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University of Kansas (KU) Basketball Recruits

The University of Kansas basketball program has an enviable track record of successfully recruiting the best high school players in the world to play in Lawrence, Kansas (population 90,000). This article will outline the five reasons why year after year the best prep players desperately yearn to someday put on a Jayhawk uniform and specifically why being located in a small Kansas community is an advantage over programs in larger markets.

1. NBA Success

For many blue chip basketball recruits the end goal is a large paycheck from an NBA franchise. Producing NBA talent is something that the University of Kansas does just about as well as any other program in America. In an age of international competition and greater exposure for late bloomers it is less common today than in years past for NBA rosters to be filled with players that all hailed from the same college. Despite the global nature of the League, Kansas still produces NBA all-stars like Paul Piece and numerous other alumni (including eight other currently active players) that are being paid very well to play the game of basketball. In addition to the nine current NBA players KU has produced nearly seventy former NBA players with the most high profile name on the list being that of Wilt Chamberlain – arguably the best player to ever play the game.

2. College Success

Whether a young man is a prospect planning on bolting for the NBA after one season or a top notch player expecting to stay for four years to receive a diploma having team success on the hardwood certainly makes the experience more enjoyable. Few colleges in the country can offer the winning tradition that KU can. With thirteen final four appearances and squads fielded every season which are disappointed if they do not make it that far KU is clearly a place that expects to win. The opportunity to compete for a conference championship and a national championship every year is very enticing to high school recruits.

3. Historical Significance

Playing for a historic program has a certain cache that both high school prospects and parents appreciate. While a lack of tradition is certainly not a deal breaker it only helps to be known as “one of the most storied programs in collegiate sports.” In fact ESPN actually ranked the University of Kansas as one of the top two most prestigious basketball programs in the country (the other being Duke), a statement that is difficult to argue with. When it comes to historical significance in basketball no other school can boast having had James Naismith, the inventor of the game of basketball, as its first head coach (1898).

4. Elite Coaching

In keeping with the mentioning of Dr. James Naismith the topic of coaching is critical for developing a young man’s game so that he reaches the pinnacle of his potential. The history of coaching at the University of Kansas begins with Coach Naismith taking over the team just six years after personally making up the rules of the game and continues through the decades with a succession of accomplished coaches. Dr. Forrest C. “Phog” Allen played for Naismith and was his eventual successor as the head coach at Kansas. In honor of the contributions Coach Allen made the current arena the basketball team plays in was named Allen Field House and a large permanent banner inside reads, “Pay heed all that enter: beware of the Phog!” In more recent history respected NBA coach Larry Brown won a national title at Kansas in the 1980s before Roy Williams took over and ran a program that won an impressive 80% of its games during his fifteen year career at KU. The charismatic Bill Self is the current coach of the Jayhawks and despite having only held his position since the 2003-2004 season, Self has already won a national championship with Kansas.

5. Unconditionally Supportive Community

Finally, the fifth reason that top recruits love to play basketball for the University of Kansas is because it is a basketball school that lives for its program and in turn respects and admires its players. In a town like Lawrence, Kansas there is nothing bigger than KU basketball. That is the way it has been for over a hundred years and the way it will be for the next hundred years. In the twenty-first century media age we live in today a player does not have to play in New York City to get national exposure. Lawrence Kansas offers all of the exposure without any of the distractions.


In closing, the University of Kansas (commonly referred to simply as KU) wins basketball recruits by offering (1) an increased likelihood of NBA success, (2) a winning college basketball experience, (3) an extraordinarily historic program, (4) world class coaching, and (5) an amazingly supportive community that lives for Jayhawk basketball every winter.


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