Kansas's Mt. Rushmore of Sports


ESPN reviewed the submissions and discussions on your state/region's conversation page. The four figures on Kansas' Sports Rushmore are below:

Wilt Chamberlain (Kansas Jayhawks) -
The two-time first-team All-American lost the 1957 NCAA Title to North Carolina in three overtimes but was still named the tournament MVP. He holds Kansas career records in scoring (29.9 ppg) and rebounding (18.9 rpg).

Danny Manning (Lawrence, Kansas Jayhawks) -
Manning won the 1988 NCAA basketball title and was the 1988 Player of the Year. The two-time All-American was also a Kansas high school player of the year.

Jim Ryun (Wichita, Kansas Jayhawks) -
The three-time Olympian held the world record in the mile and was the first high schooler to break four minutes. He also won the Sullivan Award and was the SI Sportsman of the Year in 1966.

Barry Sanders (Wichita) -
The All-State running back at Wichita North was the 1988 Heisman winner and is a member the Pro Football Hall of Fame.

Other standouts (even more nominees in conversation)

Phog Allen (Kansas Jayhawks)
- Kansas head coach for 38 seasons; helped create NABC; part of inaugural Basketball Hall of Fame class (1959)

Ernie Barrett (Wellington, Kansas State Wildcats)
- All-American, led team to runner-up finish in 1951 NCAA tournament, part of athletic department for 6 decades, known as "Mr. K-State"

George Brett (Kansas City Royals)
- Baseball Hall of Fame, 3,000 hits, Won '85 World Series, 1980 MVP, 3 batting titles

Antoine Carr (Wichita Heights, Wichita State Shockers)
- High school All-American, won '77 state title as part of arguably best Kansas HS team ever, 4-time all-MVC and 1983 All-American at Wichita State

Nolan Cromwell (Smith Center, Logan & Ransom High School, Kansas Jayhawks)
- All-State football/basketball/track @ Ransom High, All-American in football and track at KU, 11 seasons with Rams, including Super Bowl XIV.

Len Dawson (Kansas City Chiefs)
- Super Bowl IV MVP, Member Pro Football HOF, 7 Pro Bowls, 2-time All-Pro, 1962 AFL POY, Chiefs radio analyst since 1985, TV sports anchor in Kansas City since 1966

John Hadl (Lawrence, Kansas Jayhawks)
- 2-time All-American, 3-time all-conference, standout QB/HB/DB/P, 18 years in NFL, all-state in football and baseball at Lawrence High

Walter Johnson (Humboldt)
- 417 wins (2nd in MLB history), 2-time AL MVP, Won 1924 World Series, Charter inductee into Baseball HOF

Lon Kruger (Silver Lake, Kansas State Wildcats)
- Multi-sport star in high school, 2-time Big Eight player of the year, 2 Big Eight titles and 3 NCAA tournaments as player, coached KSU from 1986-90

Al Oerter (Kansas Jayhawks)
- Won 4 straight Olympic gold medals in discus, 4 world records, 2 NCAA titles.

John Riggins (Centralia, Kansas Jayhawks)
- 2-time All-Big Eight, 1969 Orange Bowl team, state football and track champion at Centralia, Member Pro Football HOF

Gale Sayers (Wichita, Kansas Jayhawks)
- 2-time All-American, youngest player inducted into Pro Football Hall of Fame (1977)

Dean Smith (Topeka, Kansas Jayhawks)
- Played on '52 National title team, 879 wins and 2 NCAA titles at UNC

Bill Snyder (Kansas State Wildcats)
- Turned K-State from bottom-feeder to power, won 2003 Big 12 title, 4 Big 12 North titles, 3-time Nat'l coach of year

Gene Stephenson (Wichita State University)
- 30 years as WSU baseball head coach, 2nd-most wins ever in D-I baseball, won 1989 CWS

Frank White (Kansas City Royals)
- Won '85 World Series, 8 Gold Gloves, 5-time All-Star, 1980 ALCS MVP, No. 20 is retired