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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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Recruiting Notebook: Kansas in good shape for 5-star, Class of 2018 shooting guard

Quentin Grimes, the No. 12 ranked player in the Class of 2018, is on the verge of cutting down his list to a handful of finalists and it appears that Kansas will be on it. By Matt Tait

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Was this year's NBA draft the last to be dominated by college freshmen?

Young talent dominating draft night is nothing new in the NBA. The draft has been trending this way for years, with team executives preferring to pick potential and invest in long-range visions over taking proven but older players from the college ranks. However, there are plenty of people who believe this latest surge of one-and-done selections might have been the beginning of the end. By Matt Tait

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Suns, Josh Jackson share mutual excitement over KU freshman falling to Phoenix

It did not take long for former Kansas freshman Josh Jackson to find reasons to be thrilled about landing in Phoenix after being picked fourth overall in Thursday night's NBA Draft. And the Suns were quick to become equally as enamored with their new rookie. By Matt Tait

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Landen Lucas to join Boston Celtics' summer league squad

Ellis to play with Minnesota during NBA summer league action

Friday afternoon, former Kansas center Landen Lucas revealed on Twitter that he was joining the Celtics' summer league squad for sessions that run July 3-6 and July 7-17. By Matt Tait

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Self says recent NBA draft pick Frank Mason III can impact Sacramento culture in a positive way

The Sacramento Kings struck again, selecting yet another Kansas basketball player, this time reigning national player of the year Frank Mason III at No. 34 overall in the second round of Thursday's NBA Draft. By Matt Tait

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Phoenix Suns snag driven Josh Jackson with 4th pick in NBA Draft

Frank Mason III scooped up 34th by Sacramento

Former Kansas basketball standout Josh Jackson, who delivered one of the most impressive freshman seasons in the storied history of the KU program, on Thursday night became the fourth player in the Bill Self era to be selected in the Top 5 of the NBA Draft. By Matt Tait

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Jackson, Mason on the brink of becoming latest Jayhawks drafted into NBA

Thursday night in New York City, former Kansas basketball stars Josh Jackson and Frank Mason III will find out a little more about their futures than they know when they wake up. By Matt Tait

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More than a few to follow: Former KU stars enjoy keeping tabs on Jayhawks in the NBA

Already busy enough with trying to balance his own overseas playing career with time to watch his beloved alma mater at crazy hours, former Kansas point guard Russell Robinson is bracing for things to get even tougher this week. By Matt Tait

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On the rise? Wayne Selden Jr. plenty pleased, motivated by NBA career path thus far

Playing a good chunk of his Kansas career in the shadows of All-American talents like Andrew Wiggins, Joel Embiid and Perry Ellis, former KU guard Wayne Selden put up good numbers, started a ton of games but never was deemed a can’t-miss NBA contributor. By Matt Tait

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KU freshman Marcus Garrett as confident as ever

In playing his way to Gatorade Texas Boys Basketball Player of the Year honors during the 2016-17 prep season, Kansas freshman Marcus Garrett's monster numbers were the result of elevated confidence that came from signing with the Jayhawks. By Matt Tait

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