Saturday, March 7, 2009

Senior Day

Today is Senior Day at the University of Kansas--the last home game of the regular season when the seniors from the current basketball team are recognized, along with each senior player's and manager's parents.

Only two seniors will be honored today at KU, and both are invited walk-ons. One is Matt Kleinmann.

What sets Kleinmann apart is that he will graduate having been a member of five conference champions at Kansas, along with being a member of last year's National Championship team. No other player at Kansas, in all its storied history, has achieved that status.

Kleinmann was a redshirt freshman, meaning he practiced with the team but did not play, and then suited up the next four years. During that time, in addition to the conference titles and national championship, KU won three post-season conference tournaments. So, Matt has five league title rings and one national championship ring.

A strong academic student, Kleinmann has been named All-Conference Academic First Team and has received recognition on the Athletic Director's and Big 12 Commissioner's Honor Rolls.

So, for all the terrific senior players who have been honored at KU over time, today we will see a walk-on--a kid who practiced every day against the likes of big men like Cole Aldrich, Sasha Kaun, Darnell Jackson, Wayne Simien and Darrell Arthur--who succeeded off the court and succeeded on by being a true teammate. Congratulations, Matt--you've done what no one at Kansas has done in the history of the most tradition-rich basketball school in the country.

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