Friday, June 5, 2015

Self draws recognition from Hall for Assists venture

Kansas head coach Bill Self calls a play during the second half on Friday, Nov. 14, 2014 at Allen Fieldhouse.

Kansas head coach Bill Self calls a play during the second half on Friday, Nov. 14, 2014 at Allen Fieldhouse.


Bill and Cindy Self’s Assists Foundation has assisted many individuals in the state of Kansas since its humble beginnings in 2006.

Assists, whose mission is “to help provide young people access to better lives ... accomplished by identifying areas of need and working with other community-based institutions to provide creative and lasting solutions,” has provided four-year college scholarships to a minimum of five students annually (worth $10,000).

The foundation has contributed funds to Kansas Action for Healthy Kids, Lawrence Public Library, Boys and Girls Clubs of Lawrence, Kansas Youth Empowerment Academy, Ronald McDonald House Charities of Northeast Kansas and Head Start of Lawrence.

Assists also has created a program called “Winning Attitudes for Life” within the school system for elementary- through high school-aged students. The program promotes healthy living, physical fitness, positive well-being and self respect. It stresses leadership, team building, decision-making and communication skills.

Assists is such a far-reaching organization it has attracted the attention of the Naismith Memorial Basketball Hall of Fame.

In recognition of Self’s work with Assists, the Hall has named KU’s 12th-year coach one of three winners of this year’s Mannie Jackson Humanitarian Award. The award will be presented to Self on official Hall of Fame induction weekend in Springfield, Massachusetts.

In other words ... Assists has become a big deal involving huge numbers of dollars.

“I don’t know the exact dollar amount, but we’ve given out approximately $1.5 million through those years we’ve had the Basketball Boogie (biennial fundraiser),” Self said in an interview with the Journal-World.

“We’ve helped support several different entities in the area, the biggest being the Sports Pavilion Lawrence that opened this past year. We gave a million dollars to the Sports Pavilion which basically is serving between approximately 60,000 to 85,000 walking through its doors per month.

“We’re excited about the things we’ve done and continue to be excited about the possibilities that are out there to continue doing some things moving forward. In order for that to happen,” he continued, “we’re having the Boogie, which is our chief way to raise funds through the support of so many people,” he added.

The fifth “Bill’s Basketball Boogie,” is set for 7 p.m. until midnight a week from today at Abe and Jake’s in Downtown Lawrence. Everybody is invited. Ticket and sponsorship information is available at

“We think it’s the party of the summer,” he said of the event that includes food, drink and music and dancing. “Obviously the chief purpose to have the party is to raise money. The effect of it is it’s also a way to have a good time. It’s a way for people to have access to our program. We’ll have all kinds of Jayhawk celebrities there, a silent auction in which people can purchase some very unique Jayhawk memorabilia.”

One can embrace the concept of the Boogie and come dressed in 1970s disco attire. One should not be scared away by the prospect of wearing such attire.

“You can come as you are,” Self said. “Definitely come as you are or come dressed in your 70s disco outfit that is still hanging in your closet.”


Rodney Pain 6 years, 11 months ago

Sounds like a fun event and for such a good cause. I really appreciate that Self helps young people improve their lives not just off the court, but on it as well. Imagine where guys like Thomas Robinson, Tyshawn Taylor, and Jamari Traylor might be without a man like Self in their lives.

Daniel Johnson 6 years, 11 months ago

They would have been playing for another school?

Michael Lorraine 6 years, 11 months ago

What a great ambassador for KU. Classy guy, always says the right thing.

Tony Bandle 6 years, 11 months ago

I got into a discussion with a friend of mine about the Top Ten Players ever from Div 1 bball teams.

Regarding KU, I think I got the first six dead on: Clyde [NCAA MVP, NCAA Champ, NBA Champ, Olympic Gold], Wilt [NCAA MVP, NBA Champ], Danny [ NCAA MVP, NCAA Champ], Jo Jo [NBA Champ], Paul [NBA Champ] and Mario [NCAA MVP, NCAA Champ, NBA Champ].

My problem is the last four...not because I can't find enough choices but rather because there are way too many possibilites!!! Bridges, Collison, Heinrich, the Morrii, Vaughn, LaFrenz, even Wiggins..the list goes on and on.

Any input you all have would be greatly appreciated because, you see, this guy is a Dookie and I need the best Jayhawk team I can put together!!!

Tony Bandle 6 years, 11 months ago

PS Geez, I forgot Sherron Collins, Rex Walters, Gooden....see what I mean??

Harlan Hobbs 6 years, 11 months ago

Like your list and research, Tony. Some others that might deserve recognition include Jerry Gardner, Nolen Ellison, Dave Robisch, Darnell Valentine, the Kelley brothers, Wayne Hightower, Walter Wesley, Bud Stallworth, Ron Kellogg, Pierre Russell, Calvin Thompson, and Wayne Simien to just name a few. They all made their mark on KU's tradition, and I believe that, perhaps with the exception of Wayne Hightower, all of these gentlemen played four years.

For my money, Wilt Chamberlain was the greatest individual player in the history of the game although I certainly understand and respect those who would make the case for Michael Jordan, LeBron James, etc.

Harlan Hobbs 6 years, 11 months ago

I forgot B.H. Born, as well. He followed Clyde Lovellette and took KU to the national championship game in 1953, where I think he was the most valuable player of the tournament, even though KU lost. Just like Wilt in 1957.

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