🏀 Former KU Men’s Basketball Player Kelly Knight Passes Away
LAWRENCE, Kan. – Former Kansas men’s basketball player Kelly Knight passed away Nov. 17, 2021, in Salina, Kansas, his family confirmed with Kansas Athletics. Knight was 59-years-old.
Knight was a three-year starter at Kansas, playing for KU coaches Ted Owens and Larry Brown. He played for Owens in 1979-80, 1981-82 and 1982-83, and for Brown in 1983-84. The Salina, Kansas, native started 84 of 101 games played while at KU and averaged 10.5 points per game for his career. His 1,057 career points are 51st on the KU all-time scoring list.
A team captain, Knight was an All-Big Eight Second Team selection in 1983 and was also a member of the 1983 Big Eight All-Tournament Team. Also, in 1982-83, Knight led Kansas with 35 blocked shots to go along with his 11.4 scoring average.
Knight comes from a family of Kansas basketball players. His brothers, Danny and Mark, both played basketball at KU for Owens. Danny played at Kansas from 1972-73 to 1974-75, while Mark played from 1979-80 to 1980-81. Additionally, Kelly Knight’s niece, Natalie Knight Johnson, was a four-year letterwinner from 2011-12 to 2014-15.
“I truly love the Knight family. They were a coach’s dream family with Danny, Kelly and Mark,” Owens said. “Kelly was a terrific teammate. He was very quiet. The good leaders are people who lead by example and that was Kelly. Some of the best leaders we have had at Kansas have been guys who were not very vocal. He always had the most wonderful attitude and was a great teammate.”
The Knight family will hold a private service at a later date.