Hobley gala, Bleu Devil Classic both to benefit scholarship fund

Proceeds from the second annual Billy Ray Hobley Scholarship Gala on Friday honoring the late Bleu Devils coach and Harlem Globetrotter and the Bleu Devil Classic on Saturday will benefit the athletic scholarship fund.

Athletic Director Kiki Baker Barnes said more than $25,000 was raised last year.

The benefit gala, featuring local recording artist BRW, will be held at 8 p.m. Friday in Kearny Hall. Tickets are $50 and available by calling Paulette Hammond at (504) 816-4867.

The Bleu Devil Classic will start at 5 p.m. Saturday at the Lakefront Arena. Both the men’s and women’s basketball teams will look to duplicate the results of last season, when both triumphed over local rival Xavier University. Game tickets are $10 for students (purchased on-campus) and $12 general admission. Floor seats are $20.

Barnes said she expects attendance for the game to double compared with last year’s number of approximately 1,500.

“The Bleu Devil Classic is a showcase of what Dillard has to offer as a whole, so we want to put our best foot forward and have as many people show up as possible,” the athletic director said.

A native of Quincy, Fla., Hobley was a basketball player at James Shanks High School, becoming the 1975 offensive player of the year. He was known for his slam dunks and ability to handle the ball for a taller player.

Hobley graduated from Dillard in 1978 with a bachelor’s degree in health and physical education, then spent two decades as “Supertrotter” with the Harlem Globetrotters. He retired in 1998 to become the Bleu Devils assistant coach; in 2000, he became head coach, leading the team to the Gulf Coast Athletic conference championship with a record of 22-11.

In 2001 he stop coaching to start the Billy Ray Hobley’s ASK Foundation. He died in 2002 after a heart attack while playing tennis. He was 48.

(Larry Williams and Ernest Robertson contributed to this report.)