Wayne Simien proud of fundraising work

Lawrence Family Promise events set for Sunday, Monday

Former Kansas University basketball standout Wayne Simien has retired from professional basketball and has started Called to Greatness, a Christian-based sports organization through Morning Star Christian Church, 998 N. 1771 Road, and Midwest Student Ministries.

Former Kansas University All-America basketball power forward Wayne Simien and Cindy Self, wife of KU coach Bill Self, are fourth-year co-chairs of Sunday and Monday fundraisers for Lawrence’s Family Promise.

“I’d like to say how pleased we are at the support from the community that we are continuing to get,” Simien said Thursday, referring to Monday’s scramble golf tournament at Alvamar and Sunday’s auction party at Maceli’s.

“More and more people are getting involved, which allows us to help more and more families. In the community where your time, attention and resources can be directed to a lot of things, whether it’s KU sports or shopping or entertainment, we’ve got a great opportunity to help serve a lot of families in need right here in our community,” Simien added.

Proceeds go to Family Promise, whose mission is to “transform the lives of homeless children and their families by providing safe shelter, food, counseling, and training in partnership with local communities of faith through hospitality and daily living support in a compassionate setting. The program is designed to address the needs of families and equip them to move into permanent housing as quickly as possible.”

Simien has provided youths in the Family Promise community scholarships to his Called to Greatness basketball camps and 3-on-3 camps. Simien and Self have provided youths admission to some KU events as well.

“Cindy has been very involved, and, with that, coach Self is involved and aware of what is going on,” Simien said. “He lends his support as well. Their hearts are embracing this community over the last 10 years they’ve been here. It’s meant a lot to these families.

“They are doing more than just helping win basketball games. They are helping serve a lot of people in need.”

For information on the golf tournament and party at Maceli’s, check out the website lawrencefamilypromise.org or call Joe Reitz at 785-331-5024.

Shepherd to visit: Karviar Shepherd, a 6-foot-10 senior center from Prime Prep Academy in Dallas, will attend the Oct. 12 Late Night in the Phog as part of an official recruiting visit, Rivals.com reports. Shepherd, the No. 43-rated player in the Class of 2013, will visit TCU on Sept. 21, Texas A&M on Sept. 28 and Oklahoma on Oct. 19. He also has Texas on his list. Other recruits to attend Late Night: Tyler Roberson, a 6-8 senior small forward from Roselle (N.J.) Catholic, who is ranked No. 29 in the country; and Chris Jones, 5-10 sophomore point guard from Northwest Florida State College. Jones has cut his list to KU,  Louisville, Baylor, Florida State, Memphis and Oklahoma State, zagsblog.net reports.

Young in-home: James Young, a 6-6 senior shooting guard from Rochester (Mich.) High School, will hold an in-home visit with KU’s coaches, Rivals.com reports. The country’s No. 8-rated player is considering KU, Kentucky, Arizona, Syracuse and Michigan State.

Randle update: Julius Randle, a 6-9 senior forward from Prestonwood Christian Academy in Plano, Texas, will visit Kentucky Sept. 15 and Florida on Oct. 5, Rivals.com reports. The country’s No. 1 player, who is considering KU, will wait until the spring to sign. Others on his list: Texas, Baylor, North Carolina, Duke, N.C. State, Oklahoma and Oklahoma State.