Saturday’s Texas Tech basketball game in Lubbock against the Texas Longhorns is being dedicated to the memory of former Red Raider legend Andre Emmett.
It’s always a big event in Lubbock when the Texas Longhorns come to town. But this year, their annual visit will be even more special because the Texas Tech basketball program will be dedicating Saturday’s game to the memory of Andre Emmett.
The former Red Raider and an inaugural member of the program’s ring of honor was murdered last September outside his Dallas-area home as part of a robbery in which two men attacked him at gun-point as he sat in his vehicle and then fatally shot him as he attempted to flee. He was just 37 years old.
Saturday, the Red Raiders will be honoring Emmett’s memory and celebrating his life and the legacy he left behind at Texas Tech. In addition to what will likely be a myriad of video tributes and other in-game features, the university has partnered with Nancy Liberman Charities to help raise $25,000 for the installation of a dream court in Emmett’s name for children in the Lubbock area.
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That seems a fitting tribute to a man who won the 2004 NCAA Dunk Contest at the Final Four by jumping over a group of kids in the lane. Afterward, he delivered his famous line “Dre loves the kids”, a moment that many Texas Tech fans still remember fondly.
He also established his Dreams Really Exist Foundation to help empower children academically and socially. This past December, that foundation threw a holiday party for needy children in the Dallas area (Emmett’s hometown) just three months after his murder.
To say that Emmett left a legacy at Texas Tech would not do justice to what he meant to the program. From 2001-2004 he scored 2,256 career points, which was the most in Big 12 history at the time and still stands as the most by any Red Raider ever.
He guided the Red Raiders to the NCAA Tournament in both 2002 and 2004, leading the team in scoring both years. After his college career, he was drafted in the second round of the NBA Draft by the Seattle Supersonics before embarking on a highly-successful professional career overseas.
Recently, he had returned to a bit of prominence in the American sports landscape by staring in the new Big3 league, which is a 3-on-3 half-court league comprised mostly of former NBA stars. Emmett had become one of the best players in that league and was experiencing a bit of a reintroduction to the sports fans in his home country when his life was taken from him.
A month after Emmett’s murder, Keith Johnson, 32, and Michael Lucky, 30 were arrested and both have since been indicted on charges of capital murder. To help find those killers, Texas Tech helped spearhead a campaign to raise reward money for their arrest and now, the university will continue to honor Emmett by dedicating Saturday’s game to his memory. All fans in attendance are asked to wear red as the Red Raiders “Play for Dre”.