NORMAN — Ebi Ere is just waiting for the call.
He knows he’s heading back to Italy to continue his professional basketball career.
“I don’t know when I leave,” the former Oklahoma standout said Saturday after playing in the OU Legends Alumni Game at Lloyd Noble Center. “I just wait until they give me a call and it’s usually the next day.”
For the second year in a row, Ere took over the alumni game.
Saturday, he finished with a game-high 23 points as his Crimson team beat the Cream team 99-96.
“It’s great to come back,” Ere said. “You get to have a lot of fun. These older guys, they’re really funny out there on the court. It’s an honor to get out there with them.”
One of those older players was Bill Dutcher, who was a walk-on for the Sooners in the early 1960s and has been an OU basketball season-ticket holder for around 35 years.
Dutcher had one of the game’s highlights, nailing a 20-foot jumper midway through the second half.
The game capped off the Sooner Basketball Family Weekend that got started Friday with a golf tournament and the Wayman Tisdale Scholarship Dinner.
Ere was one of the younger players on the floor Saturday but got a chance to get an up-close look at the current Sooners on Friday.
“Me and Buddy (Hield) had it out for a second,” Ere said. “We were great. I got the best of him.”
Hield just laughed when told of Ere’s boast but said he took something away from the weekend spent around the Sooners’ past stars.
“You can learn a lot from them,” Hield said. “They’ve been or they are where I want to be — playing professionally.”
Ere called the gym time Friday his favorite part of the weekend.
“I think this program is going in a fine direction,” Ere said. “They’re starting to get good kids here and they have a winning mentality. You can’t ever fault a winning mentality. They’re going out there and play hard no matter what.”
Saturday, Ere’s team trailed for much of the game until taking over in the final minute when Sam Grooms’ layup put the Crimson up by one before four consecutive Grooms free throws put the game away.
“The younger guys definitely take it more serious,” Ere said. “That’s why you see at the end of the game we were all out there playing pretty serious.
“At the beginning of the game, it’s all fun and games.”
After the game, fans in attendance posed for a photo that will be used on the Sooners’ schedule poster, and they were able to get autographs.