Basketball season is over, but that didn’t stop Jayhawks in the southern part of the state from enjoying an evening with basketball legends this week.
KU alumni, fans and friends gathered at the Winfield Country Club to hear from former men’s basketball coach Ted Owens and legendary basketball star Bud Stallworth. Coach Owens led two teams to the Final Four and won 206 games in Allen Fieldhouse. He recently published At the Hang-up: Seeking Your Purpose, Running Your Face, Finishing Strong, and attendees had the opportunity to buy copies of the book.
Former men’s basketball coach Ted Owens, who led two teams to the Final Four and won a record 206 games in Allen Field House, has chronicled his life and career in At The Hang-Up: Seeking Your Purpose, Running Your Race, Finishing Strong. Written by Owens, Jim Krause and Jesse Tuel, the book takes its title from Owen’s childhood on a cotton farm in Hollis, Okla. He explains that “the hang-up” was a scale on which he and his brothers would weigh bags of cotton at the end of each day in the fields. Often the boys competed against their father. One day, as Ted was ahead of his father pulling cotton, his father shared a life lesson: “It’s not what you have now that’s important. It’s what you have at the hang-up.”
Owens will appear at a book signing with former player Bud Stallworth, s’78, at 7 p.m. Sunday, Nov. 3, in the KU Bookstore in the Kansas Union. The book can also be purchased online through the KU Bookstore. The following excerpt, including comment from Dave Robisch, d’71, concludes his chapter on his first Final Four team, which lost to UCLA in the semifinals in Houston:
I went back to the Astroworld Hotel, trudging down the hallway with profound sadness. Our quest for a national championship had vanished, our 21-game winning streak broken. When I entered my room, daughters Nancy and Kelly, then 11 and 8, met me at the door. “Too bad about the game, Dad,” Kelly said. “Do you want to play some cards?” It was a great lesson in sports and in life: When faced with disappointment, pick yourself up and forge ahead with new goals and plans for the future. Sometimes those lessons come from unexpected sources. …
The 1970-71 season was incredible, with the first Final Four for members of the team and the coaches, an undefeated conference season, and a winning streak of 21 games. As I look back, though, the team’s most remarkable achievement was unifying a campus and city in a common cause. Our players demonstrated that people from divergent backgrounds and ethnic groups can set aside their differences and, by loving and respecting one another, can exceed expectations. Today, the team group continues their special bond and they held a touching reunion in 2011.
“I am most proud of running the table in the Big Eight my senior year. Not many teams in the league did that. We were 17-0, but I still feel like we missed our chance to be remembered as one of the greatest Jayhawk teams of all time.”
More than 150 Jayhawks gathered in central Kansas this past Saturday, July 27 for the annual Salina Steak Out. For the fifth year in a row, the Wilson family hosted the popular event at their ranch near Salina. Jim Trower, b’77, president of the North Central Chapter of the KU Alumni Association, led the planning of the event. Butch Billips, assoc., of America’s Best Steaks proved the company’s namesake and provided the main course for dinner. Both men are Life Members and members of the Presidents Club.
After dinner, Jayhawks were treated to updates from Mt. Oread by Jeff Vitter, provost; Andrea Hudy, assistant athletics director for sports performance; and KU basketball legend Bud Stallworth. KU head softball coach Megan Smith and head swimming coach Clark Campbell also attended. Following the short program, the KC All Stars entertained the crowd with live music well into the night.
Thanks to the KU alumni, fans and friends who attended this great event!
Click here to view pictures from Salina Steak Out, or watch the slideshow below.