Frank Mason III got a warm welcome last weekend from family, friends and fans in his hometown of Petersburg, Virginia, during a series of festivities that celebrated the KU basketball star and national player of the year.
Petersburg Mayor Samuel Parham on Friday declared May 19 “Frank Leo Mason III Day” and issued a proclamation of Mason’s achievements before presenting him a key to the city. KU assistant coach Kurtis Townsend, who discovered Mason in 2012 during a Las Vegas recruiting trip, and nearly 30 Richmond Jayhawks attended the celebration.
“Frank Mason III is beloved by fans for providing us four great years and helping our team reach the important 13-straight milestone,” says Kimberly Gulley Winn, l’95, g’03, executive director of Virginia Municipal League, who spoke at the event. “We were honored to be a part of the events highlighting the amazing career of this terrific young man, and we are looking forward to following his NBA career.”
On Saturday, locals packed William Lawson Gymnasium at Petersburg High School, where Mason attended and played, for an alumni basketball game. Mason’s No. 15 jersey was retired during a halftime ceremony.
“I just want to appreciate everybody that came out,” Mason, c’17, told the crowd. “I thank my family, friends, everybody that I love. Besides those people, I do it for Petersburg.”
Later that day, Mason threw out the first pitch at a Flying Squirrels minor-league baseball game in Richmond, Virginia.
Looking for a way to connect with fellow Jayhawks, expand your professional and social networks and learn a little KU history at the same time?
Don’t miss the latest program from KU Libraries and the KU Alumni Association: Evolution of the Jayhawk.
At this one-of-a-kind event, you’ll have the opportunity to see and hold rare KU archival materials that showcase the fascinating origins and the evolution of our beloved Jayhawk. View some of the most exclusive and intriguing iterations of our distinctive mascot, while making connections with fellow Jayhawks.
Events are currently scheduled for the following locations:
Loyal Jayhawks are the greatest ambassadors for our beloved university, and Presidents Club members Russ and Linda Ellis Sims, e’79, are some of the best.
You may remember Linda as our unofficial travel blogger last summer, when the KU men’s basketball team played two exhibition games in Europe. Linda provided several fun stories about the trip for us to share with alumni. She also serves on the board of the Greater Kansas City alumni chapter, her latest of many KU volunteer roles. Linda’s service to her alma mater began in the 1980s, when she was a chapter leader in Houston and a member of the Alumni Association’s national board.
This winter, Russ and Linda have traveled to a number of KU men’s and women’s basketball games around the country, and each time they’ve made an effort to connect with local Jayhawks.
In December, they helped organize a pregame gathering in Fayetteville, Ark., before the KU women’s team played Arkansas, and they did the same before the women’s game last month in Stillwater.
When the men’s team played at Texas in January, Russ and Linda happened to be in Virginia. They reached out to the Association’s Richmond Chapter to find friendly faces to watch the game with, and Linda provided a picture of the group. At the end of the month, they were back in Virginia for the team’s first game in Morgantown, and although the Association didn’t host an official pregame event, Linda used social media to rally local Jayhawks for an impromptu gathering.
A big thank you to Linda and Russ for connecting Jayhawks to the KU Alumni Association and showing the value of membership!