The 36th annual Late Night in the Phog, the official start to the Kansas basketball season, will take place virtually on Friday, Oct. 23 at 7 p.m., according to a Kansas Athletics release Friday.
The event will be virtual this year due to the coronavirus pandemic. Fans can stream this year’s event on ESPN+, Facebook Live, Kansas Athletics’ website and local cable channels in Kansas, including the Kansas City area.
Late Night signals the start of the basketball season for both the Kansas men’s and women’s teams. The event, produced by Kansas Athletics’ in-house production team Rock Chalk Video, will feature “skits by both basketball teams, video highlights, coach and student-athlete introductions, scrimmages by the KU women’s and men’s teams and much more,” according to the release.
A fan will also be selected to participate in this year’s Half Court Challenge for a chance at winning $5,000.
“Mike Lickert [assistant AD/broadcast services] and his crew have been in the process of putting everything together, making sure it’ll come off without a hitch,” Self told the Kansas City Star Tuesday. “I think it’ll be good. Even though it won’t be as good as if we had fans there I think our fans will enjoy seeing it.”
Usually, Late Night fans who attend can donate food to local food bank, Just Food. Due to the pandemic, Kansas Athletics encourages fans to make an online donation to Just Food or to a charity in their community.
Last month, the NCAA Division I Council voted to start the regular season for both men’s basketball and women’s basketball no earlier than Nov. 25. Kansas men’s basketball’s season opener against Kentucky in the Champions Classic, originally set for Nov. 10 in Chicago, has not been officially re-scheduled.
“I like our players,” Self said during a media availability Thursday. “I think we got some guys capable of playing at that high level. [The depth] certainly gives us a little luxury if we stay healthy.”