Charles Barkley, NBA legends to return to Riverhead for golf tournament

JOE WERKMEISTER FILE PHOTO | NBA legends Julius “Dr. J” Erving (left) and Charles Barkley were part of last year’s golf tournament at Friar’s Head to raise money for youth mentoring.

Some of the greatest athletes ever will once again descend on the North Fork for a charity golf tournament hosted by 11-time NBA champion Bill Russell.

Friar’s Head Golf Club in Riverhead will host the MENTOR’s Champions Golf Challenge on Sept. 9-10 for the second straight year.

NBA legends Charles Barkley, Clyde Drexler, Julius Erving and Alonzo Mourning will be among the star-studded group to hit the links to support the National Mentoring Partnership, which was founded 20 years ago. Russell, the legendary Boston Celtics center, has served as a founding board member of the program.

Actor Samuel L. Jackson will be a guest alongside co-host David Feherty of CBS/Golf Channel. They’ll serve as the hosts of a Celebrity Roast of Bill Russell, which will be the evening of Sept. 9.

“I am very proud to have many of my friends join me at our golf tournament to support mentoring,” Russell said in a press release. “They are still some pretty competitive athletes but more importantly they are donating their time and effort to reconnect with the youngsters of the country and that’s what mentoring is about.”

Last year Barkley was spotted around Riverhead leading up to the golf tournament. He even performed some impromptu karaoke with a resounding rendition of Frank Sinatra’s “My Way.”

Watch a video report of last year’s golf tournament at Friar’s Head: