When the Charlotte Hornets announced a meet-and-greet for their newly drafted player Devonte’ Graham, Charlotte Jayhawks were there to welcome him to their city.
“I’m a native Charlottean and was six when the Hornets started. I’ve been waiting a long time for my hometown team to pick one of our guys,” said Rebecca Ferry, d’05. Ferry leads the local alumni network.
The meet-and-greet was extra special for Kelly Hunter and her son Luke. When the Hornets heard Luke was celebrating his 11th birthday, they pulled a few strings and sold him the store’s first Devonte’ Graham jersey.
The story gets even better: This wasn’t the first time Luke had met Devonte’. Luke and his mother ran into Graham two years ago while they were on campus.
On Luke’s 9th birthday.
“Devonte’ said he remembered meeting him,” said Kelly. “Luke thinks the Hornets drafting Devonte’ is the best birthday present ever.”
Read more about the 2018 NBA Draft, which saw former KU basketball players Devonte’ Graham and Sviatoslav Mykhailiuk drafted in the second round.
Alumni in Nashville, Tampa and Omaha also got together at their local watch sites to see where the Jayhawks would begin their NBA careers.
Going home again
The Big 12 Player of the Year didn’t have to wait long into the second round to know his destination, as the Charlotte Hornets traded two future second round picks to secure the first-team All-American at pick #34. Graham continues to be linked to his former backcourt teammate Frank Mason III, who was drafted with the same pick last year by the Sacramento Kings.
While Malik Newman and Billy Preston were not selected, their professional basketball careers are just beginning. Former Kansas guard Wayne Selden Jr., who went undrafted in the 2016 NBA Draft and now plays for the Memphis Grizzlies, shared his advice:
Not hearing your name called tonight doesn’t mean a damn thing, its all about what you do now. Yeah be mad, but use that frustration as fuel to the fire to prove you belong. Take it day by day & work your ass off because the cream will always rise to the top. Thats just facts.
After a season filled with ups and downs, a 14th straight conference championship and a trip to the Final Four, the Jayhawks fell to the Villanova Wildcats Saturday night in the national semifinal.
KU fans gathered in San Antonio, Allen Fieldhouse, and at watch parties from coast to coast to watch the Jayhawks in the Final Four.
At the Final Four
More than 5,000 Jayhawks started their game day right outside the Alamodome for the pregame party hosted by the KU Alumni Association and Kansas Athletics. The KU band, Spirit Squad and mascots held a pep rally, with food trucks and cash bars nearby.
Back home in Lawrence
Dozens of Lawrence-area bars and restaurants hosted watch parties, but the most popular site for a big KU game remained the same. Thousands of fans flocked to Allen Fieldhouse to watch the game on the video board. Students filled the student section, and threw shredded Kansans into the air for pregame introductions.
Wherever Jayhawks may be
Alumni networks hosted more than 75 watch parties around the country. Many network leaders claimed it was their biggest turnout in years. The Denver Network alone hosted 1,000 Jayhawks at Stoney’s Bar and Grill.
Although we hate to see the season end, the Alumni Association is proud of this team, and we are always proud to be a Jayhawk.
Jayhawks, your wishes have been granted: You can watch the the Final Four with announcers who love the Jayhawks as much as you do.
When KU plays Villanova in the Final Four Saturday night, tune in to TNT to watch the Kansas TeamCast. It will feature familiar faces Dave Armstrong, Scot Pollard and Rob Riggle breaking down the action.
TeamCast presentations are telecasts tailored to the schools participating in the Final Four national semifinals. The concept brings local flavor to the game with additional cameras and team-centric replays, custom halftimes, comprehensive team and player storylines and more.
Armstrong, ’83, will serve as the play-by-play announcer, which he’s done for the Jayhawks since 1993. He’s also served in the same role for multiple professional sports teams.
Pollard, d’97, partners with Armstrong as the color analyst. He’ll provide a unique perspective after a four-year career as a member of the Kansas men’s basketball team. Pollard finished his career in KU’s top 5 in rebounds and blocked shots and spent 12 years in the NBA.
Riggle, c’93, rounds out the team by reporting from the sideline on head coach Bill Self and the Jayhawks. (No word yet on how serious the KU actor and comedian will take his job.)
The regular telecast will be available on TBS, with Villanova’s TeamCast airing on truTV. Tip is expected to be 7:49 p.m. CDT Saturday night, or 40 minutes after the conclusion of the Michigan-Loyola Chicago game which begins at at 5:09 p.m.
If Scot Pollard’s enthusiasm in a video he posted to Facebook is a preview, the trio of Jayhawks are sure to have a fun night—as will we!
Join fellow Jayhawks for a Final Four pregame party hosted by the KU Alumni Association and Kansas Athletics.
The party takes place from 1-4 p.m. on Saturday, March 31, in the parking lot of Tower of Americas, 736 Cesar E. Chavez Blvd. The parking lot is across the street from the main security entrance for the Alamodome—just look for Super Jay!
Festivities include a pep rally at 3 p.m. featuring the KU band, Spirit Squad and mascots. A beer garden, cash bars, food trucks and a DJ will also be on site. KU merchandise will be available for sale from Rally House.
Entrance to the pregame party is $10 per person. Tickets can be purchased in advance online and picked up during the following times. Tickets can also be purchased in-person.
Marriott River Center, 101 Bowie St.
Thursday, March 29: Noon-6 p.m.
Friday, March 30: 9 a.m.- 3 p.m.
Saturday, March 31: 8-11 a.m.
Remaining tickets will be sold at the entrance of the pregame party. Pregame party tickets are included in the travel packages for guests traveling with the Williams Education Fund/Kansas Athletics travel groups.
