Our town continues to revel in last week's men's NCAA basketball national championship victory. For those of you who have never visited us, a trip to Lawrence, Kansas quickly reveals that it is a basketball town. The inventor of basketball, James Naismith, was the first coach at the University of Kansas (although he is the only coach in Kansas history to record more losses than wins), and basketball legends like Wilt Chamberlain played here. During the tournament in March, students and townies live and breathe hoops. The championship win set off a frenzy that has yet to fully settle down.
Today was the second official public celebration: a parade through town. When the parade was announced, Erik was skeptical about attending. Tens of thousands of fans flooded downtown streets on Monday night (as well as the previous Saturday after the win over North Carolina), and he expected traffic and parking to be impossible to manage. With the weather cold and wet early in the week, we were not sure that we wanted to trek downtown on foot. But, the parade route was expanded to pass only two blocks from our home, and the day was chilly but sunny. We were joined by our friends John, Hong, and their daughter Rose.
The Lawrence Journal-World reported an attendance estimate of 100,000. This exceeds the total population of Lawrence by 15-20,000 people! We situated ourselves in a less populated area and got good views of the whole team. Below, you can see pics of Coach Self, Sherron Collins, Mario Chalmers, Russell Robinson and the NCAA trophy.
Rock Chalk Jayhawk!