It’s hard to forget the name Wayne Simien. And I doubt anyone in Kansas ever will. This January, the 28-year-old had his No. 23 jersey hoisted into the rafters at Allen Fieldhouse with the hardware to deserve it. Consensus First-Team All-American. Big 12 Player of the Year. A 110-28 record from 2002-05 with the Jayhawks, winning three Big 12 titles and reaching two Final Fours and an Elite Eight. Oh yeah, and he ranks 12th all-time at KU in scoring, seventh in rebounding and fourth in double-doubles. Not bad. But despite all the success, Simien found himself searching for something greater than basketball, becoming a born-again Christian in 2003.
With the Miami Heat in pursuit of another NBA title, you’d be remiss to forget that Simien won a championship in South Beach as a rookie after being selected 29th overall in the 2005 NBA Draft. Having retired from professional basketball in 2009, Simien now spends his time ministering through Called To Greatness, a Christian-based sports organization he started in Lawrence, and volunteers as a KU Religious Advisor and Mentor of Student Athlete Development. Here’s his story in his own words:
If Simien’s story interests you, be sure to read Sarah Henning’s great piece in the Lawrence Journal-World that was published following his retirement from hoops.
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