KU Jayhawks basketball: Wayne Selden, graduate of Ochai Agbaji

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Kansas Jayhawks men’s basketball coach Bill Self joined graduates Ochai Agbaji, left, and Wayne Selden, Jr., right, at KU debut drills in Lawrence on Sunday.

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Former University of Kansas guard Wayne Selden Jr., who reached the Elite Eight during his three-year college basketball career, wasn’t surprised the Jayhawks won the NCAA title last season.

“I knew at the start of the year it was a special team,” Selden said, speaking while wearing a cap and robe instead of a basketball jersey. Sunday afternoon in front of Strong Hall on the KU campus.

He was in Lawrence to participate in the graduation ceremonies. Selden earned her undergraduate degree in liberal arts and sciences six years after leaving KU following the 2015-16 academic year.

“I know how hard it is,” Selden, 27, said of winning it all. The Jayhawks fell to Villanova one step away from the Final Four in his third and final season at KU.

“This team…the ball is moving, there’s a lot of side quickness, everyone can play their 1-5 position. Everyone did a great job,” added Selden, who played for both the New NBA’s York Knicks and a team in Israel in 2021. -22.

Selden made his own triumphant return to Lawrence on Sunday.

He was joined by his mum, Lavetteand his brother, Anthony, as well as several KU coaches and staff who were on hand to congratulate Selden and KU senior Ochai Agbaji.

Agbaji, four-year-old KU player out of Oak Park High School also graduated on Sunday and participated in graduation ceremonies with family members.

Former KU striker Thomas Robinson, 31, also graduated on Sunday, 10 years after playing his last game at KU, but was unable to attend the ceremony in person.

“I unplugged — one little piece at a time,” Selden said of graduating. “Class after class…I took my time and did it. I told my mom I was going to do it at first when I went to school,” added Selden, a native of Roxbury, Massachusetts. “Being able to graduate from Kansas is a tremendous accomplishment. I’m really excited to be back here in Lawrence and graduating with all these young guys.

KU coach Bill Self said he was thrilled for the graduates.

“It’s great for Wayne. Thomas also graduating… it takes something to come back to after leaving a year or two early. It’s quite an accomplishment that they and their families should be proud of,” Self said.

Self added: “It takes a lot of discipline to come back after working full time, traveling, trying to make a team better in Europe and the NBA. Making up 20 or 30 hours and graduating when so much is going on in your life says a lot about them. Our academics do a great job with our players, helping them to further their education as well. »

Selden plans to continue playing basketball for some time to come.

“Still 8, 9 years old, having a successful career,” said Selden, who has played in the NBA and NBA G League as well as Turkey and Israel. He was FIBA ​​Europe Cup Final Four MVP in 2021. “Right now, I feel blessed and grateful for the position I’m in.”

After graduation, the KU Self coach was scheduled to attend the NBA G League elite camp on Monday, followed by the NBA Combine in Chicago. KU’s Jalen Wilson and David McCormack were scheduled to attend the elite camp and Christian Braun and Agbaji the reaper.

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Gary Bedore covers all aspects of Kansas basketball for The Star – the current team as well as former players and coaches and recruiting. He attended KU and was born and raised in Chicago, as well as Lisle, Ill.

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