Jayhawk fans showing support at pep rally ahead of NCAA Tournament beginning

Published: Mar. 16, 2023 at 12:21 PM CDT
Email This Link
Share on Pinterest
Share on LinkedIn

DES MOINES, IA. (WIBW) - KU fans made their way to the pep rally ready to cheer on the Jayhawks in the big dance.

Memorabilia was for sale, fans were rocking their Kansas gear and even one mom was celebrating her 40th birthday.

Joni Baker had been a season ticket holder for 11 years now and had family grow up in Lawrence.

“The excitement, the energy, the fans, it’s just like a feeling like no other. Even when you go into Allen Fieldhouse after all of these years, there’s just like an aura, every body lights up,” Baker said.

Alexis Phillips, the mom whose celebrating her birthday, says it’s awesome to watch KU basketball on this incredible run.

“This is actually my favorite time of the year, I try to come to a tournament, come see a game and that’s how I want to spend my 40th birthday and I got to raise them right so it’s time to being my kids and let them do it with me,” Phillips said.

Ken Johnson is a KU alum, dating back to 1950 and has written two books so far and is working on his third right now. His first book was covering 30 of the best players and coaches, the second book was focused on Allen Fieldhouse and Wilt Chamberlain and now he’s working on a book about Olympic athletes and coaches that went through KU. It will focus on James Naismith and him participating on the first ever Olympics.

“I’ve always collected information about KU and I have a website that covers all the players and coaches since their beginning so I use that matieral to produce these books so I’ve done a bunch of book signings down in Lawrence, Kansas City, Topeka and hopeful I’ll be able to do this for the new book,” Johnson said.

“They’ve just always had great players starting with Clyde Lovellette in 1950 and I went to Topeka High when Wilt Chamberlain was at KU and came there multiple times to recruit our center and got to see him quite a bit and I’ve been associated with the Jayhawks my whole life,” Johnson added.

Johnson said his two other daughters and their husbands went to Kansas as well.