I’m sad that it’s over but happy that it happened. This year’s team was a different one to say the very least. They made me go through every emotion that is possible for one human being and they allowed me to do things that I never knew would be possible.
Back in January when the after the Jayhawks lost another game at Allen Fieldhouse I asked Where is the Pride in this Team? Well, even though it took them another two months, they showed me. The team that lost to Texas Tech and Oklahoma State at home was not the same team that showed up to the Big 12 Tournament or the NCAA Tournament.
Udoka hurt his knee the week of the Big 12 tournament and then post-season Leek was born! The Malik Newman that we thought we would be getting showed up in Kansas City and decided to stick around until the very end. Devonte’ Graham won the Big 12 player of the year along with multiple All-American honors, all while etching his name in the KU record book by being the all time assist leader in a single season. Not to be outdone, Svi decided he wanted a little piece of history himself and became the school’s all time leader in three pointers made in a single season.
Personal Experiences for Me
A couple of cool things happened to/for me during this past basketball season as well, things that I will cherish forever. The first thing that happened was that I was able to take my mom and step-dad to their first Kansas basketball game and ended up turning them into some pretty invested fans from then on out. I’m sure it helped that it happened to be one of the most exciting games of the year– WVU game– and my step-dad will still tell you about how loud Allen Fieldhouse got when Malik Newman hit that three to tie the game. But the big reason why this memory is so special to me, is because for the first time I was able to celebrate my father’s life instead of be upset. My father was big time a basketball junkie and coached it for the majority of his life but he passed away on February 17, 1994. Well, it just so happened that the WVU game was on February 17th this year and when I saw that date I thought there wouldn’t be any better way to celebrate his life with my mom and step-dad for the first time in 24 years. Myself, and them as well I’m sure were really able to take a major step forward in finally having some closure.
I was also able to take my fiancée to that game, which was her first conference game and I’m pretty sure ended up making her really catch the Allen Fieldhouse fever for here on out –probably just cost myself a ton of money in the future but that’s ok. The last but certainly not least was that I got to go to Allen Fieldhouse to celebrate the Elite Eight win. I still have an image in my head from when I was younger of Kirk Hinrich coming back into The Fieldhouse after their Elite Eight win and always wanted to be there when it happened again. Well, we had moved only about 30 minutes away from Lawrence now and there was no way that I was going to pass up this opportunity!
The season ended up ending on a bit of a sour note with not even being competitive in that Final Four game against Villanova but lets be honest, no one could have beat them on that night.
Overall, this season was a very up and down season with our home losses, 14th straight Big 12 Championship, and first Final Four appearance since 2012 but I wouldn’t trade it for the world. With what all of us fans thought that we had in a team at the beginning of the year to what they ended up being by the end, combined with the amazing personal experiences that this season gave me, I have never been more proud to call myself a Jayhawk!
Let’s just hope we can all make it through this offseason without too many withdrawals!