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Wisconsin Basketball Contacts Transfer Portal Big Man, Garding Against Cancer, More

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Dec 29, 2021; Madison, Wisconsin, USA; Wisconsin Badgers mascot Bucky Badger plays around on the court before the game with the Illinois State Redbirds at the Kohl Center. Mandatory Credit: Mary Langenfeld-USA TODAY Sports

There’s no shortage of topics to discuss regarding the Wisconsin basketball program, so here are some important news and notes you may have missed.

Annual Garding Against Cancer Event Raises Over 900K 

The University of Wisconsin men’s basketball coach Greg Gard is intimately familiar with the financial and emotional toll that cancer can have on a family.

In 2015 coach Gard lost his father, Glen Gard, to a battle with glioblastoma multiforme, which is a rare form of brain cancer. Additionally, his mother, Connie, recently finished her last chemotherapy treatment for breast cancer in December and is now “cancer free.”

And let’s not forget former Wisconsin basketball walk-on Walt McGrory who is fighting his own battle with osteosarcoma.

That’s why he’s made it his mission to raise money with his annual Garding Against Cancer charity event that raises money for cancer research and patient care across Wisconsin.

This past week, The Kohl Center was turned into a “supper club” for the event, with coach Gard sporting a shirt that said, “Fridays are for fish frys & old fashioned’s.” Total dad move.

According to a social media post, the event raised nearly 900K, bringing the total to $7.5 million since the event launched in 2016.

Wisconsin Basketball Reaches Out to Transfer Portal Big Man 

Earlier this week, The Portal Report reported that Georgia Tech transfer Rodney Howard, who recently entered the portal, has heard from a long list of teams that includes the Wisconsin basketball program. 

Howard, a grad transfer, averaged 4.5 points, 4.3 rebounds, and 0.5 blocks in just over 17 minutes per game for the Yellow Jackets last season.

At 6-foot-11 and 240 pounds, Howard is a strong, lanky big man who does most of his work around the basket. With 94 games of experience in the AAC, he could provide the Badgers with a physical defensive presence off the bench. 

BYU, Ole Miss, UT Martin, Penn State, Mercer, Arkansas State, Oregon State (who he visited), and several others are also in the mix. 

Wisconsin basketball has one spot to fill this offseason and is looking for a one-year rental that can be a core rotation member next season. 

Other Wisconsin Basketball News

In an interesting tidbit of reporting, Dino Siervo posted on Twitter that four-star Oak Hill Academy guard Dontae Russo-Nance, a 2024 recruit, would be reclassifying to the 2023 class.

According to the On3 recruiting database, the New Zealand native is the No. 64 player in his recruiting class, the No. 15 SG, and the No. 2 player in Virginia.

As it stands, he currently holds offers from Xavier, Maryland, Wake Forest, California, Texas Tech, Washington State, Georgia, San Jose State, and Wisconsin.

I find this so fascinating because I was completely unaware of him even holding an offer from the Wisconsin basketball program. On3 and ESPN list UW as a school that’s offered a scholarship; however, 247Sports and Rivals do not.

Wisconsin basketball has one remaining spot open, so it’ll be interesting to see what level of interest coach Gard has in making him the last addition. I’m in wait-and-see mode while I dig to find more information.

Former Wisconsin Basketball Forward Sam Dekker Earns Contract Extension


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Dillon Graff is a Substack newsletter best-selling author, publisher of AllBadgers, and the owner of BadgerNotes.com, your go-to source for in-depth coverage of the Wisconsin Badgers. His work has been featured in top media publications like USA Today's BadgersWire, Athlon Sports, Bleacher Report, Verbal Commits, Bucky's 5th Quarter, and FanSided.

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