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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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2018 big man David McCormack says coaching staff, tradition made picking KU an 'easy decision'

A little less than a month ago, the Kansas men’s basketball team officially jumped into the Class of 2018 recruiting game by landing a commitment from five-star big man Silvio De Sousa, a 6-foot-9, 245-pound forward from IMG Academy by way of Angola. On Sunday, the Jayhawks added even more size to the family when four-star center David McCormack, of Oak Hill Academy, orally committed to Kansas during a live segment on a local news station in Norfolk, Virginia. By Matt Tait

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Recent weeks marred by one nightmare after the next for KU volleyball's Patricia Montero

When Kansas volleyball's Patricia Montero this August suffered a season-ending knee injury for the second time in three years, the sophomore from Puerto Rico didn't think things could get any worse. And then they did. By Matt Tait

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Quickley picks Kentucky; McCormack to announce Sunday

Five-star point guard Immanuel Quickley officially committed to Kentucky on Friday evening during a ceremony at his school, leaving the Kansas basketball program to turn its attention to an announcement from four-star big man David McCormack, who has scheduled his announcement for Sunday. By Matt Tait

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Kansas basketball program continues strong pursuit of top 2018 talent

With 6-foot-9 big man Silvio De Sousa already on board, the Kansas men's basketball program continues to pursue several of the top players in the 2018 recruiting class in hopes of adding even more elite talent to one of the most important recruiting classes KU coach Bill Self has gone after. By Matt Tait

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Self against the idea of 'free agency' as NCAA explores changes to transfer rules

As the Kansas men’s basketball team prepares to jump into a season during which three Jayhawks will sit out and two others finally will play after transferring in, landing athletes via transfer could be on the brink of becoming easier in college athletics.By Matt Tait

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Mykhailiuk: Day 1 of KU boot camp as tough as ever

The one and only message uttered by Kansas senior Svi Mykhailiuk and the rest of the KU upperclassmen to a handful of first-year Jayhawks before the opening day of KU’s annual boot camp on Monday morning was simple — be on time. By Matt Tait

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Annual KU basketball boot camp set to begin bright and early Monday

With this year’s Late Night scheduled earlier than ever — 6:30 p.m., Sept. 30 at Allen Fieldhouse — the annual exhaustion known as boot camp will begin earlier, as well, at 6:15 a.m. Monday, when Bill Self and his team meet before the sun rises to put in a full day’s work before many people get out of bed. By Matt Tait

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KU's Azubuike one of 19 attendees at NCAA symposium designed to educate pro prospects

KU sophomore Udoka Azubuike was one of 19 current college players invited last weekend to an Elite Student-Athlete Symposium in Indianapolis designed to give draft-eligible athletes a better and closer look at life in the NBA and the things they must consider before making the decision whether to turn pro early or stay in school. By Matt Tait

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Oscar-style celebration with those closest to him highlighted Bill Self's big night

Friday’s Hall of Fame induction for Kansas coach Bill Self turned out to be one heck of a celebration, complete with a red-carpet entrance, a national television audience and some of the biggest and brightest celebrities in the game of basketball on hand. By Matt Tait

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Hall of Fame Notebook: Huge support system the best part for Bill Self

If he were at all nervous when he stepped onto the stage at Symphony Hall to lead off the induction speeches for this year’s class joining the Naismith Memorial Basketball Hall of Fame, Kansas coach Bill Self was quickly comforted when he looked into the crowd and saw dozens of familiar faces. By Matt Tait

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