News Items In Category XSports

#RootforScoot

Posted on Feb 13, 2017 in Alumni News

IMG_news_rootforscoot

This is somebody who’s special

“Out of the 16 or 17 years I’ve been doing this, I’ve never seen so many people in the waiting room waiting to hear a word about how the patient was doing,” said Dr. Emmanuel Daon, thoracic and cardiac surgeon with the University of Kansas Health System. “Not even close.”

Dr. Daon was talking about the friends and supporters of Dr. Scott Ward, d’91, g’94, g’96, better known as “Scooter” to those he counts as friends, and if you’ve ever met him, you’re a friend.

“What it tells me is that this is somebody who’s special.”

In October, Ward suffered an aortic dissection requiring emergency heart surgery. The procedure was needed to repair a partial rupture in Ward’s aorta, the largest blood vessel in the human body. Ward, who was already paralyzed from neck down since breaking his neck in 1986, faced long odds, including a survival rate under 10%. But he had something else working in his favor: an army of supporters, led by his superhero wife, Robin, g’03.

“They can tell you what the odds are,” she said. “They can tell you how bad this is. They don’t know Scooter.”

#RootforScoot

Family, friends and former student-athletes descended on KU Med from all over the country and took over the waiting room. There they held vigil for Scooter, sharing updates via text, Twitter and Facebook, and soon after a movement was born. With KU volleyball still in season, and men’s basketball getting underway, the rallying cry #rootforscoot took over social media.

“That initial support was so amazing that I don’t think there was any other choice than to survive,” Ward remembers.

So we have a chance

Incredibly, Ward survived the initial surgery and was on his way to recovery when he suffered another aortic tear and a more perilous prognosis. A second surgery would be needed, and the success rate, according to Dr. Daon, was more like one-in-a-million. Scooter remembered taking a deep breath before adding his trademark lighthearted humor and hopeful optimism.

“Quoting a bad movie, I said ‘so we have a chance,'” he recalled in a recent interview, just months after surviving a second, life-saving heart surgery.

A heartfelt tribute

February is heart health awareness month, and our friends at Charlie Hustle are helping raise awareness and funds to support the American Heart Association in Kansas City. Charlie Hustle’s chief marketing officer, Katie Martincich, b’10, d’10, g’13, also played volleyball for KU and worked alongside Scooter as an academic and career counselor for Kansas Athletics, so she helped the Kansas City company connect with the Wards to share their story.

Scooter’s journey, told in this video below and posted on the Charlie Hustle Facebook page, is a touching tribute to a Jayhawk so beloved, you can’t help but root for him.

–David Johnston

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Family negotiates fun into Sunflower State rivalry

Posted on Feb 3, 2017 in Alumni News

Justin and Kelly Law | www.kualumni.org

Justin Law is the first to admit that his spouse is much better at compromising than he is—especially when it comes to watching college sports. But he’s no stranger to compromise either.

Justin, b’99, g’04, a diehard Jayhawk, lives in Manhattan with his wife, Kelly, a K-State graduate. They met in Kansas City in 2004, thanks to a friend who played matchmaker. An engagement soon followed, and the young couple decided to ditch the big city and move to a smaller town.

“Manhattan wasn’t necessarily on the list at the time,” Justin recalls wryly.

That changed when Kelly accepted a job at the K-State Alumni Association. The Laws have been in the Little Apple ever since.

The Laws | www.kualumni.orgDespite the fact that Justin bleeds crimson and blue, and Kelly’s pride is purple, the two make it work. “She’s come to KU basketball games with me but not against K-State,” says Justin. “I’ve been to K-State football games when they’re not playing KU. I’m a little more competitive and more interested in the outcome of sporting events, especially against K-State—especially living in Manhattan.”

Kelly, who now works at USI Insurance Services and counts the KU Alumni Association as one of her clients, has softened her stance against her intrastate rival. “I will willingly go to KU games when they’re not playing K-State, and I’ll cheer for KU,” she says. “But I typically wear pretty neutral colors.”

