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Archive for Thursday, March 31, 2005

Big man off campus: Lawmakers honor Simien

March 31, 2005

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— Kansas University's Wayne Simien on Wednesday added another frame to his highlight reel: bringing Republicans and Democrats together in the Capitol.

Regardless of political party, state officials praised the All-American senior for his basketball skills, academic achievements and high morals.

Kansas University basketball senior Wayne Simien, center, is given
a standing ovation Wednesday in the Kansas House of Representatives
for being an All-American for the Jayhawks this year. Simien was
joined by his family, from left, his father, Wayne Sr., and his
mother, Margaret Simien, and his sister, Dione Leng. At right is KU
men's basketball coach Bill Self. Simien was honored in both
chambers at the Statehouse and met with Gov. Kathleen Sebelius.

Kansas University basketball senior Wayne Simien, center, is given a standing ovation Wednesday in the Kansas House of Representatives for being an All-American for the Jayhawks this year. Simien was joined by his family, from left, his father, Wayne Sr., and his mother, Margaret Simien, and his sister, Dione Leng. At right is KU men's basketball coach Bill Self. Simien was honored in both chambers at the Statehouse and met with Gov. Kathleen Sebelius.

Rep. Kenny Wilk, R-Lansing, described Simien, of Leavenworth, as "the very best Kansas has to offer. He is a true all-American citizen, human being and outstanding ambassador for the state of Kansas."

Gov. Kathleen Sebelius met with Simien and his parents, Margaret and Wayne Sr., sister, Dione Leng, and KU coach Bill Self. Then the 6-foot-9-inch forward was shuttled to the Senate and House, followed by a phalanx of fans and photographers.

Sen. Roger Pine, R-Lawrence, said Simien excelled at basketball while finishing his degree in sociology in four years.

"This couldn't be accomplished without dedication, hard work and keeping things in perspective," Pine said.

Sen. Marci Francisco, D-Lawrence, wished Simien good fortune in the future.

"Enjoy what you've accomplished; enjoy your walk down the hill," she said.







Simien spoke briefly in the House saying he was glad to see the chamber began its daily session with a prayer.

"It has become quite a cliche, but there's no place like home," he said.

Self said Simien was "real" and benefited from a foundation of family and Christian faith.

On the court, Self said, Simien "put a team on his back numerous times. I'm certainly proud of him. I never coached a better kid."

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