Jayhawks aplenty at NBA exhibition in Kansas City
KANSAS CITY, Mo. – Kansas City’s Sprint Center is a second home to Kansas basketball and Saturday night Jayhawks were all over the venue for the Minnesota Timberwolves-Miami Heat exhibition NBA contest.
Three Jayhawks play for Minnesota including KC native Brandon Rush. Rush is one of four KU players to have won both an NCAA title and an NBA championship: Clyde Lovellette (1952 NCAA, 1954 Minneapolis Lakers, 1963 and 1964 Boston Celtics), Mario Chalmers (2008 NCAA, 2012 and 2013 Miami Heat), Brandon Rush (2008 NCAA, 2015 Golden State) and Sasha Kaun (2008 NCAA, 2016 Cleveland Cavaliers).
Fellow 2008 NCAA champion Cole Aldrich is also on the Timberwolves as is the 2014 No. 1 NBA Draft overall selection Andrew Wiggins. Minnesota won the exhibition contest, 109-100, with Wiggins scoring 19 points, Rush 11 and Aldrich four with six rebounds.
Besides Rush and Aldrich competing in the game, the 2008 NCAA title team was well represented at Sprint Center. KU head coach Bill Self and the current Jayhawks attended the contest. In addition to Self, KU assistant coach Kurtis Townsend was on staff in 2008 and Brennan Bechard, KU’s director of basketball operations, and Jeremy Case, KU video coordinator, were guards on the title team.
Chalmers, former Miami Heat guard and 2008 NCAA Tournament Most Outstanding Player, was in the house and sat courtside with former KU teammate and NCAA champ Brady Morningstar. Additionally, there was also a Conner Teahan sighting at the event. Teahan was freshman in 2008 while at KU.
Kansas is 216-80 all-time in Kansas City, including a 31-6 record in Sprint Center which opened in 2007. Rush’s previous appearance in Sprint Center was when KU won the 2008 Big 12 Championship. In all, Kansas has won five of its 15 league tournament titles in Sprint Center: 2008, 2010, 2011, 2013 and 2016.
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