Like father, like son

Posted on Apr 18, 2014 in Alumni News, News, and Sports

Fans of KU basketball in the 1990’s undoubtedly remember Allen Fieldhouse crowd favorite T.J. Whatley, who wore #14 for four seasons from 1992 to ’96.

img_news_whatley_corrxThe popular former walk-on now lives in Springfield, Mo., and works as a group leader in the civil engineering department at Olsson Associates. His wife, Dabney Pope Whatley, c’97, recently shared a photo of T.J. and their two young sons, Ethan and Jace, showing off their KU spirit at Universal Studios in Orlando, Fla. If you look closely, you might be able to see that Jace–in the center– is holding a small Jayhawk.

“My youngest carried that little paper Jayhawk around to get the perfect picture,” explained Dabney, who works as a speech-language pathologist in Springfield.

So, what are the Whatleys up to these days? Well, naturally both boys are following in their dad’s footsteps and playing basketball. T.J., e’97, g’02, coaches both boys’ traveling basketball teams, and they also stay busy with soccer, baseball and football.

Last year, their Missouri Lightning team finished third in the country at the AAU Nationals, and the family is excited anytime they can return to Kansas for basketball tournaments.

Dabney shared another fun fact with us: A few weeks ago, T.J. was coaching in a gym and discovered Sean Pearson, c’98, a former teammate, coaching on an adjacent court.

Gotta love the small world of KU basketball.

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