Originally published July 5, 2015 at 05:34a.m., updated July 5, 2015 at 05:52a.m.

Jayhawks change jerseys, USA on the front

The Jayhawks will debut new uniforms for Sunday's game against Brazil. FIBA officials asked the USA head of delegation to place USA larger on its jerseys.

The Jayhawks will debut new uniforms for Sunday's game against Brazil. FIBA officials asked the USA head of delegation to place USA larger on its jerseys.


— The Kansas University men's basketball team had a new look when it represented the United States in a 81-72 victory against Brazil in the World University Games on Sunday.

After FIBA requested that the jersey put "USA" in a bigger role, the Jayhawks put a red patch with a white outline for the letters "USA" across the front of their blue jerseys.

"FIBA asked us to enhance 'USA' on our jerseys and we gladly did it," Sean Lester, KU Deputy Athletics Director said.

If the Jayhawks didn't change their jerseys, they could have been forced to forfeit games by rule. The team wore red "Kansas basketball" t-shirts in warmups with a Jayhawk logo below it, but were told to remove the shirts because they didn't say "USA." After retreating to the locker room, the Jayhawks wore their game jerseys for the final 30 minutes of their warmup.

"It was obviously something that was told that we had to do, which is fine," KU coach Bill Self said. "Even though we were given the clearance that our uniforms were good when went through the whole process earlier. I think it’s fine that we have USA on there. And we should. This is a USA event. It’s not a Kansas event, even though we’re representing the school.

"I think it’s fine and props to the seamstress. We found out yesterday that we’d be forfeiting games if we didn’t make it more prevalent so certainly he or she did a great job with that."

The new jersey will remain for the rest of the World University Games. The Jayhawks went to a local shop in Gwangju for their new jerseys. They dropped them off on Saturday night and picked them up around noon Sunday.

"We went locally," Lester said. "The head of delegation that we're working with, Craig Jonas, they had somebody locally working with other uniform challenges. So that gentleman, I don't know his name, but wow. He did a great job because when you see them, they look great. USA is loud and proud and that's the way it should be."


Suzi Marshall 4 years, 7 months ago

It's about time. It seems we should have known about this FIBA requirement months ago. Why wouldn't Adidas make originals for us months ago?

Ashwin Rao 4 years, 7 months ago

I was surprised that they let us wear the original jerseys in the first place! I guess we know how to push the envelope!

Allin Herring 4 years, 7 months ago

Yea we need to understand we are there to represent the USA!! We should have done that before we ever left the states and spent the money in the USA!!! Come on Bill

Greg Lux 4 years, 7 months ago

I don't think we need to blame "Bill" on this one. This is truly an administrative issue that the university athletic staff just messed up on unfortunately. I can totally understand having Kansas on the jerseys. After all we are basically representing the University of Kansas from the USA. But with that said common sense would say you should have USA prominently displayed on the athletic attar. For a quick fix I think the Jerseys look awesome...

Cody Stumma 4 years, 7 months ago

I thought we had players from other schools besides Kansas?

Dirk Medema 4 years, 7 months ago

It seems worth noting that our uniform situation isn't unique. Enough so that the head of the delegation had already made arrangements for the other uniform changes. It's also not like the uniforms were a secret, though I was a bit surprised that the athletic department and Addidas hadn't planned something a bit more special for the games. That being said, it's always nice to see USA.

Harlan Hobbs 4 years, 7 months ago

Coach Self is classy as always in his comments.

You might want to hear the full story, Allin, before passing judgment. When governments and bureaucratic entities get involved, we should have learned a long time ago that miscommunication abounds. There is no way that KU would risk forfeiting games if this had been made clear from the start. Besides, even if we had purchased the items in the USA, they were probably made in China, Singapore, or Vietnam anyway, so lighten up.

Mike Riches 4 years, 7 months ago

Interesting first thought when I saw the jersey a couple weeks ago was that our country's name should be the focus, since we are playing as the United States, not KU. It makes me want to go watch the movie "Miracle" again. :)

Ross Hartley 4 years, 7 months ago

This is all new as KU is believed to be the first college program to represent the United States at the event. In the past, the United States team has drawn from all over college basketball.

Bobby Nightengale 4 years, 7 months ago

Just the second time. Northern Iowa represented the USA in 2007.

Gary Bedore 4 years, 7 months ago

KU was smart in trying to use the University Games as a tool in recruiting IMO. You put "Kansas" on the front of the uniform prominently, you get lots of free pub for recruiting. Unfortunately for KU, the pub only lasted one game in Korea. I think now you can still see the KU on the back collar if I'm not mistaken. If I was a KU official I'd be upset at the decision to put USA. KU had to pay for this trip out of its own pocket. Thanks to KU fans who supported the games in Sprint Center, KU easily broke even on the trip, but still KU paid the bill, not USA Basketball.

Like Self told Bobby, KU asked about uniform requirements in advance and obviously got the OK to put Kansas on there prominently as long as they had USA on there as well. But when FIBA saw the Kansas jerseys in person they obviously freaked out, forcing KU to change quickly. Can't blame KU for trying to get an edge in recruiting. The good coaches NEVER forget about recruiting especially in this era of one and done and unstable rosters. Just my three cents on the matter. Happy Fourth.

Cody Stumma 4 years, 7 months ago

Honestly, it felt more like Kansas was being inconsiderate when I noticed that the team was playing with "KANSAS" on the jerseys instead of "USA". I guess it's just me when I see something like that, it makes me LESS inclined to attend that particular school.

Suzi Marshall 4 years, 7 months ago

I get all that about recruiting and KU picking up the tab but the honor associated with prominately displaying we are playing for the USA should be the coup for recruiting. Adidas designer team and myriad of KU alums would have loved to suggest suggestions of the uniforms. Speaking of leveraging this experience for recruiting,

I hope Self finds a way to honor this and possibly the '52 Olympics on a uniforms. How about Self and the LJW holding a uniform design contest with the winner recieving two season tickets behind the bench!

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