TOPEKA — Many Kansas representatives showcase a cutout mascot of their favorite Kansas teams on their chamber desks. Jayhawks. Wildcats. A few Shockers, too.
Despite their respective allegiances, they all gave the Kansas University men’s and women’s basketball teams a standing ovation Friday.
Carolyn Davis, Angel Goodrich, Charlicia Harper and Tania Jackson represented the women’s team, and Jordan Juenemann, Travis Releford, Conner Teahan and Jeff Withey represented the men during a visit to the Capitol. Sheahon Zenger, Kansas athletic director, and Nicole Corcoran, director of operations for Kansas Athletics, also attended.
The players’ first stop was the Senate chambers, where Sen. Marci Francisco, D-Lawrence, read a resolution congratulating both teams’ achievements.
“Although I will say many of us got nervous on more than one occasion, there was never a time that our Jayhawk basketball players didn’t make us proud,” Francisco said.
Sen. Bob Marshall, R-Fort Scott, praised both teams and commended the women on their Sweet 16 appearance, the team’s deepest run since 1998. Marshall commended the men, too.
“Under Coach Self, they have won or shared more Big 12 titles than they’ve lost home games at Allen Fieldhouse,” Marshall said. “That’s incredible.”
Their next stop was the House of Representatives, which passed a similar resolution in their honor.
As the players walked through the Statehouse to meet with Gov. Sam Brownback, they passed a large group of school children cheering in support. Teahan took a second to shake a few hands.
Brownback, who attended the final three Jayhawk games of this year’s NCAA Tournament, told both teams they had fabulous seasons.
“Wonderful to watch and great representing your state,” Brownback said.