Less than a week after Homecoming on the Hill, KU men’s basketball welcomed back one of its most recent stars. In preparation for Friday’s NBA preseason game at Sprint Center, Joel Embiid and his Philadelphia 76ers teammates traveled from Kansas City to Lawrence to hold practice at Allen Field House.
“We looked at it, and we were that close playing in Kansas City we thought it would be appropriate to visit this historic place,” coach Brett Brown said. “The historic perspective of this building, along with Joel’s history here, made it a no-brainer we should drive 45 minutes down the road and experience the building and practice here.”
The Sixers’ practice in Allen Field House gave their lone Jayhawk a rare in-season opportunity to visit the campus he dearly adores.
“I was supposed to take the bus with the team, but I wanted to walk around,” Embiid said. “I wanted to do that just to feel like I stayed for three more years, and I’m definitely going to come back to finish school.”
A secret revealed
The chance to relive his college days led Embiid, ’17, to share a secret about how much time he could have spent on the Hill: “I don’t think anybody knows this story. I actually decided to stay because I love this place so much, but I was kind of pushed to leave. Any time I get the chance to come back I’m going to do that. Stepping on this court, this is where it all started for me, so I’m really thankful.”
The Sixers selected Embiid third overall in the 2014 NBA draft, but the athletic 7-footer has been limited to 31 regular-season NBA games due to foot and back injuries, setbacks that almost led him to quit the game during his second year as a pro. The lack of game experience has not slowed Embiid’s development, due in large part to his capacity as a visual learner.
“It’s a rare skill,” coach Brown says. “He’ll see Dirk Nowitzki do something or Kevin Durant or Tim Duncan back in the day, and the next day it’s in his game and he’s trying it. His spirit is great. We need it to be great.”
This year, expectations for the Sixers include a potential playoff spot, which with a healthy Embiid would not be surprising. As he looks to lead his team to long overdue success, Embiid also knows what he left behind just three years ago.
“I miss the culture,” he says. “You know, the fans were amazing over here. We have some Duke teammates who think they got the best arena, but I always tell them, ‘You never been here.’ Sixteen thousand people cheering, you can’t even hear.”
The Sixers and Heat will tip off at 7:30 p.m. Friday, Oct. 13, in Kansas City’s Sprint Center.
Rob Riggle, the actor, comedian, Fox NFL Sunday contributor, and Dos Equis “Most Interesting Fan” spokesperson, is a Kansas Jayhawks football fan. He’s an alum of the school and passionate to the point that when he hosted the ESPYs a couple of years ago, he had the house band play the fight song and was flanked by KU cheerleaders for his entrance. Read full article.
Those are the words of Sarah Frazier, CBS Radio Houston market manager, who has her team working frantically to keep the community informed during Hurricane Harvey. Frazier, j’94, told Radio Ink that Monday morning it was clear there was a need to offer local residents a constant stream of evacuation and shelter information. Read full article.
Former Kansas guard Michael Lee resigned his post as Portland (Ore.) Roosevelt High basketball coach in order to work on lifelong buddy/former KU guard Aaron Miles’ Santa Cruz Warriors NBA G-League staff. He and former KU point guard Miles are grads of Portland’s Jefferson High. They actually attended middle school, high school and college together — true definition of best friends. Read full article.
When you think biology degree, you may picture someone sitting in a lab or collecting specimens outside. For Stephanie Downes, a biology degree led to a different path, where skills in analyzing and experimenting help her engage audiences with digital media. Read full article.
Prosecuting Attorney Debra Mclaughlin was named as the judge for the 23rd Judicial Circuit Court in the Eastern Panhandle. McLaughlin, l’93, came to West Virginia in the late 1990s, and since 2002, has been a Morgan County Prosecuting Attorney. Read full article.
The 2018 edition of Best Lawyers in America® has honored two Jayhawk attorneys from Monnat & Spurrier, Chartered. Sal Intagliata was honored for his work in the sectors of general practice and white collar criminal defense, and Trevor Riddle was honored in the criminal defense general practice sector. Both earned juris doctor degrees from the KU School of Law. Read full article.
Former Kansas Lt. Gov. Tom Docking died Thursday night at age 63. Docking served with Democratic Gov. John Carlin from 1983 to 1987. He was the Democratic nominee for governor in 1986 but lost to Republican Mike Hayden. Read full article.
