Gary Bedore

KU basketball reporter

Photo of Gary Bedore

I was born and raised in Chicago, the South side of town. 103rd Street South and Homan Avenue.

Chicago natives care about sports, mostly pro sports. In fact, I never watched a college sporting event — except for football bowl games I guess — until I was a junior or senior in high school. It's unusual, but I grew up liking both the Cubs and White Sox because my grandfather loved the Cubs and would take me to Cub games and my dad had Sox season tickets and would take me to Sox games.

I switched allegiance solely to the White Sox after we moved to the suburb of Lisle for my junior year of high school. We had season tickets in the fifth row, lower level, which made for some fun summers at Comiskey Park. The 2005 World Series was a great moment for me as Ozzie Guillen finally took care of the Chicago hex in baseball. The Sox not only won it all, but breezed though the postseason. It was nirvana.

I must plug my grade school, Queen of Martyrs. I was 12th man on a 15-man team that won the city eighth grade championship. I ran cross country and track for two years at Brother Rice High School, only because I unfairly got cut from the baseball and basketball teams (just kidding). I moved on to Benet Academy in Lisle for my junior and senior years, but by then my baseball skills had rusted off, so I stuck with running.

Both Catholic high schools are among the best in the country. I'd recommend parents sending their kids to Benet and/or Br. Rice. Brother Rice remains a football power and I enjoy following the team every fall. Benet was a basketball powerhouse for years ... right after my high school class graduated.

At Benet, I was co-editor of the school newspaper with my great friend John Hoppenrath. I knew I was going to major in Journalism in college; he knew he was going to be a rich engineer. Still, he wrote most of the headlines and did most of the layout as putting out the paper in high school proved a major headache.

I decided to attend KU after taking Amtrak to Lawrence with my good friend Gary Karafiat the summer between my junior and senior year of high school. We had a great time on our "visit." A great time. Yes, back in the day, parents would let juniors in high school board a train alone and spend 3 days a good 500 miles from home. My how times have changed.

I attended KU during the end of the Ted Owens era and upon graduation worked for a spell at the Emporia Gazette and Oklahoma City Times before returning to Lawrence after receiving an offer from Chuck Woodlng I couldn' t refuse — covering high schools, KU, the Royals and Chiefs.

I've covered many great sporting events, including the '88 and '08 national basketball title games; two Royals World Series; many excellent Chiefs teams. I've been all over the country following Roy's and Bill's Jayhawks the past 23 years. Favorite places to cover games? Hawaii and Canada of course.

Favorite coaches to deal with? Bill Freeman and Bob Frederick at the high school level. Self, Roy, Larry, Ted Owens, Mike Gottfried, Bob Valesente at the college level. Glen Mason was fun to be around, as well. Self is the best to deal with. He's quite a guy.

Favorite KU player of all time to interview? Ryan Robertson, though there have been many others in his league.

Best player I've ever covered? Danny Manning. Simply amazing.

Best KU hoops team I've covered?: It might have been the 1996-97 squad that fell to Arizona in the Sweet 16. That team lost just two games, unfortunately one was a big one, to the eventual national champs. The '88 and '08 champs of course were amazing teams as well. All three of those teams were unbelievable.

Best game I've ever seen? Probably the '88 final between KU and OU. Remember, it was 50-50 at halftime; people were shaking their heads at halftime.

Best performance I've ever seen? KU wiping out that impossible deficit late against Memphis to win the '08 title.

Lawrence, I feel, is a great place. One of my favorite places in the world is St. John the Evangelist Church. Some great priests have blessed that place, my favorites Fr. John and Fr. Charles. They are great men and I applaud their order - the Capuchin Franciscans. Those who help others, like those priests, are my heroes in life.

Recent Stories

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Kansas hoops matchup with UK revealed

Kentucky and Kansas University, the two winningest programs in college basketball history with 2,205 and 2,186 victories respectively, will meet for the second straight season in the SEC/Big 12 Challenge, the two conferences announced Tuesday.

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Liberty transfer Evan Maxwell makes commitment to KU official

Good college basketball coaches/recruiters have connections in the sport all over the country. One of those relationships helped Kansas University’s basketball program become aware of the availability of former Liberty University forward Evan Maxwell, a 6-foot-10, 235-pound sophomore who committed to KU on May 13 and on Monday officially was introduced as a Jayhawk signee by head coach Bill Self.

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Notebook: Prep Trae Young has two picks to make

Before he announces his college choice, blue-chip basketball prospect Trae Young still has to announce where he’ll be playing his senior year of high school. By Gary Bedore

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KU targets Porter, Young featured in KC Classic

The opening tip of the marquee game of the KC Classic basketball tournament went to MoKan Elite point guard Trae Young, who after a couple dribbles, launched a deep lob pass to fellow blue-chip college prospect Michael Porter, Jr., who flushed it — one-handed of course.

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Brannen Greene escapes burning car

Former Kansas University basketball guard Brannen Greene, who has been based in White Plains, N.Y., the past six weeks as he trains for the 2016 NBA Draft, barely escaped a blazing car accident late Friday night in N.Y., and survived the ordeal with what appear to be only minor injuries, his dad, Jeffrey, said Saturday.

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Border legends will play July 16 at SMS

The inaugural “Border War Legends Basketball game,” which will be run by private individuals not Kansas University and Missouri officials, will be played at 6 p.m., Saturday, July 16, at Shawnee Mission South High School, event organizers said Friday.

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Top preps in local hoops tourney

Michael Porter Jr. and Trae Young, two of the top basketball prospects in the recruiting Class of 2017, will be playing for Mokan Elite EYBL at this weekend’s KC Classic at Sports Pavilion Lawrence, 247Sports reports. By Gary Bedore

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CBE Classic field revealed

Three teams that participated in the 2016 NIT, including tourney champion George Washington University, will join Kansas University in the 2016 CBE Hall of Fame Classic, Nov. 21-22, in Sprint Center, the National Association of Basketball Coaches announced Tuesday. By Gary Bedore

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Diallo conveys thanks to fans

Kansas University freshman Cheick Diallo issued a “thank you” letter in announcing on Twitter on Monday he’d officially decided to sign with an agent and enter the June 23 NBA Draft. By Gary Bedore

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Self not surprised by Diallo’s decision to stay in NBA Draft

After playing well, measuring well and interviewing well at last week’s NBA Combine, Kansas University freshman Cheick Diallo proclaimed to and reporters he would be signing with an agent and keeping his name in the June 23 draft. The 6-foot-9 Mali native’s decision to turn pro certainly did not surprise Jayhawk coach Bill Self. By Gary Bedore

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