Pro athletes will prove softball skills in celebrity game

Written by Amy Palser

Bo may have known football and baseball, but do Johnny and Ahman know softball?

Wichitans will get to find out when football legends Johnny Rodgers and Ahman Green join other former pro football, basketball, baseball and Wichita State University players at the Circle of Stars Celebrity Softball Game Aug. 24 at WSU’s Eck Stadium.

Organizer Eric Anderson, a former Nebraska Cornhuskers football player, said this is his first time planning a celebrity sporting event, and he’s excited to see it come to fruition. He’s always wanted to organize an event similar to MTV’s “Rock N’ Jock,” the 1990 television series that paired actors, musicians and other entertainers with professional athletes in a game of softball.

“I always thought, how can I actually do that one day? Over the years I’ve been meeting and getting to know these professional athletes, and I thought, let’s do it ourselves,” said Anderson, who coached both high school and college football.

Among the players are softball greats Jennie Finch and Brenna Moss. Moss plays for the Chicago Bandits in the National Pro Fastpitch League and was the NPF’s Player of the Year in 2018.

Anderson said Finch is “like the Michael Jordan of softball.” The retired NPF pitcher helped lead Team USA to the gold medal at the 2004 Summer Olympics and the silver in 2008. Time magazine called her the most famous softball player in history.

Softball camp

While Anderson is excited to have two professional softball players on the roster, he’s even more excited that both will be part of the Circle of Stars Softball Camp on Aug. 24. “To have them here is going to be huge,” Anderson said. “The message they bring is going to be so good.”

The two-hour camp for girls ages 5 to 14 features softball instruction, a ticket to the Celebrity Softball Game, and autograph time with Finch, Moss and WSU softball coaches and players. Participants should register early as space is limited.

Anderson has been organizing student athlete camps for 26 years, with the goal of not only improving athlete performance, but helping to prepare them physically, mentally, academically, socially and financially.

The Celebrity Softball Game will help fund the softball camp, as well as Circle of Stars’ Books over Balls program for student athletes, Wichita’s Littlest Heroes, and Team of Hard Knox Wrestling Club. Tickets are only $10 because Anderson wanted it to be affordable for anyone to attend. A Kid Zone starts at 11 a.m., and a Home Run Derby featuring members of the military and first responders will kick off the event.

“The game’s going to be a lot of fun,” Anderson said.

Circle of Stars Celebrity Softball Game

Aug. 24 at Eck Stadium, Wichita State University
11 a.m. — Kid Zone opens
Noon — Doors open
12:30 p.m. — Home Run Derby followed by Celebrity Softball Game
Tickets available at goshockers.com.Circle of Stars Softball Camp
Aug. 24, 9:30–11:30 a.m., Eck Stadium
Girls aged 5–14
Register at circleofstarsacademy.com

Celebrity softball game team roster

Jennie Finch, two-time Olympic medalist
Johnny S. Rodgers, Heisman Trophy winner
Xavier “X-Man” McDaniels, NBA All-Star
Lawrence Pete, former NFL player
Neil Smith, two-time Super Bowl champion
Billy Hall, All-American and pro baseball player
Marvin Jones, All-Pro NFL player
Ahman Green, All-Pro, Hall of Fame NFL player
Dave “Caveman” Rickets, MMA Bellator champ
The Hitman & Carla, Power 93.5
Brenna Moss, 2018 NPF Player of the Year
Jeff Longwell, mayor of Wichita
Scott Stiles, radio host on Fox Radio Wichita
Gaylon Nickerson, former NBA player
Joshua El'Stupo, comedian, (host of the game)
Kendra Douglas, KSN sports anchor

 
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