Sheahon Zenger is all for making this unofficial “Bill Self Week” for University of Kansas sports fans everywhere.
“I think everyone needs to enjoy this,” Zenger, KU’s eighth-year athletic director said Monday, referring to Self’s impending induction into the Naismith Memorial Basketball Hall of Fame.
Self will be the 20th person associated with Kansas basketball to be enshrined Friday night at Symphony Hall in Springfield, Mass.
“We talk about the stats all the time, his winning percentages, what he does. This is the time to appreciate the coach we have, the years he’s given us,” Zenger added.
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Self is beginning his 15th season at KU.
“My favorite thing about him, besides just his personality,” Zenger said, “here’s a guy who takes a group of individuals every year from a variety of backgrounds. What he does with them by the end of the year, molding them into a championship team, is special. It’s magic.”
Self — who attended Saturday’s KU football victory over Southeast Missouri State — was busy over the weekend hosting recruit Immanuel Quickley, a 6-foot-4 senior point guard from John Carroll High School in Bel Air, Md. Quickley, the No. 10-rated recruit in the class of 2018 according to Rivals.com, has a final three of KU, Miami (Fla.) and Kentucky. His visit ran Friday through Sunday.
KU’s coach will hold a media session with local reporters on Tuesday, then head to Springfield on Wednesday. He will take part in an autograph signing for the public and a news conference for all inductees Thursday at the Hall of Fame. He’ll attend a enshrinement VIP gala and the enshrinement ceremony itself Friday, then is slated to receive a Hall of Fame ring at a private celebration party on Saturday.
Zenger is planning on attending the enshrinement Friday and KU’s home football game against Central Michigan on Saturday.
“I think all of us are enjoying it more than he is,” Zenger said of Self, who likes to spread the credit around and can feel uncomfortable being singled out for praise. “We want to celebrate this with him and make sure to continue to celebrate with him when he gets back here.
“I’ve said this over and over, I think he’s the most authentic guy in the business,” Zenger added of Self. “He hasn’t changed, never changes. He’s a joy to work with every day. I get to sit by the bench a lot of times. To watch him work his magic is something special. I’ve been around some great coaches in football and other sports. He’s as good as they come. I’ll take him in any game, any match, any sport.”
Ellis arrives in Australia
Former Kansas small forward Perry Ellis has arrived in Australia for training camp with the Sydney Kings.
“I think I’ll be able to do a lot of different things,” the 6-foot-7, 218-pound Wichita native said of his contributions to the team that plays in Australia’s National Basketball League. He was speaking at an introductory press session over the weekend with Australia media.
“Speed-wise I feel I am able to run the floor well. I thought over the summer I played really well, expanded my game a lot. That’s what I’m trying to do.”
Ellis, 23, worked on his three-point shooting last season in the NBA Development League and this summer playing for the Minnesota Timberwolves.
“With our system you need versatile players. That’s one of the things that attracted us to Perry,” Kings coach Andrew Gaze said. “We feel he has great versatility same with Travis (Leslie, former Georgia player). I think they fit in well.”
Ellis told the media he still has dreams of playing in the NBA.
“I definitely do think it is (in my future),” Ellis said. “I still have goals for that. We get to play an NBA team. That’s a great opportunity.”
The Sydney Kings will play the Utah Jazz in an exhibition game on Oct. 3 in Utah.
Jerod Haase the daredevil
Former Kansas basketball guard Jerod Haase has a bit of daredevil in him.
Haase, Stanford’s 43-year-old second-year men’s basketball coach — the same guy who played with a broken wrist his senior year at KU — on Aug. 18 rappelled down the 46-story Hilton San Francisco Union Square Hotel.
The entire adventure was caught on tape.
The 6-foot-3 former KU combo guard took part in Outward Bound California’s annual City Skyline Challenge. Select individuals rappel down the side of a tall building to benefit scholarship fund-raising for youths in low-income families.
“Enjoyed the view of San Francisco,” Haase tweeted after the event.
Others to descend the building according to sfgate.com: local San Francisco Supervisor Jane Kim, former state senator Mark Leno, donors to the Challenge and “a person in a Spider-Man suit.”
The Challenge goal was to raise $350,000 for Bay Area students who are awarded one-year scholarships from Outward Bound to learn outdoor skills through rock-climbing, camping, and other adventures.
KU will meet Stanford at 9 p.m., on Dec. 21 in Sacramento, Calif., in the second game of a four-game, four-year series with the Cardinal. KU beat Stanford 89-74 on Dec. 3 at Allen Fieldhouse. Haase received a standing ovation during introductions before the game.