I started going to KU basketball games when my family moved back to Lawrence in 1976 when I was six years old. I don’t remember much of those early years, but I do remember my first basketball hero – Darnell Valentine, the original “Thigh Master.”
This is KU BALLS’ inaugural piece of memorabilia, or at least the earliest one I can find, from the team awards banquet in 1979. I carried this with me & displayed it with pride even into college, which might tell you something about my social life. As you can see on the program, other Jayhawk legends on this team included Booty Neal, David Magley, Tony Guy, and frequent Bill Simmons punching bag, Paul Mokeski. But I only had eyes for Darnell.
Darnell is a fellow Pacific Northwest Cloud Compadre living in Portland, and has an open invitation to stay at the Lodge whenever he visits the Seattle area.