Gary Bedore (KU basketball reporter)
I was born and raised in Chicago, the South side of town. 103rd Street South and Homan Avenue.
Chicago natives care about sports, mostly pro sports. In fact, I never watched a college sporting event — except for football bowl games I guess — until I was a junior or senior in high school. It's unusual, but I grew up liking both the Cubs and White Sox because my grandfather loved the Cubs and would take me to Cub games and my dad had Sox season tickets and would take me to Sox games.
I switched allegiance solely to the White Sox after we moved to the suburb of Lisle for my junior year of high school. We had season tickets in the fifth row, lower level, which made for some fun summers at Comiskey Park. The 2005 World Series was a great moment for me as Ozzie Guillen finally took care of the Chicago hex in baseball. The Sox not only won it all, but breezed though the postseason. It was nirvana.
I must plug my grade school, Queen of Martyrs. I was 12th man on a 15-man team that won the city eighth grade championship. I ran cross country and track for two years at Brother Rice High School, only because I unfairly got cut from the baseball and basketball teams (just kidding). I moved on to Benet Academy in Lisle for my junior and senior years, but by then my baseball skills had rusted off, so I stuck with running.
Both Catholic high schools are among the best in the country. I'd recommend parents sending their kids to Benet and/or Br. Rice. Brother Rice remains a football power and I enjoy following the team every fall. Benet was a basketball powerhouse for years ... right after my high school class graduated.
At Benet, I was co-editor of the school newspaper with my great friend John Hoppenrath. I knew I was going to major in Journalism in college; he knew he was going to be a rich engineer. Still, he wrote most of the headlines and did most of the layout as putting out the paper in high school proved a major headache.
I decided to attend KU after taking Amtrak to Lawrence with my good friend Gary Karafiat the summer between my junior and senior year of high school. We had a great time on our "visit." A great time. Yes, back in the day, parents would let juniors in high school board a train alone and spend 3 days a good 500 miles from home. My how times have changed.
I attended KU during the end of the Ted Owens era and upon graduation worked for a spell at the Emporia Gazette and Oklahoma City Times before returning to Lawrence after receiving an offer from Chuck Woodlng I couldn' t refuse — covering high schools, KU, the Royals and Chiefs.
I've covered many great sporting events, including the '88 and '08 national basketball title games; two Royals World Series; many excellent Chiefs teams. I've been all over the country following Roy's and Bill's Jayhawks the past 23 years. Favorite places to cover games? Hawaii and Canada of course.
Favorite coaches to deal with? Bill Freeman and Bob Frederick at the high school level. Self, Roy, Larry, Ted Owens, Mike Gottfried, Bob Valesente at the college level. Glen Mason was fun to be around, as well. Self is the best to deal with. He's quite a guy.
Favorite KU player of all time to interview? Ryan Robertson, though there have been many others in his league.
Best player I've ever covered? Danny Manning. Simply amazing.
Best KU hoops team I've covered?: It might have been the 1996-97 squad that fell to Arizona in the Sweet 16. That team lost just two games, unfortunately one was a big one, to the eventual national champs. The '88 and '08 champs of course were amazing teams as well. All three of those teams were unbelievable.
Best game I've ever seen? Probably the '88 final between KU and OU. Remember, it was 50-50 at halftime; people were shaking their heads at halftime.
Best performance I've ever seen? KU wiping out that impossible deficit late against Memphis to win the '08 title.
Lawrence, I feel, is a great place. One of my favorite places in the world is St. John the Evangelist Church. Some great priests have blessed that place, my favorites Fr. John and Fr. Charles. They are great men and I applaud their order - the Capuchin Franciscans. Those who help others, like those priests, are my heroes in life.
- Jayhawks say semi setback history
- March 15, 2014
- None of Kansas University’s basketball players or coaches will be thinking about Friday’s Big 12 tournament semifinal loss to Iowa State when they gather at 5 p.m. today in Allen Fieldhouse to watch CBS-TV’s NCAA Tournament Selection Sunday show. By Gary Bedore
- Notebook: Andrew Wiggins remains confident Kansas can win NCAA tournament
- March 14, 2014
- Even after Kansas lost to Iowa State in the Big 12 semifinals, Jayhawks freshman Andrew Wiggins said he’s confident his team can win six in a row and the NCAA title. By Gary Bedore
- ‘Unacceptable’ performance: Jayhawks lament lack of defense in loss to Iowa State
- Kansas gives up 94 points — most in regulation by any Self KU team
- March 14, 2014
- Soft-spoken Perry Ellis issued a stern warning to his Kansas University basketball teammates after Friday’s 94-83 loss to Iowa State in a Big 12 tournament semifinal in Sprint Center. By Gary Bedore
- Notebook: Joel Embiid’s father says center will return ‘soon’
- March 13, 2014
- Joel Embiid’s dad, Thomas, says he believes his injured son will play in the 2014 NCAA tournament. By Gary Bedore
- No doubt: Andrew Wiggins explodes for 30 points in OT win over Oklahoma State
- March 13, 2014
- Andrew Wiggins has sensed some gloom and doom — outside of Kansas University’s basketball locker room — regarding the Jayhawks’ chances of making a deep run in the NCAA Tournament without injured big man Joel Embiid. The freshman scored 30 points off 9-of-17 shooting to prove KU can win without its starting center. By Gary Bedore
- Notebook: KU aware OSU seed doesn’t match talent
- March 13, 2014
- Kansas University coach Bill Self says he can never remember a No. 8-seeded team in a conference tournament as talented as 21-11 Oklahoma State. By Gary Bedore
- Jayhawks: No change in goals with Embiid out for Big 12 tourney
- March 13, 2014
- Injured Kansas University center Joel Embiid spent some of Wednesday’s Big 12 tournament practice “jacking around,” according to KU coach Bill Self, but the freshman big man will not play in the tournament. KU will open its postseason with Tarik Black in the starting lineup when the Jayhawks face Oklahoma State at 2 p.m. today. By Gary Bedore
- Prep coach: Embiid had back pain last year, too
- March 12, 2014
- Kansas University freshman center Joel Embiid has experienced back discomfort off and on during the early stages of his still-young basketball career. “He had that a little bit last year. He tried to fight through it, mostly after the season,” Embiid’s high school coach, Justin Harden of The Rock School in Gainesville, Fla., said in a phone conversation Tuesday. By Gary Bedore
- Joel Embiid ruled out for Big 12 Tournament
- Kansas center, who suffered a stress fracture in his back, unlikely to play first weekend of NCAAs
- 08:25 p.m., March 10, 2014 Updated 12:25 a.m.
- Kansas University freshman center Joel Embiid, who has a stress fracture in his lower back, will miss the upcoming Big 12 basketball tournament and is a “longshot” to play the first weekend of the NCAA Tournament, coach Bill Self said Monday night. By Gary Bedore
- Big 12 Teleconference notes: Embiid’s family asked for second opinion from back specialist
- Self says KU happy to comply and that’s why 7-footer is in Los Angeles
- March 10, 2014
- Joel Embiid is in Los Angeles today receiving a second opinion on his aching back