Braves vs. Wildcats: OU men's team to play Kentucky November 2

Posted by Janae Melvin on September 29, 2015 in athletics, basketball, Braves, Kentucky, men's For the first time in program history, the Ottawa University men’s basketball team will take on national powerhouse the University of Kentucky in an exhibition game on Nov. 2 at historical Rupp Arena in Lexington, Kent. Tip-off time will be announced at a later date.

This exciting matchup came about after UK Athletic Director Mitch Barnhart, a 1981 graduate of Ottawa University, was named 2014-2015 Under Armour AD of the Year. UK’s Deputy Athletic Director DeWayne Peevy reached out to OU head basketball coach Aaron Siebenthall to ask if the Braves would be interested in playing the Wildcats. Kentucky plans to recognize Barnhart and his special award during the game.

“I’m excited that Ottawa University, a school near and dear to my heart, will have this opportunity. Seeing a group of young men from my alma mater playing in Rupp Arena will be something I always remember,” said Barnhart.

“This is a tremendous opportunity for our program to play the highest winning Division I program in the history of men’s basketball,” said Siebenthall. “Playing against Kentucky in Rupp Arena will be a once-in-a-lifetime experience for our players and coaches. We are truly honored and would like to thank Coach (John) Calipari, DeWayne Peevy and especially Mitch Barnhart for the opportunity.”

Barnhart, a Kansas City, Kan., native, has been at the helm of the UK athletics department since 2002. He returned to the Ottawa campus in 2012 as a featured speaker during its Adventures in Faith event.

“We are thrilled that our men’s basketball team will have the chance to step onto the court at Rupp Arena and play against a team like Kentucky,” said OU President Kevin Eichner. “It is sure to be an experience that our players, student body, alumni, faculty and staff will never forget. We are grateful to Mitch and his staff for recognizing the contribution of his alma mater in this way and, in turn, we are proud to join in honoring one of our very successful alums in this way.”

A limited number of tickets will be available for purchase through the Office of Advancement at a date to be announced soon. To add your name to the waiting list for the opportunity to purchase tickets, please contact Susan Trendel at (785) 248-2331 or Additional details on planned OU activities and hotel accommodations can be found by visiting