"Cancer affects everyone's lives," said Kurz, sporting an emerald team T-shirt provided by the tournament. "We all have family and friends that have been affected by cancer and we'd like to give something back. Coach Brey has done a tremendous amount of work for Coaches vs. Cancer. He was just honored by [ESPN's] Dick Vitale for his work with the charity. It'll be a nice tribute for him and it'll be good for the fight against cancer."
Kurz transferred to Penn Charter after two seasons at Germantown Academy with Ayers and eventually went to Notre Dame. After college, he spent a season with the Golden State Warriors in 2008-09 and has been playing in Europe since 2010.
Ayers played 4 years in South Bend before spending time in the NBA Developmental League and then playing overseas. Chris Thomas, a McDonald's All-American guard in 2001, believes everyone can be more energetic about giving to charity.
"All of us have to be more active," Thomas said. "But this might be our opportunity to show how much we do care, and charitable giving is always necessary and it's something that you can't overlook."
Russell Carter, a guard who played at Notre Dame from 2003-07, agreed that charitable giving is "their duty."
"Just being at Notre Dame from the time you step on campus, coach Brey gives you the principles of family," Carter said. "Through all the events, the banquets, wearing the sneakers and having [ESPN's] Jay Bilas come up, we have so much that we should give back because that's our duty as athletes, as coaches, as people."
Whether talking about philanthropy or basketball, Brey's influence on the Fighting Alumni players was evident.
After a weekend of games, the finalists, Fighting Alumni and Team Barstool, will play in the championship game on June 28 at a location to be determined by a fan voting process. But as far as Thomas is concerned, the opposition does not faze him.
"We expect to win," Thomas said. "We didn't come here to lose. If you didn't know, we're here now."