Assists Foundation and complexes
Jayhawk fans are preparing to get down this Saturday at "Bill's Basketball Boogie."
The event is to celebrate the 2008 men's basketball national championship and to raise funds for coach Bill Self's Assists Foundation to promote child health and wellness.
The dance floor will resemble James Naismith Court at Allen Fieldhouse.
About 1,200 people are expected to gather at the 7 p.m. event on the infield of the Kansas Speedway in Wyandotte County.
The event has been in the planning stages for almost a year. Now, said one of the organizers, fans are flying in from New York, California and points in between, snapping up a chance to party with the championship coaches and players.
"We were going to have the Basketball Boogie regardless of how our season turned out," Self said. "But now this has become a big celebration for our fans."
Tickets are $250 apiece. Order forms are available at www.basketballboogie.org.
A big part of the night will be auctions of such things as a collage of every Sports Illustrated cover that ever pictured Kansas athletes and vacations to New York and the Cayman Islands.
The event will also include music by Sawyer Brown, games, food, drinks and a chance to take a photo with the national championship trophy.
After all expenses are paid, Self is hoping to raise about $500,000 to help design and build a wellness center for children.
"We want to have a wellness program in place that the school system can take advantage of and run every kid through whether they're in public or private schools," Self said.
He has said the campus could happen in Lawrence or somewhere else, because the foundation has had interest from different communities.
Some foundation members and Lawrence school board members are excited about talks on partnering for such a facility. District administrators have presented a plan to improve outdoor athletic facilities at each high school and possibly to establish a future district facility.
"We just continue to be enthusiastic and are talking to them about possibilities," Lawrence Superintendent Randy Weseman said. "We encourage everyone to go boogie."
Both Self and Weseman have said they are not asking for a tax increase.
With the Basketball Boogie, Self admits he's "seizing the moment," packing the event with as much as he can and hoping that affluent fans who are flush with national championship excitement will be quick to pull out their wallets and support his cause.
"As the night wears down, we'll have a disco dancing contest," he said. "My wife's found matching disco outfits for us."