Archive for Wednesday, June 4, 2008

Jayhawks honored at White House

Kansas basketball Coach Bill Self, left, and guard Russell Robinson, right, watch as President Bush, center, bounces the basketball given to him as he honored the 2008 NCAA men's national basketball championship team from the University of Kansas, Tuesday, June 3, 3008, in the Rose Garden of the White House in Washington.

Kansas basketball Coach Bill Self, left, and guard Russell Robinson, right, watch as President Bush, center, bounces the basketball given to him as he honored the 2008 NCAA men's national basketball championship team from the University of Kansas, Tuesday, June 3, 3008, in the Rose Garden of the White House in Washington.

June 4, 2008


Bush addresses the Jayhawks

President Bush honors the Jayhawks during the KU men's basketball team's visit to the White House on Tuesday.

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— Question his policies or debate his legacy all you want. At least give President Bush props for this: He knows his Jayhawks.

Or at least his speech writers do.

During a brief ceremony Tuesday at the Rose Garden, Bush honored the 2008 men's basketball national champions.

Speaking to a large group that included such dignitaries as KU Chancellor Robert Hemenway, Sens. Sam Brownback and Pat Roberts, Congressmen Jerry Moran and Dennis Moore, and former Kansas Sen. Bob Dole, Bush gave nod to several KU traditions, such as waving the wheat and the Rock Chalk chant.

"I just wish Big Jay and Baby Jay could have come with you. Barney was looking forward to meeting them," Bush joked about the presidential pooch, who, coincidentally, had just, uh, relieved himself within sight of the Rose Garden before the Jayhawks took the stage.


The KU fight song preceded the president's address, and the Rock Chalk chant followed it.

In the intervening eight minutes, Bush gave a brief recap of the season and congratulated the Jayhawks on their season.

"When KU fans come to the Rose Garden, they don't come to admire the flowers," Bush said. "They come to wave the wheat. :

"I just want to congratulate this team. You brought new glory to one of our nation's most storied basketball programs, and you gave your fans all across America one more reason to chant, 'Rock Chalk Jayhawk.'"

Self-made Champions

The Lawrence Journal-World looks back at the men's basketball season of 2007-2008, in which the Jayhawks claimed the NCAA championship title for the first time in 20 years and its third ever.

Though it's tradition for champions of all stripes - from World Series and Super Bowl champions on down - to make the journey to the White House, Bush insisted the Jayhawks' visit was exceptional.

"I know you've got to be excited about winning an incredibly tough tournament," said Bush, a noted sports fan. "Your fans are excited, and I'm excited to welcome you to the Rose Garden. It's a big deal as far as I'm concerned to welcome you to the Rose Garden."

'Unforgettable show'

Included in his recap, Bush mentioned the Jayhawks' victory over his alma mater, Yale.

"I don't know how you did it," he joked, "but nevertheless it was a great victory."

Bush mentioned the Jayhawks' 20-game win streak to open the season, their Big 12 championship and their run through the NCAA field, capped by a thrilling championship game victory against Memphis that gave KU its first national title since 1988.

"This championship team gave America an unforgettable show," he said. "It really did."

Bush made special mention of Danny Manning, who led the Jayhawks to the 1988 title and who served as an assistant coach on this year's team.

Jayhawks at the White House

Kansas' 2008 NCAA national championship team is greeted at the White House by President Bush.

"Most of the players on this team have little or no memory of the last time KU won a national title, which would have been 1988," Bush said. "As a matter of fact, most of the players weren't even born yet. That 1988 team became known as Danny and the Miracles.

"Danny Manning," Bush added, turning to the Jayhawks gathered behind him, "welcome back to the White House."

KU fan in the crowd

After wishing the Jayhawks good luck for next season, Bush was presented with a National Championship cap, a KU jersey and an autographed basketball, which he promptly bounced.

Among the spectators on hand was Adam Sterling, a 1977 Lawrence High School graduate who strolled over from his job in the Foreign Services Office at the Department of State.

"It's one of the perks of the job," he said.

Sterling was traveling with the president during parts of the NCAA Tournament.

Bush, in Europe for a NATO summit, met with Russian President Vladimir Putin in Sochi, Russia.

Sterling, whose mother still lives in Lawrence, was frantic to find a televised feed of the Jayhawks' national semifinal game against North Carolina. Sterling explained that in most capital cities, the Marine Corps guard has easy access to American sporting events, but off the beaten path in Sochi, there was no access.

But Sterling found a live Web cast, which he gladly watched, despite the early hours.

When he heard the Jayhawks would visit the White House, he had a much easier time catching the action.

"But I had to keep checking the ( Web site to find out when they'd be here," he said. "They don't do a lot to keep the staff informed here."

Sterling's take on the president's address?

"He was certainly well-briefed," Sterling said.


just_another_bozo_on_this_bus 10 years ago

"Either way, venting your political frustrations on a sports site is nothing short of preposterous."You're the one posting on a sports site. The rest of us are posting on the Journal-World news site.

motherof4 10 years ago

What a wonderful honor for our KU Men's Basketball team and coaches! I am so happy for them! They deserve it!

Rickyonealku 10 years ago

It appeared to me that both President Bush and the entire Kansas University Basketball T.E.A.M and Coach Self were having a great great time.One more time Congrats to the 2008 NCAA Mens Basketball Champions.I love sporting my KU-Champion T-shirts.

planetwax 10 years ago

It's too bad Pinochet and Milton Friedman didn't get their chance with Jayhawks.

cowgomoo 10 years ago

STOP FEEDING THE TROLLS! Just ignore them. Don't respond. If it's vulgar, suggest removal. Take a stand for civility now.Go Hawks!!! What an honor and a memory of a lifetime. We're all proud of you.

ksmax 10 years ago

lol No I am not a lesbian either, I am happily married with children and I don't need to explain myself to you.I agree that the world is going to hell...but when something good happens can we not enjoy that?? I guess I would rather wear rose colored glasses than broken ones.

ksmax 10 years ago

impeach_bush_now....I think we can agree on that one......where the heck did that comment come from???

ClaroAtaxia 10 years ago

Rammy,Good example of self-restrictive information gathering. A trend that does nothing but perpetuate ignorant daftness. I ask you this one question: Would it not be better to study material you disagree with so as to better rebut it?He who learns not what he dislikes, learns nothing.What Would Einstein Do?

ksmax 10 years ago

impeach_bush_now.......Are you related to Fred Phelps??? Go preach your crap somewhere else!

ksmax 10 years ago

You are an angry person! Can we not have a little joy in this world for once without someone screwing it up for everyone!

conservativepunker 10 years ago

All those notable Kansans, and no Kitty-Kat or OhBoy Boyda to be seen......

Lenette Hamm 10 years ago

Rats - you beat me to it!!! :-)Reality_Check (Anonymous) says:That's the best picture of George W. Bush that I've ever seen!

Kristen Murphy 10 years ago

Morganlefay it was a joke. And it's still purple.

morganlefay 10 years ago

Russell's tie isn't even ksu purple. Give it up and quit grabbing at straws, kstater. Not sorry to say, you'll never get the chance to know what a national championship feels like. :)

bearded_gnome 10 years ago

nancy boyda wasn't there because there was good news, so she stormed out of the meeting!sad, article celebrating the amazing accomplishments of the team and coaches, and logie has to just bring in his/her bush-hate; he/she must have a very pathetic life. and some nimrod implies he'd welcome assassination, there's your blood thirsty liberals for ya!

ksmax 10 years ago

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