The Kansas Jayhawks, the talented team out of the University of Kansas, has a fan base like no other, especially when it comes to memorabilia.
Once, a true fan and collector paid 4.3 million dollars for a journal belonging to Jayhawks player James Naismith. This holds the record for the most expensive item bought in basketball memorabilia history. In fact, the team’s autographed memorabilia is one of the most sought-after group of items on the market today.
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Knowing Your History
Today, the team is a Division One school playing in the Big 12 Conference. However, the team got its start in 1898. Basketball was once thought of as a woman’s sport, but the Jayhawks’ first coach invented the game for men and helped shape the way the game is played today.
Unfortunately, that meant that in 1910 when it became a men’s sport, it was also banned for women. This coach, James Naismith, was an amazing influence in the world of basketball, but he is also the only Jayhawks coach with a losing record.
From 1919 to 1956, Phog Allen coached the team and is known as the “Father of Basketball Coaching.” Dick Harper, a previous Jayhawks player, took over coaching from 1956-1964 and had the honor of coaching Wilt Chamberlin while he was in school. Ted Owens came next (1964-1983), leading the team to six Big Eight Conference Titles, with JoJo White playing under him.
After two losing seasons, he was let go. In 1983, the former NBA coach led the Kansas Jayhawks until 1988, when he won the championship with player Danny Manning, but was let go due to an NCAA rules scandal.
Roy Williams, one of the best-known Jayhawks coaches, was with the team from 1988-2003. Bill Self is the current Kansas Jayhawks Coach and took the team to their last National Championship in 2008.
The team has a long history of ups and downs but they did win three national titles and competed in fifteen Final Four games. Not to mention, this team has had some truly gifted players on their team in years past.
Wilt Chamberlin (1955-1958) played for the team, before going on to a year with the Harlem Globe Trotters, followed by an impressive career in the NBA. Other famous players include Paul Pierce (1995-1998), Nick Collison (2002-2003), plus JoJo White (1965-1969) who made the NCAA All-American Team twice in his college career with the Jayhawks.
You also have Mario Chalmers, Most Outstanding Player of the 2008 NCAA Men’s Division I, who made a now famous 3-point shot at the end of a National Championship game to tie up the score. His memorabilia is still sought after.
Other players include Raef LaFrentz (1994-1998), Clyde Lovellette (also an Olympic gold medal winner), and Danny Manning, who led the team to a National Championship in 1988. Finding an autographed Danny Manning jersey is extremely hard and a rare find to score. We must also remember Drew Gooden (1999-2002) whose jersey, #0, was retired in 2002.
Also with a retired jersey was Brandon Rush, part of the winning 2008 team, was the first freshman ever named to the First Team All-Big 12 and his number 25 was retired in 2017.
College basketball memorabilia varies when it comes to value and cost. Look out for items authenticated by James Spence Authentication (JSA), PSA/DNA, or Beckett Authentication Services (BAS). These three groups have a solid reputation.read more to see what we mean