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Kansas Jayhawks Autographed Basketball Memorabilia - A Detailed History of this Iconic Program

April 03, 2018 7 min read 2 Comments

Kansas Jayhawks Autographed Basketball Memorabilia - A Detailed History of this Iconic Program

An Exploration into University of Kansas Basketball Memorabilia

How rabid are University of Kansas fans about their men’s basketball team?  Someone once paid $4.3 million for James Naismith's journal, the most expensive price paid for basketball memorabilia.  Kansas Jayhawks autographed basketball sports memorabilia is some of the most popular on the market.

The University of Kansas Basketball department has a long and storied history. The following is a guide to collecting basketball memorabilia from the University of Kansas.

History of University of Kansas Basketball

The first season for the University of Kansas basketball team was in 1898. Today the program is classified as Division 1 and is a part of the Big 12 Conference.

Dr. James A. Naismith

The Jayhawks have the distinctive honor of their first coach inventing the great game of basketball. The sport was originally thought to be a women's sport. The change towards a men's sport happened in the 1910's when it was banned for women.

Ironically, Naismith is the only coach in Kansas men's basketball history with a losing record.

James Naismith 13 Rules of Basketball

Other Kansas Basketball Coaches

Phog Allen coached the team from 1919 to 1956. A former player for Naismith, he took on the challenge of developing the game. He is credited with being the "Father of Basketball Coaching.”

Dick Harp followed Phog Allen from 1956-1964. Harp was a former Jayhawk player and coached Wilt Chamberlain at the school.

Ted Owens lead the Jayhawks from 1964-1983. Owens coached the team to win six Big Eight Conference titles. Jo Jo White played under Owens. The University of Kansas let Owens go after the team performed two losing seasons in a row.

Larry Brown was one of the most popular coaches in Kansas history.  He coached the team from 1983-1988. Brown came to Kansas after coaching in the NBA, winning the 1988 National Championship with Danny Manning.

He left under unfortunate circumstances due to NCAA sanctions. He was accused to have violated recruiting rules by paying for a potential transfers flight home to see his sick grandmother. The potential transfer had already decided not to transfer before the flight.

When one thinks of Kansa basketball coaches, Roy Williams is one that immediately comes up.  He coached the team from 1988-2003. Williams is responsible for bringing back the Kansas winning tradition in a strong way. He eventually left to return to his alma mater, The University of North Carolina.

Bill Self is the current Kansas coach. His career with Kansas has been a series of ups and downs.  However, he has won a National Championship in 2008, Kansas’ last basketball title.

Kansas Jayhawks Basketball NCAA Tournament History

The Jayhawks have a long and storied history of playing exceptional basketball. The team has competed in countless NCAA tournaments, winning 3 National titles and appearing in 15 Final Fours.  ESPN considers the University of Kansas basketball team second in the most prestigious basketball programs in modern basketball.

Allen Fieldhouse

Opening in 1955, Allen Fieldhouse has proved to be a huge home court advantage for the Jayhawks. It is considered one of the best for providing a home court advantage.  Over the last 60 years, The University of Kansas men’s basketball team has won over 70% of their games there.

In 2013 an $18 million dollar construction project added on a three-story facility meant to house Naismith's original 13 rules of basketball. The building will also have meeting rooms and dining for students and faculty.

Allen Fieldhouse

Famous University of Kansas Players

Kansas has had some of the best NCAA basketball teams of all-time.  But who are the best players to play on those teams?  Let’s find out.

Wilt Chamberlain

Probably the most famous of the Kansas basketball alumni is Wilt Chamberlain. Wilt played at KU as a Jayhawk from 1955 to 1958. He went on to play for the Harlem Globetrotters for one year, prior to joining the NBA.

Wilt Chamberlain 100 Point GameOnce in the NBA, he had a 14-year career where he broke multiple records. His most famous is scoring 100 points in a single game, a record that still stands today.


Paul Pierce

Paul Pierce played for the University of Kansas basketball team from 1995 to 1998. He went on to play for the Boston Celtics, New Jersey Nets, Washington Wizards, and Los Angeles Clippers in his 19-year career. A future NBA Hall of Fame selection.  Nicknamed “The Truth,” Pierce ranks 15th all-time in NBA scoring with 26,397 points scored.

Nick Collison

Collison currently plays for the Oklahoma City Thunder.

During his time with the University of Kansas basketball team, he helped the team reach two consecutive Final Fours in 2002 and 2003.  He ranks #2 all-time at Kansas with 2,097 points scored.

Joseph Henry White (Jo Jo)

During his time on the team from 1965 to 1969, he was named to the NCAA All-American team twice.

He represented the United States in two Olympic games. Mexico City 1968 and Winnipeg 1967. He also led the Boston Celtics to two NBA Championships. He also set a franchise record of 488 consecutive games played.

