Live Chat With Wayne Simien


Wayne Simien Chat Transcript

Senior standout Wayne Simien stopped by to answer your questions.

Kansas’ Wayne Simien has gotten off to an impressive start in his senior season, averaging a double-double per contest and leading the Big 12 in rebounding with 12 boards per game. The Leavenworth, Kan., native was a first-team all-conference selection last year and was selected as the preseason Big 12 Player of the Year prior to this season. Simien and fellow seniors Keith Langford, Michael Lee and Aaron Miles are looking to take KU to its third Final Four in the past four seasons in 2004-05.

Wayne will be stopping by and taking some time to answer your questions on Friday, Jan. 7, from 3-3:30 p.m. (Central) time. Fans are encouraged to submit questions beforehand.

Moderator: Wayne Simien is here now and ready to take some of your questions. Fire away!
Ashley (Leavenworth, KS): What is the biggest difference between playing for the Jayhawks and the Leavenworth Pioneers? Go LHS!!!
Wayne Simien: I really can’t pick out the biggest difference because there are a lot of similarities. I have got to play for some great coaches. In both high school and college we have had a chance to win championships. My junior year in high school we won the state championship and hopefully here we will when a national championship this year.
Stephanie (Ellis, Kansas): Hey Wayne, what is your favorite part of being a Jayhawk basketball player?
Wayne Simien: There are a lot of great things about being a KU basketball player. Playing for one of the best programs in the country. Playing in front of the best fans and the best venue in all of college basketball. Playing with and getting to know my teammates is also great. All of these things I have dreamed about since I was little and I am getting to live them out.
Madison: What did you think of the impressive OT win against Georgia Tech?
Wayne Simien: That was a great win. It was probably one of the biggest wins in my college career. It was tough not being out there, but I believed in my teammates. They showed guts and a lot of heart. That is the type of play it is going to take to stay on top this year.
Brian Scott (Bozeman, MT): Wayne, I’m a huge fan and know you will be back dominating inside really soon. My question is this: I heard your truck was stolen over the summer, did you get it back and did this cause you to miss any practice or workouts? (Stealing a Kansas basketball players belongings should be considered a serious felony with a possible death sentence.)
Wayne Simien: Yes, unfortunately I did have my truck stolen this summer but I did get it back and pieced back together. It was during the summer time so the only thing that I missed was class. The teacher thought I was trying to make it up, until it came out in the paper the next day.
Blake Baumann: What game may you possibly come back?
Wayne Simien: Right now the doctors and I are shooting for Iowa State (Jan. 12). We are experimenting with different types of casts. So hopefully we can find one that is sturdy enough for my hand but will not hurt anyone else.
(Corpus Christi): Do you have a girlfriend, i think you’re kinda cute?
Wayne Simien: Thank you for the compliment but no I don’t have a girlfriend. The last year and a half I have really been focused on my relationship with Lord and I’m trusting in Him to bring me a wife at the right time. But right now I’m concentrating on graduating, winning a championship, and sharing the gospel.
Melissa (Leavenworth): Wayne, seeing you on the side lines and the way you are always encouraging the team and coaching the team is amazing. Would coaching be something that maybe you’d like to do later in your future?
Wayne Simien: At this time I do not see myself being a coach. I have a lot of other things planned for my life.
Jen (Lawrence): Are You excited about finishing your senior season?
Wayne Simien: I am very excited about finishing my Senior season of school, but definitely not about being finished playing. It had been a great four years and hopefully we will finish it out with a championship and go down as one of the best senior classes ever.
Hartley: Do you think that I could make it to Kansas and play some basketball. I am in 8th grade and I have a veritcal jump of 26 inches. I average about 15 points a game.
Wayne Simien: You could definitely play here at Kansas. I am going to put in a good word for you. Keep working hard and do well and school. Listen to you parents and coaches.
Jon Beall (Leavenworth): First of all, thank you for being such an outstanding role model. Why do you believe KU always has a problem from the free throw line? Obviously you are not part of that problem because you are shooting around 89% from the line.
Wayne Simien: We have really been working on our free throws hard over break. It is beginning to show. The A&M game was really close and we hit them when they counted.
Jill (Kansas City): Do you feel your injuries over the years are going to impair your draft chances in the NBA?
Wayne Simien: It may in some eyes but I don’t think it should. Every collegiate athlete deals with injuries mine have just been more publicized then others. The only major injury I have had was my shoulder and I have recovered from that 100% and have not had any problems since. Freshman year knee (-5 games) no more problems. Sophomore year shoulder (-20+ games) fully recovered, All-Conference & All-American the next season. Junior year, groin (common injury)(-1 game). Senior year thumb (-3 games and counting)…its just a thumb on the none shooting hand. Whether it hurts my chances or not is not up to me. All I can control is how hard I work and just try to give the Jayhawks the best opportunity to win.

