KU Men's Basketball Shops for Local Families

Dec. 15, 2011

121511aaa_835_7267019.jpegLAWRENCE, Kan. – As final exams wind down for the fall semester, the Kansas’ men’s basketball team jumped into the holiday spirit to do some shopping for 15 Lawrence area families Thursday night.

With the help of private donations from the Roundball Club and the through on-line donations from the Assist Foundation, the Jayhawks, coaching staff, managers, family and friends scoured a local Wal-Mart for the families’ “Wish List” gifts. Roger Morningstar, a KU standout from 1974-75 and father of another former Jayhawk, Brady Morningstar, helped organize the annual event, which is in its 15th year.

“It’s always fun to be able to give back to the community because they support us all the time,” said senior Conner Teahan. “It’s good for us to give (the fans) a little support also. This is my fifth year doing it and I’ve enjoyed it every year.”

Gifts ranged from bicycles, blenders, winter coats and video games to stereos, toys and clothes as the Jayhawks carefully marked off their lists while shopping for the less fortunate.

“I think this is one of the most fun things we do because we get to give back,” explained senior Tyshawn Taylor. “To be able to help somebody out and give them a special Christmas is a great feeling for me and my teammates.”

The Jayhawks scoured the store for more than an hour, making sure each item on the wish list was found. Once every item on each list was collected, the players helped load the dozens of bags onto a truck that will go on to deliver the gifts to the local families.

“It’s fun just giving back to people and making sure everybody has a good Christmas,” said junior Elijah Johnson. “Just going out and dedicating the night to families who wouldn’t have a very good Christmas otherwise; that’s really what it’s all about.”

Kansas returns to action Monday night against Davidson at Sprint Center in Kansas City. Tip-off is set for 8 p.m., and will be televised on ESPNU.