🏀 Jayhawks Participate in a Clinical Huddle with Team IMPACT Teammate

LAWRENCE, Kan. – Kansas men’s basketball had a team meeting Thursday evening to get know Team IMPACT teammate Jonathan Phog Bemberger, aka JP, via video conference.

The virtual meeting, also called a “Clinical Huddle,” consisted of JP and his parents, Tom and Michelle, the 14 Jayhawks, director of basketball operations Fred Quartlebaum and Lynn LaRocca from Team IMPACT. The Bembergers were tuning in from JP’s hospital room as he is going through treatments and rehab as he recovers from Ewing’s Sarcoma, a form of pediatric cancer.

The 30-minute meeting started with each individual introducing themselves and telling an interesting fact that people may not know about. Besides video game enthusiasts, a few others tidbits included that Ochai Agbaji loves to eat spaghetti, Chris Teahan is pretty good at bowling and that David McCormack’s favorite dessert is cheesecake. JP, on his part, has done a between-the-legs dunk on a 7.5-foot goal and built his own gaming computer from spare parts he collected and purchased.

After the intros, the group did a scavenger hunt contest where they had a minute to find items and show them on the Zoom call. If there were duplicates, both participants were eliminated. The meeting concluded with every player discussing this past year’s events, specifically COVID-19 and racial inequality, and what they are looking forward to in 2021.

“First off, I hope JP gets as healthy as possible,” Team IMPACT Ambassodor and senior Mitch Lightfoot said. “I can speak for a bunch of us in (that) we want life to go back to how it was before quarantine; being able to be around our friends, stop worrying about being six-feet apart and stuff like that. I think we all want to be social, but also be safe.”

Many players mentioned the same things, plus being able to play in a full Allen Fieldhouse with JP attending, and winning a national championship.

On Nov. 11, the Kansas men’s basketball team partnered with Team IMPACT, an organization that connects teams with children (aged 5-18) that have chronic illnesses. JP, a 16-year-old from Lenexa, Kansas, joined Kansas as a Team IMPACT signee. In his honor, there is a cutout of JP near in the KU bench area for home contests and there is a locker dedicated to him both at home and on the road.

KU players and staff have kept in touch with JP since he became a KU team member. Besides the Clinical Huddle, they have kept in touch via text, FaceTime and Zoom.