Grey Group promoted Michael Houston to Worldwide Chief Executive Officer. A 10-year veteran of Grey, Houston, c’15, has served since 2016 as Global President and becomes only the fifth person to hold the CEO position since Grey’s founding in 1917. Read full article.
If you attended the University of Kansas or lived in Lawrence during the early 2000s, you might remember the radical politics of Solidarity. The ECM has housed the Solidarity Library for about 10 years now, according to Ailecia Ruscin, a local photographer who helped found Solidarity as a KU graduate student around the dawn of the millennium. Read full article.
Former Kansas point guard Aaron Miles, who got a crack at the NBA and spent eight years playing overseas and later coaching on KU coach Bill Self’s staff, officially was named the head coach of the NBA G League’s Santa Cruz Warriors on Wednesday. Read full article.
Clay Barker, the executive director of the Kansas Republican Party, on Monday joined the staff of Lt. Gov. Jeff Colyer in anticipation of Gov. Sam Brownback’s resignation. Barker graduated from the KU School of Law in 1997. Read full article.
Jessica Nelson has been selected for the KC Chamber’s ATHENA Young Professionals Leadership Award. Nelson, j’11, is the current president of the Greater Kansas City Network of the KU Alumni Association and is the managing director for TeamKC:Life+Talent with the Kansas City Area Development Council. Read full article.
Holly Teeter, l’06, has been nominated by President Trump to be a federal judge in Kansas. Teeter currently works in Kansas City, Missouri, and her background includes work at the Shook, Hardy & Bacon law firm’s Kansas City office. Read full article.
The University of Kansas will soon have a new interim vice chancellor for public affairs. Reggie Robinson, director of KU’s School of Public Affairs and Administration, will assume his new role effective Aug. 14, KU announced earlier this week. Robinson, a KU alumnus, has led the School of Public Affairs and Administration since 2014. Read full article.
In her new position at the AAG office, Emily Fekete will lend her expertise in communications and media geographies to the communications team through new content curation, social media and program development. Fekete holds a Ph.D. in geography from the University of Kansas. Read full article.
Jenifer Ashford, a Prairie Village resident who current serves as prosecutor for the cities of Shawnee and Lake Quivira, has been named to fill a 10th judicial district magistrate judge opening. Ashford, who graduated from the University of Kansas School of Law, will be sworn in later this month. Read full article.
Russ and Linda Sims, e’79, have sort of made it their signature move to take a bright blue flag that reads “Rock Chalk Jayhawk” to all of the historic and scenic places they’ve traveled to both capture the moment and represent the Jayhawks. Read full article.
The Institute for Energy Law is honoring Houston partner John Bowman, l’80, with its Lifetime Achievement in Energy Litigation Award, which is given to one energy litigator each year whose achievements “have won the admiration of his or her peers,” according to the organization. Read full article.
Barry Swanson, the university’s chief procurement officer, has left Kansas after spending the better part of his career in Lawrence. Swanson, c’83, began working at the University of Kentucky at the end of June as its Chief Procurement Officer. Read full article.
Former KU basketball player C.B. McGrath, an assistant coach at the University of North Carolina for the past 14 seasons, is hosting basketball clinics as the new head coach at UNC-Wilmington. Read full article.
Topeka native Mark Turgeon, c’87, had last been to Lawrence in March 2011, when his fourth and final Texas A&M team fell to the Jayhawks 64-51 as part of KU’s Senior Day festivities at Allen Fieldhouse. Read full article.
Shelly Freeman, a 30-year veteran with a specialty in employment law, joined Jackson Lewis PC’s Overland Park office as a principal. Freeman, l’88, previously worked at her firm, Freeman & Fowler LLC in Kansas City. She also is president of FineLine HR Consulting. Read full article.
Remember that Kansas team that reached back-to-back Final Fours (2002-03) and the national title game in ’03? Although he played just two games in the Association, Keith Langford might have had the most successful professional career of anyone on that squad. His list of overseas accomplishments make him look like the Kobe Bryant of Europe. Read full article.
Jeffrey Dingman is a finalist for the city manager’s job in Topeka. Dingman has more than 20 years of local government experience and earned a law degree and a master’s degree in public administration from the University of Kansas. Read full article.
Former University of Kansas player Aaron Miles is the new head coach of the G League’s Santa Cruz Warriors. Miles comes from Florida Gulf Coast, where he was an assistant under head coach Joe Dooley, a former KU assistant. Read full article.
