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Archive for Tuesday, February 17, 2009

KU grad writes basketball ‘scrapbook’

Ken Davis book about KU basketball features pullout replica pennants, tickets, contracts, notes and other memorabilia for fans to examine and enjoy.

Ken Davis book about KU basketball features pullout replica pennants, tickets, contracts, notes and other memorabilia for fans to examine and enjoy.

February 17, 2009

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Longtime sports writer Ken Davis, a 1980 Kansas University graduate in journalism, always thought his first book would be about basketball.

He just didn’t know how well it would work out.

“It was a lot of fun,” he says. “It’s kind of a dream come true. Being around basketball so much, I figured my first book would be about basketball. But to do it about my alma mater is just great.”

His book, “The University of Kansas Basketball Vault: The History of the Jayhawks” ($49.95, Whitman Publishing), chronicles the more-than-a-century-long history of the KU basketball program.

Davis’ words are accompanied by 144 pages of photographs and “inserts” — a commentator’s notes from a big game, postcards of famous coaches and pennants, to name a few.

“It’s like your father’s scrapbook — or your grandfather’s, or your great-grandfather’s,” Davis says.

The book is broken down into chapters based on coaches.

“It’s so rare for a school with such a long and famous tradition to have so few coaches,” Davis says.

Davis, a freelance writer for NBCsports.com, among other outlets, lives in Connecticut. He will be in Lawrence this week for three book signings:

• 5:30 p.m. to 6:30 p.m. Wednesday at the Booth Family Hall of Athletics at Allen Fieldhouse. This will be with longtime broadcaster Max Falkenstien.

• 8:30 am. to 10:30 a.m. Friday at Bistro Bella, 3514 Clinton Parkway.

• 11 a.m. to 1 p.m. Saturday at the KU Bookstore in the Kansas Union.

Davis says many people who read his book assume he wrote it because the Jayhawks won the national championship last year. But he started the writing process well before the tournament.

“When I started the book, I didn’t know we were going to win it,” he says. “They think it’s only coming out because they won it last year. I thank last year’s team for giving it such a great ending.”

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