The Ottumwa Courier

Sports

April 24, 2006

'Because we can': Hawkeyes come together to support Arnold

OTTUMWA — Mark Gannon rarely ever holds anything back — especially the love of his friend Kenny Arnold.

Gannon and four decades’ worth of former Iowa basketball stars converged at the Hellyer Center on the campus of Indian Hills Community College on Sunday to support Arnold.

Arnold is enduring a 20-year battle with a brain tumor, and a substantial amount of money was raised during the benefit contest to aide his medical costs.

Along the way, a few hot dogs were also reported missing — courtesy of Gannon, whose Gold team lost to the Black squad, 109-90.

Gannon — a 1983 U of I grad and a former Iowa City Regina prep star — took some time out of running up and down the court to engulf some of the hot dogs, which were served to him mid-game by a waiter, ala room-service style.

“I didn’t get as many as I wanted. They brought it so late in the game. If they would have brought it earlier, I would have gotten the chance to eat more,” said Gannon, who is a far cry from his playing days weight.

“Mark always made his own rules. Mark is combination small forward and court jester,” said Al Lorenzen, who graduated from Iowa in 1988 and was Iowa’s Mr. Basketball in 1984 for Cedar Rapids Kennedy.

Outside of the hijinks and good times had by all, each player made it clear what they traveled to the River City for.

“For us selfishly, it’s a reunion, but for Kenny it’s a matter of life,” said Bobby Hansen, the current on-air voice of Iowa basketball alongside Gary Dolphin.

“It’s been a real emotional two days for our group,” Gannon said.

“Being able to come out here and have fun is important, but at the same time remembering why we’re doing it,” Lorenzen said.

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