Tradition of KU’s program drew Storr to Lawrence

photo by: Henry Greenstein/Journal-World screenshot

Kansas guard AJ Storr speaks to media on Sunday, June 2, 2024, at Horejsi Family Volleyball Arena.

AJ Storr got an up-close-and-personal look at the Kansas men’s basketball team last summer, when he was playing against the Jayhawks for the Bahamas national team as part of KU’s summer tour through Puerto Rico.

Ten months later, many of those players he took on head-to-head are now his teammates.

“It’s actually crazy to think about it,” Storr said on Sunday, as part of his first meeting with reporters since transferring from Wisconsin to KU during the offseason.

Now, instead of just glimpsing it from afar, the incoming junior guard is fully immersed in the Kansas basketball tradition that enticed him to join Bill Self’s team in the first place.

“Six national championships, coach Self got two of them (himself),” Storr said. “Really just the history of it speaks for itself.”

But over the course of the recruitment process he learned plenty about that history that he wasn’t even aware of in the first place.

“I didn’t even know that basketball originated here,” he said. “I (saw) Naismith Drive, I was like, ‘Man, I didn’t know that.’ Just the culture of KU, that’s what stood out to me the most.”

It’s an exciting new home for a player who before committing to KU on April 18 had already played basketball at four high schools and two colleges.

“Everybody has different styles of play, different systems,” he said, “but pretty much played against them all or played for them.”

For now, Storr and his teammates are now working on building up this year’s culture in advance of the 2024-25 season. Storr was one of a slew of new Jayhawks to move in over the weekend, along with fellow transfers Rylan Griffen, Zeke Mayo and Noah Shelby and freshmen Flory Bidunga, Rakease Passmore and Will Thengvall.

“I’m just now getting familiar with the guys, but so far they’re welcoming me in (with) open arms,” Storr said. “Very funny dudes, easy to get along with.”

Added Mayo: “We’re all just trying to get acclimated with each other but I think we’re really looking forward to it. Team chemistry is currently progressing.”

As for how they might fit together on the court, Storr said he’s willing to play any position, and the Jayhawks will try to make the most of his high-scoring potential, after he averaged 16.8 points per game and earned second-team all-conference honors with Wisconsin last season.

The conclusion to the season, though, was “frustrating” — a first-round upset loss to James Madison — and now he joins a team looking to reach higher after a second-round loss of its own.

“Any team would want to go farther than that,” he said.

photo by: AP Photo/Noah K. Murray

Wisconsin guard AJ Storr (2) drives to the basket against Rutgers forward Aundre Hyatt and center Emmanuel Ogbole (22) during the first half of an NCAA college basketball game, Saturday, Feb. 10, 2024 in Piscataway, N.J.

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