RCW: A Look Back 3.18
This year, Kansas men’s basketball started off the season with back-to-back trips to Hawaii and New York City, mixing in historic, educational sight-seeing with basketball games against Indiana and Duke. Trips such as these are not new for the program, which undertook a similar venture in the 1940-41 season. Let’s take A Look Back at the trip from December 23, 1940, through January 3, 1941.
Coach Phog Allen requested that all the men on the trip record their experiences in a journal; the best entry writers were rewarded with a “double-rich, creamy malted milk” – a team favorite. Allen later had the journals mimeographed and sent to the players’ parents. A copy of the compilation is part of the Kansas Athletics artifact collection. According to the entries, the team traveled by train and had several close calls at train stations; in one case, Marvin Sollenberger (back row, far right of 1941 team photo) claimed, “Had the train been on time we wouldn’t have made it.” Stops on the tour included Chicago; Ann Arbor, Michigan; Niagara Falls; West Point; New York City and Philadelphia. Highlights mentioned in the journal entries included multiple shows, a tour of Radio City Music Hall, the Liberty Bell, Convention Hall, the FBI building, a standing ovation from the cadets at West Point, Wall Street, the Canadian side of Niagara Falls and the chance to have a workout in Madison Square Garden during halftime of another game.
In addition to its other adventures, the team played three games, losing to Fordham and Temple and defeating Loyola.