Ed Dowell (Sun City West, Az.): Two questions:(1)Do you work on a hook shot? I can’t recall seeing you do one but feel it could really come in handy when pressed by bigger centers?

(2) Why can’t the rest of the team make free throws? I’m 70 years of age and can hit them at will. Is it the lack of technique, nervousness, etc.?

Wayne Simien: I do from time to time use a “baby hook”. With the constant double-teams and sagging defensives we face it gets awful crowded to try and throw a “sky hook” in traffic but it is in my repertoire.As for the teams free throw struggles, its something that we are working on. We practice a lot of free throw and each player has his own routine and does what he think works for him. Sure the average Joe says they are easy, but add a few thousand cheering or screaming fan in a big time college atmosphere and things can get a little tight one the line. But we definitely need to knock them down to help win championships.
Kristin (Cleveland): Hello, Mr. Simien! I was wondering what your usual pre-game ritual is and if you’re very superstitious. Thanks for taking the time to chat and good luck! 🙂
Wayne Simien: Well I am not a superstitious person at all. I wouldn’t call it a ritual but the only thing that I consistently do before games is take a nap; Wear a suit, because every game is a special occasion to me; and blast some praise and worship in my truck on they way to the stadium and in my headphones in the locker-room.
Drew (Manhattan): I read your article in the Kansan about your strong religious faith and I just first want to say thank you for coming forward about what you believe in and being a role model for people who are religious but are timid to talk about it. Now my question, is it hard to live your life that way with all the temptations and scrutiny that come along with being a premier college athlete. Also, are your teammates supportive of your decision to lead your life committed to God?
Wayne Simien: It was a challenge at first, but the more that I grew in faith, the more I learned how Jesus wants his disciples to conduct themselves, and the more strong men of God I surrounded myself with the easier it has become. The Word says in Romans 12 “to no longer be conformed to this world but be transformed by the renewing of you mind so that you may prove what the will of God is, that which is good and acceptable and perfect”. So that’s what I had to do, totally change the way I think. Take my old worldly thought process and replace it with the Lord’s by reading my Bible everyday and modeling myself after Jesus, not someone who is on MTV or ESPN. Sure there are temptations with being an athlete on a college campus but the more you love God, the more you don’t want to do anything to offend Him. God’s commands are not burdensome and just like I want to be the best Jayhawk I can be, even first and foremost I want to be the best Christian I can be. Plus I have people in my life who hold me accountable for all my actions like my roommate and best friend who used to play football here but now is a fulltime campus minister here at KU. My teammates are very supportive of my faith and they, more than anybody have seen the biggest change in my life, especially the seniors.
Ian Goodyear (Fort Scott): Wayne, a lot of people are going to the NBA after only a couple of years in college, and I respect you much more for staying in college, to take KU to a championship this year, but why did u decide to stay in college when u are probably the best player in college basketball and could go pro easily?
Wayne Simien: There were several reasons why I chose to stay for my senior year. I didn’t want to leave Mike, Aaron, and Keith, we have a chance to go down as one of the most successful senior classes ever. I wanted to graduate (and will be this May w/ a sociology degree!). I want to bring a championship back to Lawrence and leave a legacy that no other native Kansan has. But, the #1 reason was to continue to grow and mature spiritually. I didn’t want to jump into the NBA lacking anything especially Faith. The way the trappings of success are gobbling up professional athletes. I also wanted to continue to use the platform that God has given to reach others with the Gospel and see their lives changed for Christ as mine has.
Ashley (Mentor): First I just wanted to say that I am a HUGE Kansas Jayhawk fan and my dream is to go to a game but anyways my question is…Would you like to face North Carolina in the NCAA championship and show Roy Williams what he missed out on?
Wayne Simien: If we met North Carolina in the Championship that would be the most anticipated college basketball match up ever and I would love for it to pan out that way. Though I still got a lot of love for RW we would have to put it on him and go ahead and bring the “Chip” back to KS.
Ashley (Mentor): Who is your favorite player in the NBA and why?
Wayne Simien: My favorite NBA player is anyone who has ever worn the Crimson and Blue!
Wayne Simien: Thanks for all the questions everybody. I gotta run, I hope to see all of you at the Fieldhouse this season.