For some University of Kansas student-athletes and staff, a sunny Sunday morning served as a perfect backdrop for the traditional walk through the Campanile near the top of Mount Oread and "down the Hill" to Memorial Stadium for graduation ceremonies.
"Jayhawks, you are KU's greatest contributions to the world," KU Chancellor Dr. Bernadette Gray-Little said to the graduates at Sunday's commencement ceremony.
KU coaches and staffs from basketball, football, softball, swimming & diving, women's golf and volleyball met their graduates just outside Strong Hall for group photos prior to meeting them at Memorial Stadium.
More after the jump...
Top-ranked recruit Josh Jackson has signed and will be a freshman at the University of Kansas in 2016-17, KU men's basketball coach Bill Self announced Tuesday. Jackson verbally committed to KU in early April.
Jackson (6-foot-8, 205 pounds) is the second No. 1 rated player to sign with Kansas in the past three seasons. Jackson, No. 1 by Rivals.com and 247Sports, joins current Minnesota Timberwolves standout Andrew Wiggins who played at KU in 2013-14.
"Josh has been a guy that is so respected in all high school circles the last four years," Self said. "He is probably as highly thought of as any recent player to come out of high school because of his competitive nature. He left Detroit to finish his high school career at Prolific Prep in the Napa (California) area. He is very similar to Andrew Wiggins. He's a tall guard that can do a lot of everything. We feel his impact on our program next year will be as much as any freshman will have on any college program. He's extremely athletic but more importantly extremely competitive. We have a very competitive culture at Kansas but I think it just got improved with the signing of Josh. He's a guy that everybody enjoys playing with because he is so unselfish but also a guy that can take a game over."
…"I played him at the 1-4 positions this year," McKnight recently told reporters. "Defensively, I adjusted our scheme this year because of Josh. We literally didn't help off other players when Josh was guarding 1-on-1. He guarded 1-5 for us. He's so quick off the ground. His ability to block shots and rebound will make a huge impact."
Jackson has quite the resume when competing for USA Basketball. He has won three gold medals for USA at the 2013 FIBA Americas U16 Championship in Maldonado, Uruguay, the 2014 FIBA U17 World Championship in Dubai, United Arab Emirates and the 2015 FIBA U19 World Championship in Heraklion, Greece.
"Josh has a great feel for basketball, in large part, because his mother, Apples Jones, who played college basketball at Allen County Community College in Kansas and UTEP," Self said. "His recruitment was fierce, and deservedly so. Coach (Kurtis) Townsend has done such a good job for a long period of time making sure Josh and Apples were both comfortable and educated on our situation and how Kansas could be a good fit for them."