Scott Novosel’s name is not one that pops up among the giants of the fabled Kansas basketball program.
But Novosel’s story of walking on to the Jayhawks in the early 1990s should be inspiring to anyone who has a dream. Roy Williams held open tryouts for players to walk on the team. He whittled the almost 50 prospective walk-ons down to four in the first week and then down to two after the second week.
Novosel, a guard from Leawood, ultimately made the cut and started on senior day at Allen Fieldhouse in 1995 against Oklahoma State. The winner of the game was going to be crowned Big Eight champions, and KU prevailed 78-62.
Among the players on the court that day were Jacque Vaughn, Scot Pollard, Raef LaFrentz and Bryant Reeves.
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Novosel is sharing his story (with artist Sam Sharpe) in a graphic novel called “FIELDHOUSE.” There is a Kickstarter campaign to get the book published, and Novosel said he’s been working on the book since the day after the win over Oklahoma State.
“I want to empower kids (actually people of all ages) with a story that they can not only relate to and be entertained by,” he wrote in an email, “but also one that once they apply the principles in FIELDHOUSE to their own lives, they can bring out the best in themselves to achieve whatever goals they have envisioned.”
Novosel has fond memories of his playing days at KU, but one in particular sticks out.
“I want to preface this answer with the fact that in every single practice and game, our coaching staff told us to ‘make the easy play,’” Novosel wrote in an email. “And, also that our first option in our offense was to ‘feed the ball inside.’
“So I got to start for Senior Day March 5th, 1995 against OSU. The winner wins the regular season Big Eight championship. … On the very first play of the game I get the ball on the wing. I turn and face the basket, then I did exactly what the coachs told me to do and it worked perfect!
“I made the easy play and fed the ball to Greg Ostertag, who then laid in a little hook shot for the first bucket of the game. I had dreamed about that pass (or a play like it) since March 29, 1986, when I was shooting baskets outside on our driveway during timeouts of the Duke vs Kansas game in the Final Four.”
Hat tip to Extra Mustard.