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Senate Concurrent Resolution 72—Relative To The Centennial Celebration Of The University Of Kansas Basketball Program

Mr. ROBERTS (for himself and Mr. Brownback) submitted the following concurrent resolution; which was referred to the Committee on Commerce, Science, and Transportation:

Whereas in 1898, the ``Father of Basketball'', Dr. James Naismith, became the first basketball coach at the University of Kansas; Whereas Dr. Forrest ``Phog'' Allen, considered one of college basketball's most successful coaches, succeeded Dr. James Naismith, winning 746 games, 24 conference championships, 2 Helms Foundation National Championships, and 1 National Collegiate Athletic Association (referred to in this resolution as ``NCAA'') Championship; Whereas Dr. Allen was influential in forming the National Association of Basketball Coaches, lobbied to make basketball an Olympic sport, and was a key individual in the formation of the NCAA Basketball Tournament; Whereas University of Kansas graduates who played basketball under Dr. Allen, including Adolph Rupp, Dean Smith, Ralph Miller, and Dutch Lonborg, went on to achieve unparalleled success as college basketball coaches; Whereas 13 University of Kansas alumni, including Wilt Chamberlain and Clyde Lovellette, are members of the Naismith Basketball Hall of Fame; Whereas the jerseys of Danny Manning, Charlie Black, B.H. Born, Paul Endacott, Wilt Chamberlain, and Ray Evans were retired by the University of Kansas because of their achievements on the basketball floor as University of Kansas Jayhawks; Whereas the University of Kansas men's basketball tradition includes more than 1,650 victories, 44 conference championships, 10 NCAA Championship Final Four appearances, 2 Helms Foundation National Championships, 2 NCAA Championships, in 1952 and 1988, and 10 Consensus All- American players; and Whereas Allen Field House in Lawrence, Kansas, maintains a spirited atmosphere that provides the University of Kansas Jayhawks an immeasurable advantage in their games: Now, therefore, be it Resolved by the Senate (the House of Representatives concurring), That Congress recognizes and honors-- (1) the 100 years of basketball history at the University of Kansas; and (2) the players, coaches, alumni, and fans of the University of Kansas Jayhawks who have participated in the basketball program throughout the years.

Sen. Pat Roberts

legislator photo

Mr. President, it is my privilege to submit a Senate concurrent resolution today commending the centennial celebration of college basketball played at the University of Kansas.

This weekend former Jayhawk players and coaches, along with fans from all over the country, will gather for a reunion weekend in Lawrence, Kansas. Festivities include a legends game, banquet, and culminate with the Missouri game on Sunday afternoon. They will celebrate and honor a tradition that is second to none.

College basketball history contains many milestones and accomplishments achieved by the Kansas Jayhawks. Since KU's first team in 1898-99 the Jayhawks have had more than 1,650 victories, second only to North Carolina and Kentucky. Kansas has played in the NCAA Tournament 26 times, made 10 final four appearances and won or shared 44 conference titles. Not only can Kansas lay claim to college basketball's greatest coaches, but it has ties to both its inventor and one of its dominant players.

In 1898 Dr. James Naismith, only seven years removed from nailing two peach baskets on the wall in Springfield, Massachusetts YMCA, became KU's first basketball coach. Ironically, Dr. Naismith was the only Jayhawk coach to retire with a losing record. Although Dr. Naismith's record does not reflect his ingenuity for inventing basketball, he is fondly remembered at KU.

Ten years later, Forest ``Phog'' Allen took over the reins from Naismith. Allen, a KU basketball letterman learned the game from his playing days under Dr. Naismith and refined them so much so that he is referred to as the ``father of basketball coaching.'' Off the court, Allen joined in the creation of the National Basketball Coaches Association, led the international effort making basketball an Olympic sport, and assisted in the formation of the National Collegiate Athletic Association Tournament. Allen compiled a record of 590-219 in 39 years as the Jayhawks head coach. This includes 24 conference championships and one NCAA Championship. All totaled Allen won 746 games, a record twice since broken by his former players.

One of the outstanding games in the Jayhawks 100 year history is the 1952 NCAA championship game played in Kansas City's Municipal Auditorium. The Allen-coached Jayhawks won the game over St. John's with Basketball Hall of Fame member Clyde Lovellette contributing 33 points. Another future Hall of Famer saw limited action that night, Dean Smith.

Also in the fifties, the Kansas Jayhawks added more to the history and legacy of college basketball. In 1957 Wilt Chamberlin led the Jayhawks to a 24-3 record and a spot in the NCAA finals where Kansas was defeated by North Carolina, 54-53 in three overtimes in what is considered one of the most exciting games in NCAA Tournament history. Despite the loss, Chamberlin was selected tournament MVP and was a two-time All-American. Chamberlin went on to achieve great success in the NBA setting a single game scoring record of 100 points while with the Philadelphia Warriors.

In recent years, Kansas Jayhawks on the court continued to add more history. Danny Manning and his all-stars persevered in their underdog effort that culminated in the Jayhawks 1988 victory over Big Eight Conference rival Oklahoma and once again being crowned national champions.

Even after reaching the pinnacle of being a national champion in 1988, the Jayhawks are still regarded as one of the top teams in the nation. In his nine seasons as the Jayhawks head coach, Roy Williams has led the Hawks to two Final Fours and five conference championships. Like all his coaching predecessors, Williams' teams excel on the court and off, not only preparing student athletes for difficult games, but for the challenges to come in lives.

I would like to list for my colleagues those Kansas Jaykawks who have been elected to the Naismith Hall of Fame in Springfield, Massachusetts: Dr. Naismith, Phog Allen, E.C. Quigley, John Bunn, Adolph Rupp, Paul Endacott, Dutch Lonborg, William Johnson, John McLendon, Wilt Chamberlain, Dean Smith, Clyde Lovellette, and Ralph Miller. In addition, KU's Lynette Woodard, who became the first woman to play with the Harlem Globetrotters, has also been recognized for her winning endeavor on the Jaykawks women's team.

Mr. President, this short history cannot convey the atmosphere of college basketball played at ``Phog'' Allen Field House, which opened in 1955. Although it resembles a large Kansas barn, when it's filled with 16,300 Jaykawkers it quickly becomes a near impossible place for opposing teams to win. The mood of the building is often inspiring, and Coach Allen's spirit is said to remain in residence and aid the Jaykawks in times of need.

On this 100th anniversary of KU basketball, I want the past and present fans, alumni, players and coaches to know the United States Senate appreciates their efforts for the past one hundred years in contributing to, and perpetuating the heritage of America's unique game; basketball.