All for a good cause

Posted on Oct 23, 2017 in News and Sports

It won’t register in either team’s standings or record books, but the Oct. 22 KU-Missouri men’s basketball exhibition game at Kansas City’s Sprint Center counted in a way that mattered much more than sports: The made-for-charity game between two schools that haven’t played each other in men’s basketball since 2012 generated $1.75 million (and rising) for hurricane relief.

“Kudos to both administrations and fan bases for doing something so special,” said KU coach Bill Self. “I admit, I had butterflies. I was excited to be out there.”

After a few pregame chants of the unpleasant, old-school variety—the sort of enmity that made many fans relieved the rivalry was halted by Missouri’s departure for the Southeastern Conference—reverberated inside Sprint Center, the great majority of Jayhawks and Tigers appeared eager to instead root hard for their team while also applauding the afternoon’s real purpose.

During timeouts, the scoreboard played video clips with KU and Mizzou athletes from hurricane-ravaged regions describing the devastation and challenges faced by their families, and thanking fans for supporting the game. Those short video clips generated loud applause by fans from both schools, evidence that the big picture remained clearly in focus, even as a hard-fought game was unfolding on the court.

“You can tell how much juice there was in the building,” said KU senior guard Devonte’ Graham, who led all scorers with 25 points, along with 10 rebounds and five assists. “It was a great atmosphere to play in.”

After KU’s 93-87 victory, both Self and first-year Mizzou coach Cuonzo Martin noted the value in the rare opportunity to play an exhibition game against a Div. 1 opponent—normally not allowed, with exceptions made this year only to support relief causes. Not only did young players get to experience a big-game atmosphere, but the contest also generated game tape that will provide countless teaching moments for the coaches as they continue their season preparations.

“The things we’ve been telling them they’re deficient at,” Self said, “now they’ll believe.”

KU’s next exhibition game is against Pittsburg State, Oct. 31 in Allen Field House.

—Chris Lazzarino

Update: According to Kansas Athletics, the charity exhibition basketball game generated $2.011 million for victims of recent natural disasters in the United States, Puerto Rico and the U.S. Virgin Islands. The donations are a combination of ticket sales ($1.15 million), the Pay-per-View stream ($768,000) and text-to-give contributions ($68,000). Donations from other entities totaled approximately $25,000, bringing the total donation to some $2.011 million.

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Jayhawks in the News | June 16

Posted on Jun 16, 2017 in News and Sports

KU campus graphics |

#KSProud: Deaf Derby native defies odds with audiology doctorate from KU |

Derby native Casey Combs walked across the stage at KU earlier this month, as she earned her Doctorate in Audiology. Casey is profoundly, or totally for a more practical term, deaf.
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What a journey: Bryan Sperry is a former KU football player & World War II veteran | Four States Home Page

Bryan Sperry made national headlines two years ago at the KU football alumni game scoring a touchdown. The World War II veteran also spent 35 years at Pittsburg State as a math professor.
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A step toward greater diversity: New business school camp reaches out to under-represented populations |

The Summer Venture in Business program is open to high-achieving 10th-, 11th- and 12th-grade minority students or those who would be the first in their families to attend college. Former KU student body president Stephonn Alcorn and his Student Senate coalition had proposed such a camp last year as one way to help increase campus diversity.
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Devonté Graham and current Jayhawks edge KU alumni team 82-75 in scrimmage | Kansas City Star

The alumni team included Ben McLemore, Mario Chalmers, Sherron Collins, Perry Ellis and Keith Langford, to name a handful of former KU stars.
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Tom Eblen, mentor to a generation of KU journalists, remembered as ‘old-school teacher’ |

Tom Eblen, who mentored a generation of journalists as general manager and news adviser for the University Daily Kansan, died Saturday at age 80 in Prairie Village. As general manager and adviser of the Daily Kansan, Eblen oversaw the newspaper’s business affairs and provided lasting advice to students on writing and editing.
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Scot Pollard tells Bill Self ‘my ’97 team would dominate any of your teams’ | Kansas City Star

Former KU big man Scot Pollard tells current Jayhawks coach Bill Self that his teams would beat Self’s more current teams at the KVC Hero Luncheon on Thursday, June 15, 2017.
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Rock Chalk Roundball Classic turns into ‘KU Day’ at Lawrence Free State High’s gym | Kansas City Star

Perry Ellis was one of the many fan favorites participating in an exhibition game that featured more than 40 former KU players and coaches including 12 members of Kansas’ 2008 national title squad.
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Former KU vice chancellor dies at 91 | University Daily Kansan

Robert Cobb, a University faculty member and administrator for over 30 years, passed away last week at the age of 91. In his time at the University, Cobb was an English professor, department head, dean, executive vice chancellor, professor emeritus and more.
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Kings host College Player of the Year Frank Mason for second pre-draft workout |

The Sacramento Kings hosted a second pre-draft workout on Wednesday with last season’s National College Player of the Year – Kansas’ point guard Frank Mason III. Upon arriving in Sacramento on Tuesday, Mason caught the attention of social media for inviting a Jayhawks fan to meet him at his downtown hotel.
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