Clinkscales Elder Law Practice, P.A. announced last week that Adam C. Dees recently joined its team of professionals. Dees, l’11, joins the firm as an Associate Attorney and will focus on estate planning and elder law. Read full article.
With a busy coaching career and family life dominating most of his time, former Kansas sharp-shooter Jeff Boschee has not been able to get back to Lawrence as often as he would have liked since the end of his playing days. He returned last weekend for the Hardwood Classic AAU tournament at Sports Pavilion. Read full article.
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Fans who cannot make the trip to Italy with the Kansas men’s basketball team in early August will nonetheless have the opportunity to watch the Jayhawks play.
KU will play four games while touring Italy, and the Jayhawk IMG Radio Network will broadcast the games. FloSports will pair Brian Hanni and Greg Gurley’s radio call with a video stream so KU fans can also watch the games live only on FloHoops.com.
To access the live video coverage and replays of the games, users must sign up to become FloPRO subscribers on FloHoops.com. Monthly and annual FloPRO subscriptions on FloHoops are $29.99 and $150, respectively. Members get access to all live events and replays, upcoming original documentary content, technique videos and more. Yearly subscribers also gain access to premium content across the FloSports network of sites. Fans can go here to subscribe to the Kansas 2017 Summer Tour – Italy.
The first two contests are in Rome, August 2 and 3; the final two are in Milan, August 5 and 6. The matchups in Rome will tip at 6:30 p.m. local, 11:30 a.m. Central time; the two games in Milan will start at 7 p.m. local, noon Central.
In Rome the Jayhawks will play Stella Azzurra, a team consisting of 18 and 19 year olds from Rome clubs, on August 2 at Honey Sports City (HSC). The following day, KU will face the Players Group, which consists of a team being organized by Vittorio Gallinari, father of NBA player Danilo Gallinari. The venue for the Aug. 3 game has yet to be determined.
On August 5 in Milan, the Jayhawks face the Players Group for the second time at PalaSport Enrico Somaschini (PalaPorada) and Italy All Star A2 the following day in the same location. The Italy All Star A2 squad will consist of players from the Lega Basket Serie (LBA) professional men’s basketball league from the A2 level. Basketball Travelers Inc. is coordinating the trip and tickets can be purchased day of game at the competition venue at a price of 5 euro.
In Rome, KU’s sightseeing tours will include the Colosseum, the Vatican Museum, St. Peter’s Basilica and the Sistine Chapel. In Milan, the contingent will tour the Cathedral Duomo and take a boat tour of Lake Como.
Preseason top 10, Kansas returns two starters and six letterwinners from last season’s 31-5 team (16-2 Big 12) that tied an NCAA record by winning KU’s 13th-consecutive conference regular-season title. KU entered the NCAA Tournament a No. 1 seed for the second consecutive year and advanced to the Elite Eight. Senior guards Devonté Graham and Sviatoslav Mykhailiuk are the returning starters; junior guard Lagerald Vick, a regular on last season’s team, also returns. Sophomore center Udoka Azubuike started six of his 11 games played before being injured last season, and sophomore forward Mitch Lightfoot could also increase his playing time in 2017-18.
KU welcomes nine newcomers to the team with two – sophomore guards Malik Newman and Sam Cunliffe – having already been on campus. Newman transferred to KU from Mississippi State following the 2016-17 season. Cunliffe hit the KU campus following the fall 2016 semester after transferring from Arizona State. Newman will be eligible immediately, while Cunliffe can play in regular-season games after the fall 2017 semester; Cunliffe will play for the Jayhawks in Italy. Freshmen Billy Preston, a McDonald’s All-America, and guard Marcus Garrett, the Texas Gatorade Player of the Year, will provide immediate depth for the upcoming season.
Three other Jayhawk transfers will compete in Italy but will sit the KU sidelines in 2017-18. They are California guard Charlie Moore, and Memphis guard/forward brothers Dedric and K.J. Lawson. All had solid seasons in 2016-17 before coming to KU.
Since 2004 Kansas has won 17 of 19 exhibition games outside the United States under head coach Bill Self. The Jayhawks went a combined 7-0 in Canada in 2004 (4-0) and 2008 (3-0). In 2012 KU went 2-2 while touring Switzerland and Paris. KU’s most recent trip was in 2015, when the Jayhawks won the gold medal at the World University Games in Gwangju, South Korea, posting an 8-0 record.