Justin gets a little support from their daughter, Kherington, who’s almost 7. The young girl, who at first favored the Wildcats over the Jayhawks, has been singing a different tune lately. The future Jayhawk, who is a big fan of Baby Jay and can easily recite KU’s alma mater, proudly sports her Jayhawk cheerleading outfit to school and willingly endures teasing from her teachers and classmates.

“She actually started out a K-State fan,” says Justin. “Around the age of 4, she switched allegiances. I’m honestly not sure how that happened. I wish I knew how, so if she started wavering I could bring her back.”

The Laws keep the family rivalry fun by placing wagers, which include dinner duty or a household chore for the losing fan, on KU vs. K-State games. “We have a lot of family bets,” says Kelly. “It’s always Kherington and Justin against me.”

Although Justin and his daughter often don’t fare well during football season, they look forward to basketball season and rely on their ’Hawks to outplay the Wildcats—if for no other reason than to dodge dinner duty. Here’s hoping they get their win.

—Heather Biele

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Battle of the blue bloods

Posted on Jan 26, 2017 in News

KU basketball goal

There’s a big basketball game this Saturday, Jayhawks.

The KU men’s basketball team takes on the Kentucky Wildcats in the Sonic SEC-Big 12 Challenge. The game tips off at 5:15 p.m. CT at Rupp Arena in Lexington, Kentucky.

It’s the perfect opportunity to gather with fellow alumni, fans and friends!

Pregame Party

Hang out with staff members from the KU Alumni Association, Kansas Athletics and the Williams Fund before the game at the Magnolia Room in the Hilton Lexington Downtown.

We’ll have light snacks, a cash bar and TVs showing other games.

2:30 p.m. ET
Saturday, January 28
Magnolia Room, Hilton Lexington Downtown
369 W. Vine St.
Lexington, KY 40507

Watch Parties

More than 50 watch parties are scheduled around the country, from Albany to Wichita—it’s close to a record number.

Check out our online calendar to find a watch party near you. And if you haven’t connected with a local alumni network, you can find a list of all networks plus links to their websites and Facebook groups here.

Share your photos

We’d love to see your photos from the pregame party, the game or your watch parties! Share them on social media using the #KUalumni hashtag, or post them to our Facebook page. We’ll share the best ones with our followers!

If you don’t have an alumni network or watch site in your area, and would like to start one, contact Nick Kallail, assistant vice president of alumni and career programs, at nickkallail@kualumni.org.

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Self a First-Time Naismith Hall of Fame Nominee

Posted on Dec 21, 2016 in News

Coach Bill Self
 
Men’s basketball coach Bill Self on Wednesday was announced as a first-time nominee for the Naismith Memorial Basketball Hall of Fame.

“I certainly didn’t expect this,” Self said during preparations for Thursday’s game at the University of Nevada, Las Vegas. “I’m proud, mainly because of the teams’ successes we’ve had in the various stops that put me in a position to be considered.”

Self, a Life Joint member of the KU Alumni Association, is 395-84 in his 14 seasons at KU, and his 82.5 KU winning percentage is the best in school history. Including his coaching stints at Oral Roberts, Tulsa and Illinois, Self is 602-189 in 24 years as a head coach. At KU, where he has taken his Jayhawks to 18-straight NCAA Tournament appearances, Self has recorded more conference titles (12) than home losses (9).

Finalists will be announced during NBA All-Star festivities Feb. 18 in New Orleans, and the hall of fame’s Class of 2017 will be unveiled April 3 at the NCAA Tournament’s championship game in Glendale, Arizona.

