Eighth-grade English teacher Janet Schrick ran toward Kansas University basketball player Tyshawn Taylor and shrieked: “My favorite player ever. I’m in love with this man.”
Welcome to the second annual “Ladies Night Out with Bill Self” at Allen Fieldhouse.
About 450 women got the unique opportunity Thursday evening to mingle with KU basketball players and staff while enjoying wine and hors d’oeuvres. They learned some basketball moves, asked personal questions and got lots and lots of pictures and autographs.
As Schrick gave Taylor a big hug, she asked: “Are you freaking out?”
The event was a fundraiser for Jayhawks for a Cure, which supports cancer treatment and research at Kansas University Cancer Center and Lawrence Memorial Hospital. Tickets were $100 apiece.
During a brief break from signing autographs and posing for pictures, Taylor said he was having a good time.
“I think it’s for a great cause definitely. It’s just a fun thing to do,” he said. “The ladies get a kick out of it, learning basketball a little bit, and just hanging out with us, and I enjoy it. I enjoy it a lot.”
So, has he had this many ladies swoon over him at once?
“It happens here and there,” he said, jokingly. “But not like this.”
Schrick said she attended the event last year and, of course, got a picture with Taylor. She said it’s displayed in her classroom.
“I love Lawrence. I played volleyball here from ’91 to ’94 so just being back in Lawrence is awesome. I love KU. I love, love, love KU,” she said with enthusiasm.
Lawrence resident Angie Herring, 56, is a lifelong Jayhawk fan and was savoring every moment.
“I swore that if I was well enough that I would be here this year,” she said. “It’s been great. We’ve gotten to interact with the players and the coaching staff and it’s just a wonderful experience.”
Herring is battling stage 4 breast cancer. She had chemotherapy treatments from March until July and was in a wheelchair.
“I’m doing much better,” she said with a smile.
The highlights of her evening were seeing former KU Coach Larry Brown — she took at least a dozen pictures, she said — and getting some basketball tips from KU great Danny Manning.
“My favorite part was playing with Coach Manning and learning all of the big-man moves,” she said.
Self joked about having 450 dates until Brown showed up. The two were sitting next to each other getting ready to answer questions from the ladies.
“It’s fun and I am amazed at how many women showed up and how quickly it sold out. I enjoy seeing the women have a good time and our players really enjoy this too,” Self said as flashes from cameras were going off one after another. “The best part is that we are raising money for a great cause.”