only obstacle that could keep him from visiting Knoxville would be an unexpected Nike obligation.

Maze said Bruce Pearl, who recruited him to Tennessee in 2008, has agreed to coach one of the teams in the celebrity game. Maze is waiting to hear if Lady Vols coach Holly Warlick is available to lead the other. Cuonzo Martin, who is hosting a camp that weekend, is unavailable.

Tickets for the game are available for $20 at http://www.a3athletics.com/ or $25 at the door.

“I feel like this will be one of the best basketball events to ever come through Knoxville,” Maze said.

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Comments » 9

lomas98 writes:

Looks like a great event. Note to Durant.......Lofton will drain it over you from 30 ft out, remember? One of my favorite shots Lofton ever made. Nice to see Maze having success overseas. Although not the NBA, your can still make a pretty good living playing basketball over there.

chipmurphy461 writes:

Proud of you Bobby Maze! I love that you're honoring one of your closest friends and giving back to Knoxville!

knightsaynih writes:

Ugh. Going to be out of town! Sounds like a great event!

mocsandvolsfan writes:

I loved Bobby his last year here. He did a great job for UT. Sounds like a great event.

BrassMonkey writes:

Cool event. Nice work.

Westknoxdude writes:

Bobby is really a solid representative for UT hoops. You could see him mature while he was here...he became a leader.
No chance I miss this event. Hope Lofton and Durant do a three point shootout. Not sure who would win that one...

johnlg00 writes:

in response to Westknoxdude:

Bobby is really a solid representative for UT hoops. You could see him mature while he was here...he became a leader.
No chance I miss this event. Hope Lofton and Durant do a three point shootout. Not sure who would win that one...

I agree. I feel Bobby got a bad rap with some of the older, or older-minded, fans because of all his tats and "street swag". What some of those seem not to remember is that there was never a whiff of scandal around Bobby the whole time he was at UT. I seem to recall that he got his degree pretty much on time and I surely never heard of any academic jeopardy he was in. Although there were some critics of his play as well, it is hard not to believe that the current Vols could REALLY use a player like him. I hope they get a full house for this event. I'm just sorry I won't be a part of it.

johnlg00 writes:

PS: I too would pay a reasonable sum of Yankee money to see Lofton and Durant shoot it out, anywhere, anytime!

PennVol writes:

Maze is walking the walk when it comes to being a VFL. Nice job.

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