KUAthletics.com is the official online source for Kansas Athletics, Williams Education Fund contributions, tickets, merchandise, multimedia, photos and much, much more.
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. Read full article and watch video
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. Read full article.
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. Read full article.
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. Read full article.
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. Read full article.
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. Read full article and watch video.
City Manager Matt Allen was presented with Leadership Kansas’ Jim Edwards Alumnus of the Year Award in recognition of what the organization viewed as his steady, innovative community leadership. Allen earned a master’s degree from KU in 1997. Read full article.
Frank Mack, who teaches arts administration at the University of Connecticut and previously led Shakespeare theater companies in California and New Jersey, has been named executive producer at the Utah Shakespeare Festival. Mack earned a bachelor’s degree from KU in 1985. Read full article.
Henry Wear, g’14, received his Ph.D. in sport and entertainment management in May from South Carolina and earned his first postdoctoral position, as a lecturer in the sport management program at Deakin University in Melbourne, Australia. Read full article.
The University of Kansas has selected Dr. Douglas Girod as its 18th chancellor. The search committee tasked with finding Gray-Miller’s successor has local ties. Greg Ek, b’76, was part of the 24-person search committee. He also serves as a board member for the KU Alumni Association and serves as the chairman of its audit committee. Read full article.
VIVUS, Inc., announced that Thomas B. King has been appointed to VIVUS’ board of directors. Mr. King’s nearly 40 years of pharmaceutical experience ranges from large to development-stage pharmaceutical companies. He received an MBA from the KU School of Business. Read full article.
Bernard Greenberg, a retired professor of entomology at the University of Illinois at Chicago, would assist law enforcement agencies in murder investigations by helping to determine details of the death from the presence or absence of bugs on the body. He earned a doctorate in entomology from the University of Kansas in 1953. Read full article.
Nate White, 39, was named chief operating officer of Sanford Health in 2012 and will become executive vice president, based in Fargo, beginning in August. he earned a law degree from the University of Kansas School of Law in 2004. Read full article.
Former KU and NBA basketball player Drew Gooden finished work on his communication studies degree in December and enjoyed the fruits of his academic labor walking down Campanile Hill on Sunday morning into Memorial Stadium for KU commencement exercises. Read full article.
Devenie Ross, a 2016 School of Business graduate, is one of the winners of the American Institute of CPAs’ 2016 Elijah Watt Sells Award. A total of 102,323 individuals sat for the exam in 2016, and Ross was one of 58 candidates to meet the award criteria. Read full article.
Attorney Diane L. Bellquist, of Joseph, Hollander &Craft LLC, is the newly elected president-elect of the Topeka Bar Association. She earned her juris doctor degree from the University of Kansas School of Law. Read full article.
Minnesota Supreme Court Justice David Stras, nominated Monday by President Donald Trump to fill a vacancy on the Eighth Circuit Court of Appeals, is described by colleagues as a scholar who can build bridges with colleagues on the bench. Read full article.
Just Play Sports Solutions announced it will partner with seven professional WNBA teams — the Atlanta Dream, Chicago Sky, Connecticut Sun, Dallas Wings, LA Sparks, Seattle Storm and Washington Mystic. Austin Barone, a graduate of the KU School of Business, is a co-founder of the company. Read full article.
Kevin Pritchard — who played at Kansas and was the starting point guard on the Jayhawks’ 1988 national championship team — is the new president of basketball operations for the Indiana Pacers. Read full article.
Fatimah Al Ghafli, 53, is a University of Kansas student from Saudi Arabia, a mother of nine and a grandmother of nine. She celebrated her second degree from KU, a master’s in math. Her husband and two kids also have degrees from KU, and two more children currently attend the university. Read full story.
University of Kansas professor emeritus of art history Edmund Eglinski was known as an advocate for learning through direct experience. Eglinski, 85, died Sunday in Lawrence of a heart attack. Read full article.
Michael Crawford — professor of anthropology, founding director of the Laboratory of Biological Anthropology and a founder of the field of anthropological genetics — has been at KU since 1971 and founded the lab in 1975. After more than 45 years on the Hill, Crawford is retiring and handing over leadership of the lab. Read full article.
Former Kansas basketball guard Nick Bradford remembers consulting two of his college mentors — former Jayhawks head coach Roy Williams and assistant Neil Dougherty — about his future career path. Bradford was announced as girls head basketball coach at Olathe North High School. Read full article.
