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.
Tuesday night, the Kansas basketball family, and basketball in general, learned that one of is all-time greats had passed, as the family of former KU legend and Boston Celtics great announced the death of Jo Jo White.
The Kansas basketball family on Tuesday lost one of its true legends, when Hall of Famer Jo Jo White died at the age of 71 after a long battle with brain cancer. By Matt Tait
Even if you watched the replay three or four times after it was over, it’s hard to pinpoint exactly how the 10th-ranked Kansas men’s basketball team flipped the script on an otherwise sluggish performance and played some of its best basketball of the season down the stretch to steal a victory in Morgantown over West Virginia on Monday night. By Matt Tait
Of all of the talented teams and insanely skilled players that Kansas basketball coach Bill Self has taken to West Virginia during the past five years, it was a bunch of grinders and scrappers who finally came out of WVU Coliseum with a victory again. By Matt Tait
West Virginia forward Wesley Harris, who started all 17 games for the Mountaineers heading into Monday’s showdown with 10th-ranked Kansas, was back in the starting lineup on Monday night despite some controversy swirling around him. By Matt Tait
The Big 12 Conference on Monday announced a public reprimand of West Virginia forward Wesley Harris, who was involved in an altercation with a Texas Tech fan during a court-storming celebration last weekend in Lubbock, Texas, following the Red Raiders' victory over WVU. By Matt Tait
A look at some of the keys for 10th-ranked Kansas in tonight's first of four Big Monday matchups this season at No. 6 West Virginia on ESPN. By Matt Tait
Silvio De Sousa's first official game as a Jayhawk probably will not be remembered for his time on the floor. By Matt Tait
During his first live and in-person experience in the Sunflower Showdown, Malik Newman's two free throws with 15.2 seconds to play gave 12th-ranked Kansas a 73-72, hang-on-for-dear-life victory over visiting Kansas State. By Matt Tait
Nineteen days after first setting foot on KU's campus as an official member of the Kansas men's basketball team, freshman forward Silvio De Sousa finally has been cleared to play. By Matt Tait