University of Kansas

KU notebook: Praise pours in for coach Bill Self on Hall of Fame honor

KU coach Bill Self introduced as Naismith Hall of Famer

Kansas basketball coach Bill Self was announced Saturday as a member of the 2017 Naismith Memorial Basketball Hall of Fame class.
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Kansas basketball coach Bill Self was announced Saturday as a member of the 2017 Naismith Memorial Basketball Hall of Fame class.

Several individuals posted on Twitter over the weekend in response to Kansas coach Bill Self being selected Saturday to be a member of the Naismith Memorial Basketball Hall of Fame’s class of 2017.

“The journey is well documented … still a lot more to add to collection … @CoachBillSelf congrats … Stay Legendary … ,” wrote former KU guard Russell Robinson, who is playing professionally in Poland.

“Congrats to the GOAT @CoachBillSelf #HallOfFame #RockChalkJayhawk,” tweeted former KU guard Ben McLemore of the NBA’s Sacramento Kings.

“Congrats @CoachBillSelf, you’re the man. Love you forever,” read the message of KU senior guard Frank Mason.

“Congrats coach @CoachBillSelf #HallOfFame #KUCMB,” tweeted former KU forward Cliff Alexander, who is playing for the Long Island (N.Y.) Nets of the NBA Development League.

“Congrats @CoachBillSelf … now everyone knows what Jayhawk nation knew all along. #HOF,” tweeted KU volleyball coach Ray Bechard.

“What an honor and well deserved!” tweeted former KU guard and director of basketball operations Brett Ballard, now an assistant coach at Wake Forest.

Reed issues tribute to Self

Former KU guard Tyrel Reed, who played for the Jayhawks during 2008-11, responded with a heartfelt tribute to his former coach when asked for a comment on Self’s being chosen to the hall. Reed is a doctor of physical therapy in Lawrence.

“I was privileged to play at the University of Kansas under coach Self for four years,” Reed wrote in an e-mail to The Star. “While playing, I was able to develop and improve as a basketball player on the court, but more importantly, I was able to grow off of the court as a young man with his guidance. I’m not going to lie and say I didn’t have my ups and downs or bumps along the way, but all things considered there were values and principles he imparted that made the ride special and one that I will never forget.

“First, success comes to those who work hard. He is a direct representation of this with all of the accolades he has rightfully received and earned over the years. Next, caring and giving to others is more important than the things we possess. Coach exemplifies this with the time and money he has joyfully donated to the community over the years with his Assists Foundation.

“And lastly, as basketball players he instilled in us two constants that we can always control no matter what the situation or outcome: effort and energy.

“Like he always told us it’s easy to be the frontrunner or No. 1 but how do you respond when things aren’t going your way? Though I could go on and on about how important Coach has been for our basketball program, including 13 straight Big 12 championships, two Final Fours, and a national championship, I feel that his greatest accomplishment has come in the form of the players he has coached and mentored into becoming successful men. The success of our program starts at the top with the many great ambassadors and coaches that have led the Jayhawks. Names like James Naismith, Phog Allen, Ted Owens, Larry Brown, Roy Williams, and Bill Self are what make this place special and unlike no other. Coach Self deserves to have his place in history among the greats and I am so excited to see him being recognized for all he’s done for the university and game of basketball. Congratulations to Coach on being selected to the Naismith Hall of Fame. It couldn’t have happened to a better man.”

Self issues tribute of his own

Self on Sunday praised KU senior Frank Mason on Twitter after Mason was announced as winner of the Naismith Trophy.

“So proud to coach the best person and competitor that happens to be the the nat’l POY Congrats Frank. Your legacy at KU will live forever,” Self wrote on Twitter.

Jacobs to switch schools

Future KU point guard Markese Jacobs has decided to transfer from Chicago’s Uplift Community High School to Hillcrest Academy in Phoenix, Ariz.

Jacobs, a 5-foot-10, 160-pound junior-to-be, who committed to KU in October after attending the 2016 Late Night in the Phog, will be joined at Hillcrest by his brother, Demarius, a 6-3 senior, who recently decommitted from Southern Illinois.

Markese Jacobs is ranked No. 50 in the recruiting Class of 2019 by Demarius is not ranked in the top 150 in the Class of 2018.

“Markese is just a physical specimen and a God-given talent,” Hillcrest Academy coach Kyle Weaver told “He is ultra-quick, ultra-explosive. From everything I’ve seen, through working him out and watching film, nobody can stay in front of him.

“Even though he’s small, he’s very strong. He can absorb contact in the lane. He reminds me a lot of Isaiah Thomas and Nate Robinson. He’s just explosive. He does stuff in games that gets people out of their seats. Both these kids are going to be great additions to Hillcrest and helping us maintain our Top 10 in the country ranking.”

Markese chose KU over Illinois, DePaul and Southern Illinois. He plays AAU ball for Mac Irvin Fire.

Gary Bedore: 816-234-4068, @garybedore