Celebrations Abound for the Kansas Men's Basketball Team Sunday in Lawrence

April 13, 2008

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<?xml:namespace prefix=”st1″ ns=”urn:schemas-microsoft-com:office:smarttags”?>LAWRENCE, Kan. – A parade that stretched more than two miles and had more than 100,000 fans come out to applaud the Kansas men’s basketball team on its 2008 national championship highlighted a day of celebrations here Sunday.

Following the parade more than 10,000 fans attended an awards banquet in Allen Fieldhouse. Jayhawk head coach Bill Self named KU seniors Jeremy Case, Darnell Jackson, Sasha Kaun, Russell Robinson and Rodrick Stewart the Danny Manning “Mr. Jayhawk” Award recipients. The award normally is given to just one player and for Robinson; he earned the honor for the third straight season.

Here are some bullet points on the Kansas senior class who collectively received the Mr. Jayhawk Award:

–Was part of Kansas’ third NCAA and fifth national championship.

–Won a school-record 37 games in 2008.

–Posted a 118-23 (83.9 percent) record in the last four seasons, averaging 29.5 wins per season.

–Won seven of a possible eight Big 12 championships. They won four Big 12 regular-season titles (tied Oklahoma in 2005, tied Texas in 2006, won 2007 outright and tied Texas in 2008) and each of the last three league tourneys.

–Case has already graduated and the other four are on schedule to graduate this spring.

–Was part of KU’s 51st conference title, the most in NCAA Division I.

–Was part of KU’s 1,900th all-time victory, set their junior season.

–Was part of the Jayhawks’ 600th all-time victory in Allen Fieldhouse.

–Was part of Kansas’ 10th all-time conference tournament title.

–KU’s 20-0 start to 2007-08 was the third-best start in school history.

–Advanced to the Elite Eight of the 2007 and 2008 NCAA Tournaments.

–Won Kansas’ 25th-straight Senior Night contest.

The day started at 3 p.m. in downtown Lawrence as administrators, staff, coaches and players were led by local police and fire personnel with the KU pep band and cheerleaders. One person described the scene as “you could see the crowd forever.” Well wishers aligned the streets of Massachusetts from Seventh Street until 19th Street, then east on 19th to Naismith Drive and north on Naismith to Allen Fieldhouse.

At the banquet the crowd roared as all 17 Jayhawks were introduced. Following remarks from KU Chancellor Robert Hemenway and Director of Athletics Lew Perkins, a video highlighting the 37-3 season was shown. A season where KU tied for the Big 12 regular-season championship with a 13-3 record, won the Big 12 tourney, the NCAA Midwest Regional as a No. 1 seed and the Final Four. Each senior then spoke and Self addressed the crowd and awarded the Mr. Jayhawk Award. The evening concluded with CBS’ famous “One Shining Moment.”