—Chris Lazzarino

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Top KU stories of 2016

Posted on Dec 21, 2016 in Alumni News

Top KU stories of 2016 via kualumni.org 

The Best of KU

2016 was an eventful year that marked major milestones and gave cause for celebration. From our Jayhawks in Rio to our 27th Rhodes Scholar, KU alumni had plenty of reasons to be proud of their alma mater in 2016, so we’re recounting the most memorable moments and biggest KU stories of the past year. With help from our crack team of KU experts, a.k.a. your hard-working KU Alumni Association staff, we’ve assembled and ranked the top stories of 2016. So without further ado, we present the best of KU:

25. KU Jazz in Lincoln Center

24. National discount program for members

23. Food, glorious food

22. SAA free for freshmen in 2016

21. April Fool’s Day 2016: Fooled again

20. Junior Naismith steals the show

19. Student and Alumni apps

18. The Power of Sport: A Conversation on Business, Race and Sports

17. Ellsworth honorees commit time, talent and resources to KU

16. Spencer Museum’s big reveal

…How are we doing so far? Can you guess the biggest stories of 2016? Our final 15 feature some beloved KU buildings–both new and old–a few famous Jayhawks and some fond farewells. Keep reading while we reveal the rest of the best…

15. Jayhawks in Rio

14. Bob Davis hands the mic to Brian Hanni

13. Central District celebrated at topping out ceremony

12. Goodbye, Burge

11. Fabulous Freshmen: Incoming class sets record for academic talent

 

>>> CONTINUE TO REVEAL TOP TEN >>>


 
 

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Run, jump, kick, spike, shoot, swim, pass, score, win: What a week to be a Jayhawk

Posted on Nov 21, 2016 in News

KU volleyball team clinches Big 12 Championship
“What a great day to be a Jayhawk!” coach David Beaty shouted, his raspy voice barely audible amid the chaos that swarmed across Memorial Stadium’s field after KU upset Texas, 24-21, in an overtime thriller that gave Beaty his first Big 12 victory and the Jayhawks’ first in the conference since 2014.

Beaty of course was spot-on with the sentiment, but the time element was off. While football’s first victory over Texas since 1938 scored the national headlines, it was more than a great day to be a Jayhawk: From Sunday to Sunday, it was a week for the athletics ages.

Soccer sets the tone

Soccer set the tone on Sunday, Nov. 13, at Rock Chalk Park, when junior Lois Heuchan scored 40 seconds into double overtime to give the Jayhawks a 1-0 victory over Missouri in the first round of the NCAA Tournament. (The Jayhawks’ second-round loss, 2-0 Nov. 18 at North Carolina, was only their third loss since mid-September.)

Men’s basketball

Men’s basketball was up next, as the Jayhawks avoided their first 0-2 start since 1972 by beating top-ranked Duke, 77-75, Tuesday in New York City’s Madison Square Garden. Frank Mason’s game-winning field goal with 1.8 seconds remaining was one of KU’s most thrilling shots since Mario Chalmers nailed a three-pointer to send the 2008 national championship game into overtime.

“That was quite a play we called: ‘Just get out of his way,’” coach Bill Self said afterward. “He’s a stud.”

Recruit chooses Kansas

Billy Preston, a 6-foot-10, 240-pound forward from Los Angeles kept the buzz going Friday afternoon when he released a video  announcing his college selection. Dressed in uniforms from his four finalists—KU, Indiana, USC and Syracuse—Preston played a magic-of-film one-on-one game against himself, at the end of which he turns to the camera and announces, “Rock Chalk, Jayhawks.”

Just a few hours later, Preston’s future team beat Siena, 86-65, running Self’s home record to 207-9 and passing Ted Owens on the list of all-time victories in Allen Field House.

“He’s a special coach and this is a special place,” sophomore forward Carlton Bragg Jr. said afterward. “You put those two things together and special things happen.”

Volleyball clinches championship

About 13 hours later, at 11 a.m. Saturday morning, volleyball began its final regular-season home match. Although they played without junior All-American Kelsie Payne, who injured an ankle in KU’s five-set victory Nov. 16 at West Virginia, the Jayhawks fought through another tough five-setter to defeat Iowa State and clinch at least a share of their first Big 12 championship.

“It could have been a disaster, or it could have been the best day ever, and they decided to make it the best day ever,” said coach Ray Bechard. “Our seniors weren’t going to let us lose.”

Swimmer hits career-best mark

Saturday’s action was not limited to Lawrence: freshman Jenny Nusbaum won the 200-yard freestyle at the Kansas Classic swim meet in Topeka’s Capitol Federal Natatorium with a career-best mark of 1 minute, 48.97 seconds, and she helped her team to a 7.34-second victory in the 800-yard freestyle relay.