KU Alumni Association members can show their membership card at the KU Alumni table to receive a special members-only gift. Plus, enter to win a Jayhawk print by alumni artist Megh Knappenberger, f’04.
The KU basketball team will hold an open practice on Friday, March 30, from 1-1:50 p.m. at the Alamodome. The semifinal games tip off at 5:09 p.m. CDT with Loyola-Chicago taking on Michigan. The Kansas vs. Villanova game will follow at approximately 7:49 p.m. CDT.
After two consecutive losses in the Elite Eight, KU basketball fans were thrilled to storm Massachusetts Street in celebration. KU beat Duke 85-81 in overtime and at the sound of the buzzer Jayhawks knew what to do: sprint to Mass Street. Within minutes, fans filled the street and began to commemorate the long-awaited trip to the Final Four.
“When you put a W and a V together, you had mountains. They may call it the Flying WV but to me, it depicts mountains,” Boyd said.
The total cost for the new logo? $200.
The Mountaineers introduced Martin’s logo on Sept. 6, 1980.
The day marked a number of firsts. It was the season opener against the Cincinnati Bearcats. It was Don Nehlen’s first game as head coach. And, it was the first game at the new 50,000 seat Mountaineer Field.
Today, the WVU logo is widely recognized, and Martin frequently encounters fans wearing the logo outside of West Virginia.
“I’m quite honored by it all,” Martin said. “It’s an awesome feeling knowing you were able to make that kind of contribution to an institution of that magnitude. Every time I watch a WVU game, I reflect back on something very special.”
Watch Martin describe his inspiration for the West Virginia University logo:
Thanks to a tip from one of our Facebook followers, Jeff Suggs, for some additional Kansas-West Virginia connections: Gene Budig, who was KU’s chancellor from 1980-1994, was president of West Virginia University from 1977-1980. Also, WVU’s head basketball coach at the time, Gale Catlett, was an assistant under Ted Owens at Kansas from 1967-1971. Catlett left Kansas for an assistant coach position under Adolph Rupp (another KU connection!) at Kentucky for one year. He took over as WVU’s head coach in 1978.
Fans braved the cold weather Thursday morning in Kansas City as the KU men’s basketball team prepared to take on Oklahoma State in their first game of the Phillips 66 Big 12 Men’s Basketball Championship.
The Alumni Association, Kansas Athletics, and the Williams Education Fund hosted a pregame party at No Other Pub. The festivities included giveaways, KU merchandise, and a pep rally featuring the Marching Jayhawks and the Spirit Squad.
Brian Hanni, the Voice of the Jayhawks, hosted a pep rally on the main stage of the KC Live! block. A video celebrating 14 straight Big 12 Conference titles played on the big screen, and Sheahon Zenger, director of athletics, and Chancellor Doug Girod also gave remarks before handing the spotlight back to Hanni.
The Jayhawks knocked off Oklahoma State in the quarterfinals—a victory that was especially sweet after losing to the Cowboys twice during the regular season.
The team takes on the Kansas State Wildcats at 6 p.m. Friday, Mach 9, in a third reprisal of the Sunflower Showdown. The Alumni Association will again co-host a pregame party at No Other Pub starting at 3 p.m.
After Saturday’s 74-72 win over Texas Tech, the 2017-18 Kansas men’s basketball team clinched a 14th consecutive Big 12 regular-season championship.
The streak, which began with the 2004-05 team, is now the longest in NCAA history, passing UCLA’s 13 consecutive Pac-10 titles from 1967-79. The conference title is KU’s 61st, extending its own NCAA record.
Kansas Athletics commemorated the accomplishment with a video featuring the people that made KU’s legendary run possible:
Whenever ESPN’s College GameDay comes to Lawrence, students know to bring their A-game when it comes to signs. In between the signs cheering the Jayhawks and jeering the West Virginia Mountaineers, one student took a jab at the channel broadcasting the whole event.
Oklahoma’s Trae Young, considered by many to be a frontrunner for National Player of the Year, has received consistent coverage from the media all season, drawing the ire of some fans.
Jacob Camenzind, a sophomore from Wichita studying mechanical engineering, decided to poke some fun at the whole situation with a sign that read “ESPN mandated this sign be about Trae Young.”
“I knew College GameDay would probably talk about Trae Young since the show is essentially pregame coverage for all the games that day. I was also well aware of how tired some people are about ESPN’s constant coverage of Young, so I figured that’d be a good subject for the sign.”
A good subject it was, as Jacob began getting compliments and picture requests as soon as he walked into Allen Fieldhouse that morning. As the countdown to going live continued, the sign gained some new fans.
“When Rece Davis walked onto the court, he saw my sign, looked at me, and started laughing. As the rest of the analysts came in, Rece Davis pointed it out to Bilas, Williams, and Greenberg and they all gave a chuckle as well. During the show, one of the cameramen trained his camera on me, and he gave a thumbs up as I held up my sign. When I got on the video board, I knew we were on TV, and my whole section went crazy. Rece Davis stuck around after the show and took pictures with fans, and he told me my sign was hilarious.”
Jacob’s brush with fame wasn’t done. His tweet about the sign began to blow up, with more than 100 retweets on his own account, multiple KU fan accounts joining in the fun, and even a shoutout from Sports Illustrated.
Despite the sign, Jacob wanted to make his actual opinion on Trae Young clear.
“I love him as a player, don’t let the sign fool you. And to be completely honest, I have no problem with ESPN’s coverage of Trae Young. He is putting on a historic season, and he deserves every minute of attention he gets. I’m pretty tired of all the hate directed to him, but I still couldn’t resist making the sign because I knew people would find it funny.”
—Ryan Camenzind, j’17, Jacob’s brother, stood next to Jacob at College GameDay and watched as Jacob’s phone died in 20 minutes due to the constant buzz of notifications.