Archive for Tuesday, September 14, 2010

Simien, 2 others honored in Kansas Athletics HOF

September 14, 2010

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Former Kansas University basketball forward Wayne Simien, track distance runner Charlie Gruber, three-sport letterwinner Harold Patterson and the 2003-04 KU men’s basketball team will be inducted into the Kansas Athletics Hall of Fame on Sept. 25 at the Booth Family Hall of Athletics.

The Hall of Fame picture unveiling — open to the public — will start at 10:15 a.m.

Leavenworth native Simien, who now makes his home in Lawrence, was a consensus first-team All-American his senior year (2005). He also was a two-time all-Big 12 first-team selection (2004 and 2005) and the 2005 Big 12 Player of the Year.

Simien, who was selected 29th in the first round of the 2005 NBA Draft by the Miami Heat, retired from professional basketball in May 2009 to pursue work in Christian ministry. He has a volunteer position at KU mentoring basketball players and athletes in other sports and is basketball team chaplain.

Simien played on the 2003-04 team, coach Bill Self’s first at KU.

The 2004 team had a record of 24-9, finished tied for second in the Big 12 and earned a No. 4 seed in the NCAA Tournament’s St. Louis Region. KU advanced to the Regional Final, losing to Georgia Tech in overtime.

Members of the team: Simien, plus Nick Bahe, Jeremy Case, J.R. Giddens, Jeff Graves, Jeff Hawkins, Keith Langford, Michael Lee, Aaron Miles, Christian Moody, Bryant Nash, Moulaye Niang, Brett Olson, David Padgett, Stephen Vinson and Omar Wilkes.

Gruber, a five-time All-American in track and cross country, earned a spot on the 2004 U.S. Olympic Team after finishing second in the 1,500 at the Trials. He placed ninth in his opening-round competition at the Games.

The Denver native won the 1999 and 2000 Big 12 Conference Outdoor 1,500-meter titles and the 2000 Big 12 Indoor mile. Gruber finished second at the 2001 NCAA Indoor in the mile in 3:58.51, becoming the Jayhawks’ second athlete ever to run the mile in under four minutes indoors. Gruber holds the school indoor 1,000 record of 2:21.72.

In 2003, Gruber was ranked sixth in the United States in the 1,500.

Rozel native Patterson lettered in football, basketball and baseball from 1952-54. He was a starter on the 1952-53 basketball team that advanced to the NCAA title game.

A key contributor on KU’s 1952 and 1953 football teams, Patterson continued his football career in the Canadian Football League, and was a perennial all-star, playing for Grey Cup-winning teams in 1963, 1965 and 1967. Patterson was inducted into the Canadian Football Hall of Fame in 1971.

The Kansas Athletics Hall of Fame was established to formally recognize outstanding individual and team achievements and to preserve the heritage and tradition of the University’s intercollegiate athletics program. The Hall of Fame display is located in the Booth Family Hall of Athletics.

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