Mario Chalmers

Chalmers was accomplished during his time at Kansas. He was named the 2006-07 Co-Defensive Player of the Year. He was the Most Outstanding Player of the 2008 NCAA Men's Division I Basketball Tournament when he made one of the most important shots in Kansas Basketball history, a three-pointer to tie Memphis at the end of regulation in the National Championship game.

He has spent the majority of his career with the Miami Heat after being drafted in 2008. He has spent recent years with the Grizzlies. Mario Chalmers Kansas basketball memorabiliais still quite popular today.

Raef LaFrentz

LaFrentz was a Jayhawk from 1994 to 1998. He was a starter all four years. He was the first Kansas player in 27 years to average a double-double for an entire season.  After college, he was drafted to the Denver Nuggets. He retired from the NBA in 2009.

Clyde Lovellette

Lovellette has the honor of being the first basketball player to play on an NCAA championship team, NBA championship team, and an Olympics gold medal team. Only seven players have accomplished this feat.

His professional career spanned 12 years where he amassed several NBA championships and All-Star awards.

Danny Manning

Danny Manning is a retired NBA player and currently the coach at Wake Forest. He was a member of the University of Kansas basketball team from 1984 to 1988.

In 1988, he led the team to a National Championship. He then returned to the school as an assistant coach after retiring from the NBA. He was on the bench as a Bill Self assistant during the 2008 National Championship.

Autographed Manning jerseys are on of the more popular Kansas items and do not remain in stock very long. 

Drew Gooden

Gooden played for the University of Kansas basketball team from 1999 to 2002. In 2002 he lead the nation for rebounds. He was named Player of the Year in 2002. His jersey #0 jersey was retired in 2003.

He left Kansas before his senior year to join the NBA, drafted by the Vancouver Grizzlies in 2002. He played for ten different teams during his 14 years in the NBA. He is currently a sports analyst at Comcast.

Brandon Rush

Rush was a member of the 2008 championship team. He led the Jayhawks in scoring, rebounding, and three-point shooting.

He was the first Kansas freshman named to First Team All-Big 12. His #25 jersey was retired in 2017.

Notable Achievements

The University of Kansas men’s basketball team is second all-time 2,217 wins and third in winning percentage at 72.5%.

The Jayhawks are first in:

  • 28 consecutive NCAA tournament appearances
  • 97 seasons with a winning record
  • 100 seasons with a non-losing record
  • 4 consecutive seasons with 30 wins
  • 13 consecutive seasons with 25 wins

College Basketball Memorabilia

Do not overlook college basketball memorabilia. Some of the most memorable times in our lives are those college years when our team won a National Title.  No one will ever forget that!  For Kansas alumni, that autographed Mario Chalmers photo or a Paul Pierce autographed basketball are vivid reminders of those good times. 

Just like with other sports memorabilia, older items from the University of Kansasbasketball team are more valuable. A Wilt Chamberlain autograph can be several thousand dollars.

Signature Authentication for Sports Memorabilia

So you want to add a Kansas basketball autograph to your collection or give as a gift?  How do you know it is authentic?  Here are some quick tips.

  • Look for items authenticated by James Spence Authentication (JSA), PSA/DNA, or Beckett Authentication Services (BAS). These are the 3 most reputable autograph authenticators in the industry.
  • If item does not come with on of those certificates of authenticities here are some quick and easy steps to follow. ) Ask seller where they got the autograph from.  B.) Compare autograph to known authentic examples (a previous JSA, PSA, or BAS certified one). Look for consistent autograph size, angle, and flow.  C.) Ask seller if they guarantee a 3rd party authentication pass by JSA, PSA, or BAS.  Here at Powers Sports Memorabilia, all of our autographs come with one of those 3 certificates of authenticity or our COA and a 3rd party guarantee.
Determining Value of your Sports Memorabilia

You can start determining the value by researching your items online. There are many online auction sites that cater to sports memorabilia or just general auction sites, like eBay.  Look at past sales to get an accurate assessment. 

Noteworthy Kansas Basketball Memorabilia

A Paul Pierce autographed basketballcan sell for $229. As a former All-American and future Hall of Fame selection, a basketball signed by Paul Pierce is an autograph sure to increase in value.

Kansas autographed basketball jerseys are one of the hottest areas of the market.  Mario Chalmers, Paul Pierce, and Danny Manning are three of the most popular players.  Chalmers has autographed this jersey and written 08 CHAMPS.  Inscriptions such as 08 CHAMPS add significant value to an item.

Mario Chalmers Autographed Kansas Jersey

If you’re looking for sports memorabilia that can be displayed easily consider purchasing an autograph picture that has been framed. A Mario Chalmers autographed photocan sell for $99.

2 Responses

Sherrie Norwood
Sherrie Norwood

September 05, 2019

100 percent blue blood!

Joey Canfield
Joey Canfield

July 07, 2018

Very cool run down of the University of Kansas…. a background like none other in the sport….

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