Best Sports Role Model

Wayne Simien

Former Jayhawks forward Wayne Simien became the state's most notable export after the Miami Heat selected him in the first round of the draft this summer. He exemplifies the idea that homegrown athletes should finish college before jumping to the pros. The 6-foot-9-inch baller workshopped his skills at Leavenworth High School, where he led the team to a state title. Though he'd gone to summer camps alongside a roster of players who jumped from high school to the NBA, he committed to the University of Kansas before his last prep season and then actually finished his senior season there, earning Big-12 Player of the Year honors and becoming only the second consensus All-American from the Kansas City area. He also earned a reputation as a hardworking, coachable player, helping the Jayhawks garner three Big 12 titles and appearances in two Final Fours and an Elite Eight. New Heat player Simien leaves a legacy that might convince young hoopers that staying in school might actually help their pro prospects.
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