Cross-country makes history

On a wintry morning in Terre Haute, Indiana, sophomore Sharon Lokedi ran fifth at the NCAA cross-country championships, the best NCAA finish in the history of KU women’s cross-country and the best by any Jayhawk since John Lawson won the men’s meet in 1965.

“When it’s cold and windy like it was today, you never know what might happen in a race like this,” Lokedi said. “So my plan was just to stay up at the front, stay with the leaders and be ready for anything.”

Football upsets Texas

On a chilly afternoon and evening in Memorial Stadium, the football ’Hawks offered the first hint of a possible upset by taking a 10-7 lead into halftime against Texas. But, KU came out flat in the third quarter, and when D’Onta Foreman scored his second touchdown of the second half with 13:34 remaining in the fourth quarter to give the Longhorns a 21-10 lead.

The game looked hopelessly out of reach to fans and commentators, but players never saw it that way.

“They are some resilient tough dudes,” Beaty said. “They kept believing. They kept working.”

With 10 minutes remaining in regulation, redshirt freshman quarterback Carter Stanley jolted the KU offense to life with a 20-yard run, which was immediately followed by a 15-yard run by freshman running back Khalil Herbert that set the Jayhawks up at the Texas 45 yard line. Herbert scored seven plays later on a 1-yard run, and sophomore receiver Steven Sims Jr. converted a two-point conversion to push KU to within three, 21-18, with 7:48 remaining.

Freshman safety Mike Lee halted a Texas scoring threat on the ensuing drive when he forced Foreman to fumble at the KU 13-yard-line. Senior defensive end Cameron Rosser pounced on the loose ball, the Longhorns’ fifth turnover of the game. KU then gave the ball back on downs, but when Texas tried to close the game out by converting on fourth and 5 from the KU 32, sophomore linebacker Keith Loneker Jr. scored the biggest of his game-high 16 tackles by stopping Foreman 2 yards short.

The Jayhawks took over on their own 29 with 58 seconds remaining. Three receptions by senior running back Ke’aun Kinner  and a 15-yard penalty against Texas set KU up at the Longhorns’ 19, where, with seven seconds left in regulation, senior Matthew Wyman tied the game with a 36-yard field goal.

On the second play of overtime Lee again stepped up big, intercepting a Texas pass. Needing only a field goal to win, KU pushed forward behind five Kinner rushes, allowing Wyman to win the game with a 25-yard field goal.

 

The season finale awaits Saturday at Kansas State, but that rivalry’s renewal was on nobody’s mind as the Jayhawks celebrated madly.

Well, almost nobody’s.

“We have a huge, huge mountain to climb to get ready to play those guys,” Beaty said. “But it’s going to be a lot easier and a lot more fun preparing tomorrow with the result we got today.”

Women’s basketball team closes week with a win

And still more was yet to come: Women’s basketball closed out the remarkable week that was with a 68-58 victory at Memphis, the Jayhawks’ first win of the season and the first regular-season road victory for second-year coach Brandon Schneider.

What a great week to be a Jayhawk.

—Chris Lazzarino

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Basketball pregame events scheduled for CBE Hall of Fame Classic

Posted on Nov 18, 2016 in News

KU basketball goal

The KU men’s basketball team will play in the CBE Hall of Fame Classic at the Sprint Center in Kansas City Nov. 21 and 22.

KU alumni, fans and friends are invited to pregame festivities hosted by the KU Alumni Association and Williams Education Fund.

Monday, Nov. 21

Monday’s pregame party starts at 5:30 p.m., and the game against UAB tips off at 8:30 p.m. The pregame event takes place at McFadden’s, 1330 Grand Boulevard in the KC Live! block, across the street from the arena.

Tuesday, Nov. 22

On Tuesday, the pregame events runs from 4-6:30 p.m. at No Other Pub, also in the KC Live! block. The time and opponent for the second game will be determined after Monday’s game.

For tickets to the games, contact Kansas Athletics at 800.34.HAWKS.

