Benton Smith was born in Kansas City, Mo., and bounced around in the years that followed, living in Pennsylvania, Iowa and North Carolina, before moving to Lawrence in 2006. Along the way, he lived in Sanford, N.C., for a huge chunk of his life and graduated in 2002 from the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill — an institution, he assures die-hard Kansas fans, which he attended primarily for its in-state tuition and journalism program. Shortly after moving to Lawrence, Smith began working part-time at the Journal-World, initially covering youth sports. Next, he covered Free State High athletics and area sports for the J-W, before taking on the position of sports editor for one of The World Company's weekly newspapers, The Mirror, in Tonganoxie. He worked there from 2008 to 2011, until returning to the Journal-World to lead its high school sports coverage. In 2013, Smith took on a new role with KUsports.com, as a digital editor, blogger and writer.
Just because one publication likes Kansas as the preseason favorite for the 2015-16 college basketball season doesn’t mean all — or any — of the others have to. By Benton Smith
NBA scouts and front-office personnel didn’t get to see much of Cliff Alexander in his one season at Kansas University. As a result, the 6-foot-8 1⁄2 power forward from Chicago said during a media session at the Draft Combine he’ll have to prove himself to various teams in the weeks to come. By Benton Smith
A year ago, Kansas University’s softball players packed their gear and headed into their first NCAA Tournament blind. The program hadn’t been invited to compete in a postseason regional since 2006 before coach Megan Smith’s Jayhawks busted out of the slump in 2014.
Freshman Daniella Chavez leads Kansas University's softball team with 15 home runs — on a pace of one every 10 at-bats — and has a .353 batting average to go with her .693 slugging percentage.
All JaCorey Shepherd wanted was a chance. By Benton Smith
Lawrence High football coach Dirk Wedd has a new nightly routine these days. He picks up his phone to call up lineman Amani Bledsoe and talk about the junior’s schedule for the coming day. By Benton Smith
When 139 college football players — including 18 linebackers — heard their names called in the 2015 NFL Draft before Ben Heeney did, the first-team All-Big 12 linebacker from Kansas University began to wonder why he was still available in the fifth round Saturday. By Benton Smith
A seventh-inning home run from Kansas University freshman Owen Taylor gave the Jayhawks just a momentary boost Saturday afternoon at Hoglund Ballpark, where KU’s bullpen faltered in the final two frames of a 6-3 loss to Baylor.
Only 14 picks remained in the final round of the NFL Draft when Oakland made Kansas cornerback Dexter McDonald the 25th pick of the seventh round (242nd overall). “It’s definitely an intense feeling,” the happy new Raider told the Journal-World.“ By Benton Smith
A torn left hamstring compromised JaCorey Shepherd's ability to impress NFL scouts in drills leading up to the NFL Draft. But Philadelphia took him with the 15th pick of Round 6. By Benton Smith