Two-time PGA tour winner Gary Woodland, who ranks 10th on this season’s money list with four top 10 finishes in 11 events, is playing in his fifth Masters and first since 2015. He did not qualify for the tournament last year. Read full article.
As a graduate of the University and the last dean of women, Kala Stroup, c’59 g’64 PhD’74, has held many positions in higher education and still works with students to make the University an inclusive place. Read full article.
Linda Ellis-Sims spent her childhood in Independence, Missouri. Though her parents did not attend college themselves, they always placed a priority on education. Ellis-Sims gained an appreciation for math and science while achieving academic success in high school. An athlete in high school, Ellis-Sims also developed a strong passion for sports. Both of her interests factored into her decision to attend the University of Kansas. Read full article.
Susan Tabor, who was born blind, works for a service that provides both readings and information to those who are blind, visually impaired or print-disabled. After high school graduation, Tabor went on to pursue her bachelor’s and master’s degree in social welfare at the University of Kansas. Read full article.
A veteran, a state government leader, a CEO and a managing partner will be recognized with the University of Kansas School of Law’s highest honor. The awards will be presented at a private dinner April 8 in Lawrence. Read full article.
Teeter, b’71 g’75, has been working in analytics at KU for 45 years. Not only has she changed the way the University handles the data, but she has forever impacted the lives of those that work with her. Read full article.
Washburn University has hired former University of Kansas player and Wake Forest assistant Brett Ballard, d’04, to succeed Bob Chipman as head men’s basketball coach, the school announced Thursday. Read full article.
C.B. McGrath has been named UNCW’s 11th head coach of men’s basketball, the university announced today. His appointment is effective Tuesday, April 4. McGrath earned a B.A. in human biology and a master’s degree in education from KU. Read full article.
Faegre Baker Daniels partner Brandee Caswell, l’98, has been selected for the 2017 “Top Litigator” award by Law Week Colorado. The award is given to lawyers who excel inside and outside of the courtroom in plaintiff and defense work, and in trials and appeals. Read full article.
Topeka native and University of Kansas graduate Steve Tilford, a popular figure at cycling events in Lawrence because of his outgoing personality and area roots, died early Wednesday morning on Interstate 70 near the Utah-Colorado border, according to the Salt Lake City Tribune. Read full article.
The KU men’s basketball season ended abruptly in Kansas City when the Ducks of Oregon ousted the Jayhawks from the NCAA Tournament in the Elite 8. While the road to the Final Four has ended for the ‘Hawks, the accolades keep rolling in, including first-team AP All-American honors for senior Frank Mason and third-team honors for freshman Josh Jackson. That adds to the team’s haul of Big 12 honors, including Player of the Year (Mason), Freshman of the Year (Jackson) and Coach of the Year (Bill Self), in addition to KU winning its thirteenth consecutive Big 12 title. Obviously, it’s been a busy year.
The KU Alumni Association also kept busy connecting fans and alumni for watch parties coast to coast. Nick Kallail, assistant vice president for alumni and career programs, tallied up his attendance at KU basketball gatherings during his first year on the staff, sharing the total with friends and alumni volunteers on Facebook:
Reflecting on an incredible first basketball season with KUAA –
3 home games
4 games in KC
5 road games – Las Vegas, Ft Worth, Norman, Waco, Austin
14 watch parties – LA (3), Denver, Chicago (2), Manhattan Beach, Seattle (2), San Francisco (2), San Diego, Houston, Dallas
And loved every second of it… because of the time spent with so many of you. Heading home!
Nick ended the season with our L.A. Jayhawks, where halftime festivities include a highlight video celebrating our loyal alumni and fans (see below). Similar celebrations took place all season every place Jayhawks flock, from Maine to Seattle, and last Saturday was no different. All told, the KU Alumni Association hosted 68 watch parties during KU’s Elite 8 contest with Oregon in Kansas City.
And throughout the postseason, our staff was able to travel in style, thanks once again to our postseason partner Crown Automotive. The Crown Jayhawk Car didn’t log as many miles as we had hoped, but fans loved seeing it and snapping pics with it when we hit the road to Tulsa and KC.
More awards and recognition will continue to come before Monday night’s national championship game, and we have one more to add, for the Best Fans and Alumni in the Nation, always proud to be a Jayhawk.