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Thursday, April 11, 2013

Shot star, Kevin Young to hold cube-off at Kansas Relays

Reese Hoffa celebrates his last and longest throw of the Kansas Relays Men's Elite shot put event on Wednesday, April 18, 2012, in downtown Lawrence.

Reese Hoffa celebrates his last and longest throw of the Kansas Relays Men's Elite shot put event on Wednesday, April 18, 2012, in downtown Lawrence.

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Colorful 2012 Olympic shot put bronze-medal winner Reese Hoffa will test his body — then his mind — in a pair of Kansas Relays competitions Wednesday night in downtown Lawrence.

First, the 5-foot-11, 320-pound native of Evans, Ga., will compete in the 6 p.m. shot put competition against a field that includes 2008 Olympic silver medalist Christian Cantwell.

Then, immediately following the event, Hoffa will participate in a one-on-one celebrity Rubik’s Cube challenge against Kansas University senior basketball player Kevin Young. Hoffa, a noted speedcubist, has solved the puzzle in a personal-best 38 seconds.

Young, at this year’s NCAA Tournament, fiddled with a cube in front of reporters in the Jayhawks’ locker room and said he’s solved the cube in about two minutes.

“This should be a lot of fun,” Young said Thursday. His body type is just the opposite of Hoffa’s, at 6-foot-8 and a rail-thin 190 pounds. “The Relays are always great. This year I’m excited to get a chance to meet the athletes, especially Reese Hoffa, who shares a hobby with me.”

Relays meet director Milan Donley credits assistant meet director Josh Williamson for brainstorming the idea after learning of Young’s passion for the cube during the NCAAs. KU officials recently checked with Hoffa to see if he’d be game for the celebrity match.

“We got on the phone with Reese’s agent. He said Reese is so competitive he wanted to know, ‘How fast is this guy (Young)? Do I need to train for it?’” Donley said with a laugh. “He (Hoffa) did the cube one time in Canada and it blew up in his hand. He’s such a personable guy, it should be a lot of fun.”

The 35-year-old Hoffa, who has said he aims one day to compete in the shot put in a bear suit, has been known to gobble down turkey legs provided by his fans after victories. He also juggles fire and swords and has competed wearing a Mexican wrestling mask. He won last year’s Relays shot put in a throw of 71-33⁄4.

Florida on tap?: It looks as if KU’s basketball team will play Florida, not Arkansas, in next year’s Big 12-SEC Challenge. The Palm Beach Post quoted Florida officials as saying, UF will “host an historic powerhouse from the Big 12” next season.

KU officials would not confirm or deny the report, only indicating KU’s opponent in the challenge should be finalized in the next two weeks. KU will also travel to Colorado next season, play Duke in Chicago and meet Georgetown and San Diego State in Allen Fieldhouse. KU will compete in the Battle 4 Atlantis tournament in a field that includes Villanova, Wake Forest, Tennessee, USC, UTEP, Xavier and a yet-to-be-determined squad.

Self the speaker: KU coach Bill Self will be a featured speaker at “Leadership Game Changer: Developing Business Champions,” a professional training event May 9 in Atlanta. Leadership Game Changer is produced by Kansas’ multimedia and licensing partner IMG College. For more information visit www.Leadership-GameChanger.com ... Self will speak at Eric Berry’s third-annual Man 2 Man event benefiting Big Brothers and Sisters of Greater Kansas City at 6 p.m., April 18 at Arrowhead’s North Club. For ticket information, click here. ... Self will receive the Wooden Legends of Coaching honor this weekend in Los Angeles.

Comments

yates33333 1 year ago

Don't worry jhawk60660 he's not coming. I don't think he fits anywhere, but I suspect Cal has him sewed up. I wish I knew Cal's formula for getting so many high school stars. Payoffs aren't the reason or he would have been caught by now. I think his style of play emphasizes individualism, which is exactly what the pros want. They play one on one, or two man games, most of the time with two designated shooters. KU plays team basketball. Probably the reason Self can take slightly above average talent and work marvels with them. He has done this most of the years he's been here, although the last two were spectacular examples of over achievement.

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David Leathers 1 year ago

I think next year's team has the potential to be an Iowa State type of team, just with a better defense and a lot longer inside presence. With the exception of Embiid and Lucas I'm pretty sure everyone else on the team is a 3-point threat. Hopefully Frankamp can make some great strides early on and earn some 15-20 minutes a game. His long-range shooting is Curry-esque, and that is something that we'll dearly need with all of the inexperience. I'm hoping Seldon can average 15 a game along with Ellis. Honestly, I'm not at all worried about our offense next year, it's more the defense that you have to worry about with youngsters.

I hope Wiggins goes to UNC or Florida St. He's an amazing talent, I just don't know that he's ready to buy into a Self-like system -- one that is built around 5 guys working together. That's also why I don't think he'll choose Kentucky... Too many stars... Too many mouths to feed. Him being a Seminole will be the best of both worlds for him. He can shine, and control the ball as much as he wants while still having a chance at an ACC championship.

All I know is, it's going to a fun year no matter what happens next season, but honestly I'm glad that football is on the horizon.

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KansasComet 1 year ago

I can always count on Jaybate in the off-season. I thought we had one of the better teams in the tournament, we just couldn't close the deal. I also think that officials play favorites, and that needs to be cleaned up as we start a new year.

