Advertisement

Wednesday, March 2, 2011

Tait

Brady Morningstar’s name resonates

Kansas senior guard Brady Morningstar said he is excited for Wednesday's senior night and discussed his recruitment at KU.

KU Seniors to play last game in Allen Fieldhouse

Advertisement

The only visible signs of his playing days are the letters of his name on the record board and an 8x11 photo plaque celebrating his all-state season of 2004-05 that hangs outside the gym.

In it, former Free State High standout Brady Morningstar, now an unlikely star at Kansas University, skies above three Wichita East defenders while scooping a right-handed shot toward the rim.

It’s hardly a picture that leads one to believe the young man someday would be starting for the No. 2 team in college basketball, a squad that, without him, likely wouldn’t be in that position.

Even during his days at Free State, when he was known as a scorer, Morningstar still did the little things better than everybody else. Two of his school records are for steals — most in a season (52 in 2004-05) and most in a career (125 from 2002-05) — and the other is for points in a season (423 in 2004-05).

Although Morningstar was the hot name in town during his prep days, KU stars Kirk Hinrich, Nick Collison and others were the cream of the crop in his eyes. Today, Brady’s the cream and a whole different crop of young players look up to him.

FSHS junior Brett Frantz was nine or 10 years old the first time he saw Morningstar play.

“I remember one game, I was hanging out with Tyler Self and we went to go talk to his dad (Bill) and I just remember Bill saying, ‘Man, that guy’s good, someone needs to start recruiting him,’ Frantz said. “After hearing Bill say that, I started to pay more attention to him to see how good he actually was.”

Morningstar said the responsibility of having the current Firebirds and other young players look up to him is one he takes seriously.

“When you’re growing up in Lawrence and you see KU players and you see Kansas play, you want to follow in their footsteps and you want to be them,” Morningstar said. “But I think the main thing is, once you get there and you’re on top, you gotta not let it get to your head.”

Morningstar’s not the first player from Lawrence to play for the Jayhawks. Chris Piper did it in the late ’80s, Stephen Vinson did it from 2003-06 and Danny Manning lived in Lawrence for a year before playing for the Jayhawks. Times were different then. That Morningstar’s been able to do it — 59 starts in 107 career games heading into tonight’s Senior Night — with such smoothness makes it all the more impressive.

“I think I understand it better than if I was from the east coast or west coast because I grew up seeing it,” Morningstar said. “I truly understand how I felt when I was younger, and now that these young players look up to me, it’s pretty cool.”

The feeling’s mutual.

“He’s definitely known around here,” FSHS senior Alec Heline said. “But it’s not like he’s a hero or something. I still look up to him. He’s a fun player to watch and it’s kind of crazy that he went here.”

Comments

Mike Skiles 8 years, 5 months ago

Go Brady! You've done yourself and the University proud!

RockChalkGuy 8 years, 5 months ago

Brady is a great ambassador for the University and the Program. Thanks for the blood, sweat, and tears over the years.

Alex Berger 8 years, 5 months ago

"But it's not like he's a hero or something."

Nice.

Ron Prichard 8 years, 5 months ago

Kid can't look too starstruck for the girls, you know... That just wouldn't be cool.

KUFan90 8 years, 5 months ago

No kidding. Not sure why that couldn't have just been left out of the article?

tical523 8 years, 5 months ago

Just had to comment on that as well, may even come back later and think WTF? again. Alec Heline is way too cool for school. . . . .

p 8 years, 5 months ago

I totally agree with the other comments, so stupid to write that last paragraph. I wouldn't be surprised if Alec is pissed his quote made it in like that. If Brady weren't so badass it could have ruined the whole article.

Danny Hernandez 8 years, 5 months ago

And thanks for putting up with the fan's expectations and/or criticisms....that can't be easy.

REHawk 8 years, 5 months ago

Like Piper, Brady might someday be a (the) voice of Jayhawk Basketball. One of those guys just might go down as the next Max Falkenstein.

Tony Bandle 8 years, 5 months ago

Please God, NO!!!......we haven't recovered from the first Max Falkenstein!!!

I would have said the next Chris Piper.

Kenneth Johnson 8 years, 5 months ago

Self would do well to consider hiring Brady as a Graduate Assistant.

Ken Johnson (KU MS '70) www.hoopszone.net

Adam Evans 8 years, 5 months ago

Brady, Tyrel, and Mario: You all are amazing jayhawks. All of you have been crucial parts to our family during the successes of the last 4-5 years. My hat is off to the three of you. Tonight is your night. Have fun with it.

TenaciousD 8 years, 5 months ago

My favorite memory of Brady was at K-State (don't remember the year) when he was wearing Clemente's shirt he was guarding so closely. He hounded him all game and finally Clemente elbowed Brady in the chest and got a technical. That was the best single defensive effort I can remember from a Jayhawk... ever (since the 60's).

Jim Roth 8 years, 5 months ago

"Times were different then."

How so? In 2006???

Matt Tait 8 years, 5 months ago

A portion of the original story was edited out. It went on to talk about how Vinson didn't play the same minutes as Brady and Manning and Piper played more than 20 years ago, when things were different... Sorry for the confusion.

bradyboy 8 years, 5 months ago

hope he gets a haircut sooon. hopefully he will get in euro league

Commenting has been disabled for this item.