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Matt Tait

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

Photo of Matt Tait

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 transfers eligible to play during summer stint in Italy

Kansas coach Bill Self confirmed to the Journal-World that transfers Sam Cunliffe, Dedric Lawson, K.J. Lawson and Charlie Moore will be eligible to play with the Jayhawks during this summer’s trip to Italy. By Matt Tait

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KU junior Svi Mykhailiuk invited to NBA combine

Jackson, Mason also receive invitations

Kansas junior Svi Mykhailiuk was one of three Jayhawks who recently received word that he had been invited to participate in this year’s NBA combine, May 9-14 in Chicago. By Matt Tait

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Transfer trend becoming more prevalent with Kansas basketball

A recent surge in Division I transfers coming to Kansas has seen the Jayhawks take advantage of a growing trend that is making a major impact on college basketball.By Matt Tait

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KU junior Svi Mykhailiuk awaiting word on NBA combine invitation

Before any final decision can be made — before all of the workouts and interviews and information gathering is complete — Kansas junior Svi Mykhailiuk must first find out if he will be invited to the NBA combine May 9-14 in Chicago, an answer that, according to KU coach Bill Self, should come sometime this week. By Matt Tait

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Wayne Selden's strong postseason showing delights KU coach Bill Self

During his three seasons at Kansas, Wayne Selden had a tendency to play his biggest games on the biggest stages. The Memphis Grizzlies rookie is now doing the same thing in the NBA. By Matt Tait

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Recruiting heats up for 2018 hoops prospects

Kansas coach Bill Self, along with dozens of other big time Division I basketball coaches, spent some time in Fort Worth, Texas, over the weekend, evaluating talent at the adidas Gauntlet. By Matt Tait

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Andrea Geubelle gradually becoming comfortable with Olympian identity

Former Kansas triple-jumper Andrea Geubelle's triumphant return to the Kansas Relays marked much more than a memorable homecoming. By Matt Tait

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KU's Frank Mason III made lasting impression on Jayhawk teammates

While the praise for one of the best seasons by a Kansas player in recent memory has started slowing down, the celebration of Frank Mason III’s career and the impact he had on his teammates will be everlasting. By Matt Tait

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KU big man Landen Lucas looking to fund athletic endeavors of local athletes

Through a co-initiative with his mother, Shelley, former KU center Landen Lucas has created the Landen Lucas Foundation – Sports for Life Fund, which, in both Lawrence and his hometown of Portland, will provide scholarships and financial support for young athletes who may not otherwise be able to participate. By Matt Tait

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Josh Jackson declares for NBA Draft

A foregone conclusion became official Monday, as Kansas freshman star Josh Jackson announced he will enter the 2017 NBA Draft. By Matt Tait

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