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Hawk8086 1 year ago

If Florida's announcement is not referencing KU......I'd be really disappointed if I were a Gator alum. Either way we have a really tough schedule for a young team......Especially if the other team in tournament is MSU. Duke, Gtown, Colorado, maybe MSU and Fla. Yikes! That is a Tom Izzo schedule.

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jaybate 1 year ago

"I WONDER IF..."

Did Chancellor Hemenway force Roy out, because Roy would only recruit half the country? Did Hemenway force out Roy's preferred AD and hire the apparently inept replacement in order to force Roy to either recruit the whole country, or leave KU?

Just and idle thought during the off season.

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nuleafjhawk 1 year ago

I've always wanted to change it to this:

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NativeHawk 1 year ago

Off topic, but I've often wished KU would update their logo to be more fearsome. UCONN just updated theirs... http://tracking.si.com/2013/04/11/uconn-logo-new-husky-huskies/

Am I alone?

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KansasComet 1 year ago

Time to look forward to season, even though the roster for next year is probably not set. I think next years team will be a top 10 team again. The more things change, the more they stay the same. I'm all in for Conference Title Number 10!

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ye_olde_kansas_choke 1 year ago

Help!!!!! They blocked me!!!!!!!!!!!!

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JakeBarnes 1 year ago

Reese , "He’s such a personable guy." Gregarious and witty, Kevin ought to be a match in personality with Reese. Maybe even in the Rubik cube contest as well.

I agree with Ralster, "I am going to miss his athleticism and his smile. RCJH, Kevin Young!"

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ye_olde_kansas_choke 1 year ago

Pretty easy to see why KU can't attract the very best recruits. Why? Well......Gee.....go figure. Those kids would actually like a shot at the national title. KU? Well.....they choke every year......so sure they prefer UK,UNC,Duke,UConn,Louisville.......who can blame them??? Not me.

CHOKE!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! Thank you Michigan.......the newest member of the club!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! HA HA HA HA HA HA HA!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

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ye_olde_kansas_choke 1 year ago

Hilarious that KU thinks the Helms titles are real. Then again......the only people that count the Helms is KU fans. Gee.....I wonder why? I guess that's to make your chokes in the tournement not look so bad. 3 national titles in 75 years???? HILARIOUS!!!!!!!

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ye_olde_kansas_choke 1 year ago

You people crack me up!!! Kansas? Ok sure they win a lot of games.....but they very obviously can't compete nationally. They choke in the tournement every year.....it's pathetic, really. Not tough like Big East schools........Louisville? UConn? They will win national titles constantly. KU? One every 30 years if lucky.

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Michael Luby 1 year ago

Nice post Gary. Id like to see KY play in the NBA next season but most likely he will hopefully go over seas and play like Russ Rob and Kaun and Langford.

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Ralster Jayhawk 1 year ago

It seems KYo "solved" the hustle-stuff factor as well regarding rebounds, and was a quick study in gaining bigman-to-bigman interior passing chemistry. I am going to miss his athleticism and his smile. RCJH, Kevin Young!

1

SDSurferFan 1 year ago

SDSU alumni and huge KU fan.

Cannot wait till this game. Will be at the game or at least try.

This years SDSU team may have a chance to hang with next years KU team but next year v next years team...no. As previously stated, losing too much. Also sdsu can be sloppy and the usual stellar D of Ku will exploit that.

The contrast in coaching styles will be the most enjoyable to watch. Long leash v short leash.

I'm so glad that sdsu is not making jump to big west and that this game still stuck. Ku coming to San Diego in 2 yrs will be the biggest game in the city's history for a reg season sporting event. So STOKED!!!

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Joe Ross 1 year ago

For a second after reading the headline I thought there was a shot put star named Kevin Young. Weird, I thought, because we have a basketball player with that name AND a football player if I'm not mistaken...

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Martin Rosenblum 1 year ago

Another event could feature Withey attempting to block Reese Hoffa's "shot". (of course, in a figurative/testimonial way - Withey would shatter every bone in his hand and arm otherwise!))

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AllforKU 1 year ago

Congratulations to Josh Williamson for putting together this match-up! Can't wail to see what Kevin Young can do against Reese Hoffa. Go Kevin!!

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tical523 1 year ago

The Michigan loss was so very hard on me because it was the end for Kevin Young. I will never forget this senior class because of what it took each of them to get there and be great but Kevin Young was something else. I'm going to miss his energy, smile, attitude and personality to play along the four and five star recruits but I know he will be a success in anything he decides to do.

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Ferd Magellan 1 year ago

Aren't we supposed to host New Mexico either in Lawrence or KC? I know Katz reported it a few months ago.

I don't think we're playing Florida either. The way that was worded by the school leads me to believe they're trying to lure folks to buy tickets for next season. They would've said "Kansas" outright.

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KanFan27 1 year ago

We are going to face one hell of a tough schedule in the non conference next year. We will probably lose a good number of those games as we experience some growing pains, but the tough tests will get us ready and rolling for conference play and the tournament. I'm expecting some serious growing pains early on, but next season should be a pretty fun one to watch as we see a whole team develop before our eyes.

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