Another Spring Monday devoid of contests. But we do have some cool feature news to cover. Since nothing actually happened on the fields of play, we’ll begin with a nod to a recent fan favorite who is making good at the next level.
From his first year at K-State to his first in the NBA, Wesley Iwundu has always been expected to evolve and grow his game. It has paid off, as he graduated after nine starts in the G-League to an NBA roster spot with the Orlando Magic. His first assignment: Go guard LeBron James.
Iwundu answered the challenges, ultimately averaging 3.7 points in 16.5 minutes per game off the bench in his rookie season. Over the last seven games, those marks increased to 6.4 points in 28.7 minutes. Already valuable, he looks to grow his game again. Coach Bruce Weber was on hand for Iwundu’s season finale, and Iwundu appreciates his college coach’s continued support, saying Weber is “a ride-or-die.” Maybe you youngsters who are more in touch with the lingo can explain the deeper meaning of this to the rest of us.
Wes also shared his enthusiasm for the accomplishments of his former teammates and Coach Weber in this year’s NCAA tournament and is as optimistic as anyone for next season:
“Those guys deserved it because I know how hard they’ve been working, I know how focused they’ve been, and it’s just good to see them get to that point. It’s like, ‘Why not next year?’” he said. “They have a lot of guys coming back. Plus adding on some more pieces, key pieces, I think the sky’s the limit for those guys and Coach Weber. I’m excited for all of those guys to get that experience. That’s something they can talk about for a long time. That was history.”
Although K-State fans may have been disappointed seeing only one player (DJ Reed) drafted into the NFL, free agent signings by Byron Pringle (Chiefs) and Matthew McCrane (Cardinals) give us two more ‘Cats to watch in the preseason, at least. The Collegian’s Avery Osen opined on which will have the best NFL career. Of course, he may be overlooking others who have yet to reach free agency terms. Will Geary has to land somewhere, right? The legend must live on!
Though we steadfastly refuse to talk about it in any detail, the Wichita State baseball team will journey to Tointon Family Stadium on Wednesday to play the Wildcats. And that’s all I have to say about that.
For the second straight week, the generosity of K-State alumni made headlines. Last week, three couples combined their efforts to support programs and improvements in the College of Engineering. This week, the Kansas Humanitarian Commission recognized Jack and Donna Vanier for their generosity to K-State and other causes. The Vanier family, over a 60-year period, has funded scholarships and facilities at K-State, as well as St. John’s Military Academy and a children’s center in Salina.
Coach Bill Snyder and University President Richard Myers attended the event at the Kansas Statehouse, along with Jack and Donna’s three children, Marty, Mary and John. Health concerns prevented their parents from attending, but according to Sherman Smith of the Capital-Journal, John Vanier said if they had been able to attend, Donna “would have delivered a speech that would bring tears to people’s eyes,” while Jack “would have simply shrugged and said there are no luggage racks on a hearse.”