Carlton Bragg’s Announcement Caps 2016 Kansas Awards Banquet

The University of Kansas held its annual awards men’s basketball awards banquet on Wednesday night. Over 400 season ticket holders and Williams Fund donors gathered to see the Jayhawks 2015-16 team all together one final time.

The event was held at Abe and Jake’s Landing, a spacious and modern venue in the heart of Lawrence, Kansas. Typically, the banquet takes place at a Holiday Inn closer to campus, but a recent change in management led KU to find a new location for 2016. More than 200 fewer season ticket holders and donors were able to attend the event because of the smaller location. The people who did obtain tickets were immediately presented with a table full of the recent trophies won by the Jayhawks.

The hardware on display has all been claimed in the last five seasons of Kansas basketball, dating back to the beginning of Jamari Traylor’s career in the 2011-12 season.

At 6 p.m., players arrived at the venue and spent a half-hour mingling and socializing with the event guests. Perry Ellis and Landen Lucas were the first to arrive and wasted no time taking photos and signing autographs for fans, but it wasn’t until a few minutes later when the more stylish group showed up.

Being able to meet and interact with the players in this setting is one of the best parts of being able to attend games on a regular basis.

My 71-year-old grandma, who has owned KU season tickets for 30 years, looks forward to the banquet each year. She goes right up to the players and talks to them like she’s known them for years, and you can tell that they’re into the event as well.

All Kansas players were in attendance besides Cheick Diallo, and Bill Self later gave an explanation for the freshman center’s absence:

While dinner was served, a 30-minute highlight film of the 2015-16 season was played. Every player was profiled, and every memorable moment was recalled. Whether it was the end of the Kansas/Oklahoma triple-overtime thriller, Wayne Selden’s heroic performance against Kentucky, or Jamari Traylor’s epic dunk against Texas, the fans in attendance went as crazy during the film as they did during the regular season. Some of the best moments from the video:

After the film’s conclusion, legendary Kansas broadcaster Bob Davis introduced Bill Self, the recently-named AP Coach of the Year. Self talked for about 45 minutes, honoring his staff, his assistants, and finally, his players. He called the entire team onto the stage and said a couple of sentences about each player individually. Some of his highlights:

At every banquet, Kansas honors one player with the Danny Manning “Mr. Jayhawk” award. The recipient is typically the team’s best player, but off-the-court contributions are also taken into account. It was no surprise who was awarded the honor this year:

With an exciting night set to come to a close, only one piece of business remained. Wayne Selden Jr., Cheick Diallo, and Brannen Greene have already declared for the NBA Draft. Sviatoslav Mykhailiuk recently announced his plans to stay for his junior year. Freshman Carlton Bragg was the only unknown for the Jayhawks, and Bill Self gave him the microphone to announce news that delighted everyone in attendance:

Self ended the banquet by stating a claim that gets said every year: Kansas doesn’t rebuild, it reloads. He openly told the audience how excited he was for next season’s Jayhawk team:

Ryan Landreth

I’m a recent graduate of MidAmerica Nazarene University. In addition to writing for Rock Chalk Blog, I host the Inside the Paint podcast that covers KU basketball, and I write for Royals Review in the summer. My grandma has had season tickets to Jayhawk basketball for 30 years, and I have the privilege of going to most games with her.