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University National Bank proud sponsor of KU basketball pregame events

Posted on Nov 17, 2016 in Alumni News

Adams Alumni Center
University National Bank of Lawrence will sponsor University of Kansas men’s basketball pregame activities Dec. 3 and Feb. 4, 2017, for Presidents Club members of the KU Alumni Association. The exclusive events include a complimentary buffet and drinks at the Adams Alumni Center two hours before tip-off.

The Association created the Presidents Club as an opportunity for KU alumni and friends to support critical endeavors the Association provides to KU. Members contribute annual gifts of $1,000 or more to boost the Association’s goal of building a larger, more powerful network of Jayhawks worldwide.

“We are immensely grateful to University National Bank for our vital activities for donors,” said Heath Peterson, Association president. “The Association’s outreach is especially important during basketball season, when countless alumni gather to cheer the Jayhawks at events hosted by our 129 alumni networks.”

“University National Bank is thrilled to sponsor KU men’s basketball pregame events for Presidents Club members,” said Todd Sutherland, president of University National Bank. “This is a great way for us to support the Alumni Association, its generous donors and the Jayhawks during basketball season.”

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Cheer KU in the Champions Classic

Posted on Nov 14, 2016 in News

Allen Fieldhouse student section
The KU men’s basketball team takes on Duke in the State Farm Champions Classic on Tuesday, Nov. 15. The game tips off at approximately 8 p.m. (CT), following the first matchup between Kentucky and Michigan State.

Pregame parties

We know lots of Jayhawks are in New York City for the game, so we’re hosting two pregame parties in the city. Both parties begin at 3:30 p.m. ET.

American Whiskey
247 W. 30th St. between 7th and 8th
Link to map

Cornerstone Tavern
961 2nd Ave.
Link to map

Cornerstone Tavern is the official watch site for the New York City Metropolitan Area Alumni Network. If you don’t have tickets to the game, stay and watch it here with fellow Jayhawks.

Game watch parties

Watch the game with fellow alumni, fans and friends at an official KU Alumni watch site.

Click here for a list of official KU Alumni watch parties. These events are hosted by alumni volunteers and you’ll certainly be surrounded by crimson and blue.

Click here for a list of watch sites. Please note, if there isn’t an official party scheduled on our calendar for a site, we cannot guarantee that the watch sites will show the KU game, especially if there are other college or professional sporting events happening at the same time.

Watch and listen

The game will be televised on ESPN or you can listen to it on the Jayhawk Radio Network, ESPN Radio or Sirius/XM 80.

Rock Chalk, Jayhawk!

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Basketball season tips off in Hawaii

Posted on Nov 7, 2016 in News

Big Jay in Allen Fieldhouse

The KU men’s basketball team has wrapped up two exhibition games against in-state opponents Washburn University and Emporia State University, and the 2016-17 season will tip off this Friday, Nov. 11, against Indiana in the State Farm Armed Forces Classic in Hawaii.

Pregame party in Honolulu

For Jayhawks heading to the islands for the game, be sure to join fellow KU alumni, fans and friends for the pregame party at Giovanni Pastrami, the official watch site of the KU Alumni Honolulu Network.

12:30 p.m. HT
Giovanni Pastrami
227 Lewers St.
Honolulu, HI
Link to map

No reservation is necessary, just show up and join the party! The first game, Arizona vs. Michigan State, tips off at 2 p.m. HT, followed by KU vs. Indiana. If you don’t have tickets for the game, stay and watch it at Giovanni Pastrami.

Game watch parties

Not lucky enough to vacation in Hawaii? Catch the game at an official KU Alumni watch site.

Click here for a list of official KU Alumni watch parties. These events are hosted by alumni volunteers and you’ll certainly be surrounded by crimson and blue.

Click here for a list of watch sites. Please note, if there isn’t an official party scheduled on our calendar for a site, we cannot guarantee that the watch sites will show the KU game, especially if there are other college or professional sporting events happening at the same time.

Watch and listen

The game will be televised on ESPN or you can listen to it on the Jayhawk Radio Network or Sirius/XM 80.

Rock Chalk, Jayhawk!

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