Meet Kansas Basketball's Longest-Standing Fan--Hazel Windsor, 107 years old
Oct. 6, 2010
OVERLAND PARK, Kan. –
Can you image a world without television, the internet, cell phones or social media? Hazel Windsor can. She was born November 14, 1902, just 11 years after P.E. instructor James Naismith first taught young men to throw a soccer ball through peach baskets affixed to a 10-foot high railing which is now known as the sport of basketball.
Hazel Windsor is a 107-year-old woman living in Overland Park, Kan., who is the self-proclaimed “longest-standing fan” of Kansas men’s basketball. A representative of Kansas Athletics recently took time to sit down and talk to Hazel about her love of the Jayhawks.
When asked if she ever played basketball herself while growing up, Hazel laughed and said, “I didn’t know what basketball was when I (was at the age where I) could play. I played baseball.” Even though her secondary boarding school offered women’s basketball, Hazel went home on the weekends, which made it difficult for her to participate.
Hazel was 20 years old when KU won its first National Championship in basketball in 1922. She recalled being allowed to stay up late listening to games on the radio with her headphones. Hazel followed KU basketball more closely when her son-in-law, Max, was a student at KU.
When asked how she became hooked on KU basketball Hazel replied, “By watching them play. They did well.” She has faithfully followed KU players throughout their collegiate and professional years. And the best way to follow her favorite team, in her opinion? “I like my headphones and radio,” she said.
Hazel loves to read and spends most of her days reading anything she can get her hands on. Specifically for our visit with KU’s self-proclaimed oldest living fan, Kansas men’s basketball head coach Bill Self and his staff sent her a 2009-10 media guide as well a program from the KU vs. Missouri game last year. Hazel immediately started to read the players’ bios and eventually the materials had to be pried from her hands so the interview could continue.
In addition to the reading materials, Hazel was also presented with an autographed picture of Coach Self and a picture of the 2008 National Championship team at the White House with then-President George W. Bush. For history buffs, Theodore Roosevelt was the President of the United States when Hazel was born.
For her keepsakes, Hazel was also given a poster featuring current KU players Mario Little, Markieff Morris, Tyshawn Taylor, Marcus Morris, Tyrel Reed and Brady Morningstar. Her thoughts on the 2010-11 squad? “Looks like they are ready to start.”
Hazel laughed when asked if she had any advice to offer the team this year. She replied, “Don’t drink, curse or smoke. That’s good for every year.”
Kansas Athletics has the most dedicated and passionate fans, unparalleled to any other athletic program in the nation. Hazel Windsor is a true testament to this statement. She, and all Jayhawk fans alike, are ready for another great season of KU basketball.