Members of the University of Louisville baseball team will have an opportunity to pay their respects to the late Muhammad Ali on Thursday, a day before his funeral on Friday.

Dan McDonnell
Dan McDonnell

Especially appropriate for the UofL team to be involved in events surrounding the farewell to the three-time heavyweight champion because he was so close to the team, currently preparing to host an NCAA Super Regional.

“As a program and as a team, we’re going to get together with Lonnie and her family because we can’t attend the funeral on Friday,” said Coach Dan McDonnell during a press conference Wednesday at Jim Patterson Stadium.

Asaad Ali was a catcher on the UofL baseball team from 2009 through 2012.
Asaad Ali was a catcher on the UofL baseball team from 2009 through 2012.

“She has been so gracious to allow the team to get together with her. I think that’s going to be a neat opportunity for our players to meet with Lonnie and help her through this time.”

Asaad Ali, the son of Muhammad and Lonnie Ali, was a member of the UofL baseball team, a catcher from 2009 to 2012. Asaad is currently an assistant coach on the baseball team at Ellsworth Community College in Iowa Falls, Iowa.

The Alis contributed a $50,000 scholarship to the baseball program. Muhammad attended numerous games over the years. Some family members intend to go to Omaha if the Cardinals get that far.

The players are also wearing an Ali patch on their caps in a tribute to the champ. The first day of the Super Regional was delayed a day to Saturday because of Ali’s funeral on Friday.

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By Charlie Springer

Charlie Springer is a former Louisville editor and sportswriter, a public affairs consultant, a UofL grad and longtime fan.