Jayhawks Receive National Championship Rings

Sept. 19, 2008

LAWRENCE, Kan. – Current and former Kansas men’s basketball greats were part of the family-like celebration the as the 2007-08 Kansas men’s basketball team received their 2008 NCAA national championship rings in a private ceremony here Friday.

Mario Chalmers, Brandon Rush and Darnell Jackson – three of the five NBA Draft selections from the 2007-08 team – were there along with KU grads and NBA veterans Nick Collison, Kirk Hinrich and Jacque Vaughn. Former Jayhawks Wayne Simien, Michael Lee, Nick Bradford and Terry Nooner, along with KU alums and current staff members Danny Manning, Brett Ballard and Jeremy Case, also attended the function. Lee was a graduate assistant on the 2007-08 team.

“It was a pretty good evening that was special for our guys,” Kansas head coach Bill Self said of the ceremony which had a capacity crowd of approximately 100 in the Naismith Room at Allen Fieldhouse. “It was a very appreciative group of people tonight that were able to get their rings.”

“We didn’t ask a lot of ex-players, not out of disrespect, it was because we didn’t have the room,” Self said. “We wanted to get some guys back that were recent enough that our current players could identify with.”

All but three of the 17-member 2007-08 roster was present. Guard Russell Robinson and center Sasha Kaun are currently playing professionally overseas and forward Darrell Arthur had team commitments with the Memphis Grizzlies.

Coaches, managers, trainers and KU administrators also received national championship rings during the ceremony. The former players were each presented with a piece of the Allen Fieldhouse floor. Jackson, one of five seniors on the 2008 squad, presented Self with his national championship ring.

During the dinner portion of the evening the group watched the second half of the national championship victory against Memphis and was also treated to highlight videos of the rich tradition that is Kansas basketball.

The 2007-08 men’s basketball Jayhawks will also be recognized during Saturday’s Sam Houston State at Kansas football game, scheduled to start at 6 p.m. (Central) from Kivisto Field at Memorial Stadium.