If you caught the end of No. 8 Kansas’ win over TCU at Phog Allen on Saturday evening, you probably noticed the Kansas faithful applauding as Self made a late sub to let one of the player at the end of the bench get a few seconds of glory:
On the surface, it doesn’t look any different than a normal walk-on checking into a game, but Chris Huey’s story is much more complicated than that.
Huey is a 6-foot-7 student manager in the Kansas program. He transferred to Kansas after his career at St. Mary’s, an NAIA school in Leavenworth, Kansas, came to an end during his freshman season. As detailed by the Kansas City Star, Huey has three times suffered a collapsed lung. The first was the result of a violent collision during a high school game. The second came as he was running wind sprints in an early-season college practice. The last came a few months after that, which is when Huey called it quits.
He became a student manager for the Jayhawks, but when they were short on big bodies and walk-ons this season, he was thrust back onto the court, playing the roll of Rico Gathers and Tashawn Thomas and every other big man in the Big 12 on the Jayhawks scout team.
And heading into Saturday’s game, head coach Bill Self decided that he would allow Huey to suit up for the game, a thank you for all the work the kid everyone in the program calls ‘Scarecrow’ has done for the team.
“I knew it meant a lot to him. I’m glad we were able to do that,” Self told reporters after the game.
“That guy works hard all the time. It was good to have him out there,” Jamari Traylor added.
So how did he do?
Well … I’m sure he’s going to be regretting this miss for a long time: