Special release to All-Hawkeyes
IOWA CITY, Iowa – Several Hawkeye legends – including Jeff Horner, Greg Brunner and Matt Gatens – will be descending upon Mason City on Saturday, May 4 to play in a basketball game that is a fundraiser for former Hawkeye basketball player Kenny Arnold.
Arnold, who helped lead Iowa to the Final Four in 1980, has faced several physical and financial challenges in the nearly four decades since then.
The former Hawkeyes who are expected to attend the event include: Jeff Horner, Greg Brunner, Mike “Tree” Henry, Vince Brookins, Michael Payne, Todd Berkenpas, Clay Hargrave, Waymond King, Jacob Jaacks, Matt Gatens, Adam Haluska, Jarryd Cole and Josh Oglesby. Former All-American quarterback Chuck Long is also expected to attend.
The game will be played at Mason City High School at 7 p.m. on Saturday, May 4. The former Hawkeyes will play against a Mason City High School alumni team. Doors will open at 6 p.m. Tickets will be $5 at the door.
Proceeds from the concession stand will go toward the Mason City High School Booster Club. There will be raffle prizes and special auction items available that evening.
After the game, the Hawkeye legends will be available to share stories and laughs, while signing autographs and taking photos. The members of the 1980 Iowa men’s basketball team who played in the Final Four have spent a large portion of the last 35 years caring for one of their own.
Kenny Arnold, a sophomore guard who led that Hawkeye team in points and assists, was diagnosed with brain cancer in 1984 and has been fighting health issues ever since. The brain tumor and several subsequent strokes have limited Arnold’s mobility, robbed him of his ability to speak and left him in a state of chronic pain.
Arnolds’ former teammates, coaches and others close to him – his “Teammates For Life” – have stayed in contact with Arnold throughout his medical and financial challenges. Various events have generated funds for Arnold and have helped him receive regular physical therapy, which has helped him push through incredible physical difficulties.
“Kenny has always been a tremendous leader,” says former Iowa teammate Mike “Tree” Henry. “At the time of his initial diagnosis, the doctors gave him a 10 percent chance of surviving. That was 35 years ago and Kenny keeps fighting. All of his former teammates, friends and fans are so inspired by how he has lived his life, we want to honor Kenny and help motivate other people who are facing similar battles.”
Henry is the Executive Director of the Kenny Arnold Foundation, which has a mission to raise funds to be directed toward cancer research and education.
“Kenny is such an inspiration,” says Henry. “We want to share his story and inspire others to keep fighting, as well as motivate those who can help others to take action and become a part of someone’s ‘Teammates For Life.’”
The event in Mason City on May 4 will give Hawkeye fans a unique chance to mingle with the former Iowa stars.
“As a group, we love to visit with the Hawkeye fans,” says Henry. “I’ve been telling my friends for years that Iowa has the best fan base in the world and they continue to surprise me with how much they care. Without that generosity, I don’t think Kenny would be around today. But with all the love and support he’s been shown, he just continues to fight, day after day.”
Henry added that he is excited to have some of the more recent Iowa stars participating in this cause. “To have the support of guys like Jeff Horner, Greg Brunner, Matt Gatens and others in events like this means the world to Kenny,” says Henry. “It also means a great deal to those of us who played back in the early 1980s. It’s another example of how Hawkeyes stick together and the type of character these younger guys exhibit. We are so proud to be a part of this group of people.”
Those who would like to donate may also go to the KennyArnoldFoundation.org website to make a one-time or annual donation.
KENNY ARNOLD’S IOWA CAREER (1979-82)
Scored 1,112 points Handed out 352 assists (9th all-time in Iowa history)
Led Final Four team in points and assists (1980) Played on Iowa’s last Big Ten champion (1979)
During his four years, Iowa finished first, fourth, second and second in the Big Ten
Second all-time in Iowa history for minutes played in the NCAA Tournament (350)
Fourth in Iowa history for points scored in Final Four games (39)
One of three players in Iowa history to score 20+ points in a Final Four game (Carl Cain, Bill Logan, Kenny Arnold)
Never left the court in the last game of his Iowa career (45 minutes)
One of six Hawkeyes to finish career with at least 1,100 points, 350 assists, 250 rebounds and 80 steals
Led team in points in 1980 (444) Led team in assists in 1980 (142) Led team in assists in 1981 (110)