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Staff

Matt Tait

KUsports.com men's basketball reporter/KUsports.com Editor

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The year was 1978 and on a warm day in late June, I entered the world at the base of the Flatirons in beautiful Boulder, Colorado.

Because I am a native of Colorado (yes, I used to have the sticker on my car) I instantly was granted membership into the fandom of any and all Colorado sports teams. Throughout the years, I've even been known to embellish the circumstances surrounding my birth to tell the tale that the first thing I remember seeing was glorious Folsom Field, home of the Colorado Buffaloes. Not true. Sue me.

My parents are both natives of Kansas, my mom attended Lawrence High and my dad is a Shawnee Mission South graduate. Because of that, and their love for KU, I moved to Lawrence when I was 10, a few months after Danny and the Miracles made their run to the title (sweet timing, right) and have been here ever since.

I continue to call Colorado home and have made many attempts at returning there after moving to Lawrence. I intended to return for high school.... didn't happen. I was certain that I would attend Colorado State University for college.... that didn't happen either, mostly because of the reputation of KU's Journalism School and my in-state status. After that, though, I was sure I would move back to Colorado for my first job. As you surely know by now, that didn't happen either. I used to wonder why I never made it back there, but then it hit me: Lawrence must be a pretty great place and I must like it here. Both are true.

During my time in Lawrence, I attended Pinckney Elementary School for two years, West Junior High for three and graduated from Lawrence High in 1996. After that I attended the University of Kansas and graduated in 2000 with a degree in Journalism.

During my college days, I covered the KU baseball and basketball teams for the University Daily Kansan. While I enjoyed covering baseball and learned a lot while doing it, basketball was the beat everybody wanted and I still remember my first hoops story for the UDK: Michael Jordan retires. There was something pretty cool about seeing my byline next to a mug shot of Jordan. Other highlights from my time at the UDK include my work following the death of Wilt Chamberlain and a great series that my former roommate (Sam Mellinger of the Kansas City Star) and I did on the top 10 KU athletes of the century around the Y2K craze. The KU athletic department voted on the top 10 and Sam and I split up the names and did five stories apiece. Mine: Wilt, Ray Evans, Al Oerter, Jim Ryun and Ralph Miller. What a great time.

In addition to working for the UDK, I was the publisher of a KU sports web site run by Rivals.com — JayhawkTalk.com — which I continued to operate for a little more than a year after graduation.

I joined the World Company in June of 2001, when I was hired to become the sports editor of the Bonner Springs Chieftain and Basehor Sentinel weekly newspapers. In 2004, my position grew to include becoming the sports editor of the Shawnee Dispatch, another weekly, which I helped start from the ground up. In July of 2007 I got the call to the big leagues when I was named High School Sports Editor at the Journal-World.

It was an awesome feeling covering high school sports in the town I grew up in. Many of the coaches who were around when I was at LHS still are there today and it has been an absolute blast reconnecting with them.

In February of 2010, my job title changed again when I was promoted into the role of KU football beat writer. After helping out with our football coverage during Mark Mangino's final couple of seasons, I covered the entire Turner Gill and Charlie Weis eras and lived to tell about it. I never played football — unless you count games in the snow or flag football with friends — but made it my daily goal to dig as deep as I could into the KU program to help explain how and why things happen while also analyzing the players, coaches and trends surrounding the Kansas football team in a basketball-crazed town.

In October of 2013, I was promoted to KUsports.com Editor and began working more closely with all aspects of our coverage of KU athletics while also managing writers, working with web developers, overseeing and making decisions about our coverage and online initiatives, trouble-shooting and interacting even more with our readers.

During the summer of 2016, the Journal-World and KUsports.com were sold by the World Company to Ogden Newspapers and as a part of that transition I became the KU basketball beat writer while also retaining my title as KUsports.com Editor.

In my spare time, I enjoy traveling, basketball, golf, tennis, yard games, playing guitar, fantasy sports and cheering for any and all Colorado teams.

Recent Stories

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KU's Late Night visitor list starting to take shape

The visitor list — official or otherwise — for Kansas basketball's Late Night 2017 is starting to take shape. Here's a look at the prospects expected to visit Lawrence during KU's big weekend. By Matt Tait

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Server accuses KU's Dedric Lawson of skipping out on bar tab; eatery's manager issues statement supporting KU forward

Early Thursday morning, the name of Kansas forward Dedric Lawson appeared in a police report in his hometown of Memphis after a server at a local bar and grill alleged that Lawson skipped out on a tab worth $88.20. But by Thursday night, the general manager of the Bar Louie restaurant had given The Commercial Appeal in Memphis a statement that was sympathetic to the Kansas sophomore. By Matt Tait

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Self calls Dedric Lawson's handling of recent suspension 'very good'

Asked on a radio appearance Wednesday about the recent suspension of transfer forward Dedric Lawson, who missed KU's trip to Italy earlier this month, Kansas basketball coach Bill Self said the former Memphis standout was "very good about it" and understood why he was disciplined the way he was. By Matt Tait

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Golf tournament a reminder of strong connection between Lawrence and former KU star Mario Chalmers

There are very few people who can steal the spotlight of an entire golf tournament without ever swinging a club. But that’s exactly what former Kansas star Mario Chalmers, the hero of the 2008 national title game, did on Monday afternoon at The Jayhawk Club, which hosted Chalmers’ ninth annual charity golf tournament benefitting the Mario V. Chalmers Foundation. By Matt Tait

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KU guard Lagerald Vick continuing to emerge

Set to enter his third year with the program, Kansas junior Lagerald Vick continues to make the kind of progress that has transformed him from deep reserve as a rookie to bona fide weapon in Year 3. By Matt Tait

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The Journey Continues: Opportunity to play in Italy meaningful for KU walk-on Clay Young

After starring at Lansing High and moving on to Kansas City Kansas Community College, KU walk-on Clay Young's journey with the Jayhawks has taken him places he never would have imagined he'd go.By Matt Tait

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Mario Chalmers returns to Lawrence for weekend of fundraising fun

Former Kansas guard Mario Chalmers returned to Lawrence late Friday night to kick off a weekend of fundraising events for The Mario V. Chalmers Foundation that will culminate with his annual golf tournament on Monday at The Jayhawk Club Golf Course. By Matt Tait

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Class of 2018 PG Devon Dotson sets August visit to KU

It’s shaping to be a big recruiting month for the Kansas men’s basketball team and that goes far beyond the arrival of Mitchell Robinson, the 7-foot center and former McDonald’s All-American who is expected to make a visit to campus this weekend. By Matt Tait

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Aaron Miles officially introduced as new G League coach

Former Kansas point guard Aaron Miles, who got a crack at the NBA and spent eight years playing overseas and later coaching on KU coach Bill Self’s staff, officially was named the head coach of the NBA G League’s Santa Cruz Warriors on Wednesday. By Matt Tait

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Jayhawks grew closer in Italy but still are striving for more

Team bonding and a better understanding of the newcomers was a major point of emphasis for the Kansas men's basketball team during its recent trip to Italy. And while many Jayhawks felt progress was made in that department, they also feel there's still room to do more. By Matt Tait

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