Chris Teahan has ties to the two neighboring states that will be joining forces to raise about $1 million for hurricane relief on Sunday at the Sprint Center.
“I live in Kansas, went to school in Missouri,” said Teahan, a 6-foot-4 freshman walk-on basketball guard at the University of Kansas who grew up in Leawood on the Kansas side and attended Rockhurst High School, which is in Kansas City, Mo.
“I live right next to Rockhurst, 103rd and State Line. I’m on the Kansas side. I consider myself definitely a Kansas person … kinda got to,” Teahan added, smiling.
Teahan, the brother of former KU player and Rockhurst grad Conner Teahan, said he’s not sure how many Rockhurst students will be rooting for KU — and how many will be cheering for MU — while watching Sunday’s 3 p.m. Jayhawk-Tigers charity exhibition game billed as “Showdown for Relief.”
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“It’s split. It really is,” Chris Teahan said of Rockhurst. “A lot of kids go to Mizzou. A lot of kids go to KU. It’s kind of split down the middle. Since the rivalry hasn’t happened (in a major sport since Feb. 25, 2012 when KU beat MU, 87-86, in overtime in basketball in Allen Fieldhouse) it wasn’t that big of a deal when I went there. It’s more of a K-State-KU type of thing.”
Teahan said it’ll be fun to take on MU, a school that his brother defeated in eight of 10 career contests during his days at Kansas (2008-12).
Overall, KU has a 173-95 mark against MU in a series that ran uninterrupted from 1907 to 2012 until Missouri left the Big 12 Conference for the SEC. As an exhibition, this game, of course, won’t count in the all-time record books.
“It’s going to be a good game, a great opportunity to raise money for hurricane relief. People want to see it, so it’s going to be a good time,” Teahan said.
Teahan knows two of the Tigers players.
“I played with Michael Porter and Jontay Porter,” Teahan said of his MoKan Elite AAU teammates. “They are great guys. Mike is obviously a real good player, same with Jontay. It will be good to see them.”
Michael Porter Jr., a 6-10, 215-pound forward from Columbia, Mo., enters college as the No. 1-ranked player in the recruiting Class of 2017 according to Rivals.com. Jontay, 6-11, 240, is the No. 25-rated player in the class.
“I was with Jontay two seasons, Mike part of one. I know Jontay pretty well. I haven’t talked to them. I’ve tried to stay away from that,” Teahan added, when he spoke to The Star a week ago about an hour before the exhibition was officially announced.
Teahan won’t get involved in any verbal battles with the Porters before, during or after the practice game, he said.
“I am not a trash-talk kind of guy,” Teahan said. “I’ll probably just say, ‘What’s up?’ and wish them good luck and everything like that. We’re good friends, so we won’t be doing that.”
Teahan — who he has been on KU’s campus since the start of summer school in June — said he’s finally adjusted to the difference between high school and major college basketball.
“My first week here we got in live (pickup) action. It was, ‘Man, this is a little bit faster than I’m used to playing,’’’ Teahan said, “guys zipping by your face.”
Chris Teahan averaged 16.0 points and 6.0 rebounds a game for Rockhurst his senior season in high school. He hit 36 percent of his three-pointers and 75 percent of his free throws. Conner averaged 5.5 points, 2.1 rebounds and 21 minutes a game in 39 games during KU’s 2011-12 NCAA runner-up season.
“He’s versatile, can handle the ball, is very athletic, more athletic than me. I don’t know how much that really means,” Conner Teahan said of his younger brother with a laugh in a conversation with The Star after Chris committed to KU in April. “He’s a half-inch taller than me. He shoots threes, mid-range jumpers, takes it to the basket. He’s a good player. He’s always wanted to be a Jayhawk.”