KU student-athletes celebrate Mother’s Day at graduation

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LAWRENCE, Kan. – Many moms spent a sunny Sunday celebrating Mother’s Day watching their daughters and sons at Memorial Stadium and the University of Kansas Commencement ceremonies. Among the thousands of graduates were many KU student-athletes who took part in the traditional walk through the Campanile near the top of Mount Oread and “down the Hill” to Memorial Stadium.
“Run toward the people in need. Run toward the chaos. Run toward the situations where you can make a difference,” KU Chancellor Dr. Bernadette Gray-Little said to the graduates in her final KU commencement ceremony address as Chancellor.
KU student-athletes, coaches and staffs from basketball, football, softball, swimming & diving and soccer met up just outside Strong Hall for group photos prior to the graduates procession down the Hill.
Not all of the more than 109 KU graduating student-athletes had the opportunity to participate in the 2017 graduation festivities. On Sunday, the KU track & field was competing at the Big 12 Championships at Rock Chalk Park in Lawrence. Baseball was playing host to Kansas State, while the rowing team was at its league competition in Oak Ridge, Tennessee. KU men’s golf is in its practice round at the NCAA Regional in Austin, Texas.
One men’s basketball graduate was Drew Gooden who left KU following the 2001-02 season and enjoyed a 14-year career in the NBA. He was joined by 2016-17 KU men’s basketball graduates Frank Mason III and Dwight Coleby.
“It was unfinished business,” said Gooden, the former Consensus All-America First Team selection and the 2002 NABC National Player of the Year. “Graduating, there was a big gap. I joke about it. I was a 15-year senior. It was one hell of a senior year. I got to enjoy it a bit, playing at the next level at the NBA and having that experience. Being about to come back and get that diploma and having that fulfillment, it was something that was missing for quite some time but now it’s completed.”
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