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Wayne Simien

  • Standout high school basketball player at Leavenworth High School where he earned All-State and All-America honors
  • Led the University of Kansas to three Big XII titles and four trips to the NCAA tournament
  • Two-time All-Big XII selection; 2005 Big XII Player of the Year; 2005 All-American
Simien, Wayne
Inducted 2012

Born: March 9, 1983 – Leavenworth, KS

Graduated: Leavenworth High School, 2001; University of Kansas, 2005

Overview

Wayne Simien, a touted prep hoopster from Leavenworth, Kansas, grew up in the shadow of the University of Kansas.  Growing up just twenty minutes away from Lawrence, he watched KU greats like Kansas Sports Hall of Famer Danny Manning and would dream of one day playing on the same court in Allen Fieldhouse.  When he got his chance, he didn’t disappoint.

High School All-American

Simien was already a household name in basketball circles by the time he came on campus as a freshman at KU.  Throughout his high school career, he built up a resume that would be the envy of any young athlete.  After guiding the Leavenworth Pioneers to a state championship during his junior year, Simien followed it up with a senior season that saw him earn consensus All-State honors, Mr. Kansas Basketball honors, Kansas Gatorade Player of the Year honors, and McDonald’s All-American honors.

Career at KU

Indeed, Simien was on nearly every collegiate basketball coach’s recruiting radar but jumped at the first opportunity he received to play for the Jayhawks.  During his career, the Jayhawks posted a record of 110-28, including three Big XII Conference titles, four trips to the NCAA tournament, two Final Fours, and one Elite Eight.

Although his team’s accomplishments during his years at KU are impressive, one look at his individual numbers show just how pivotal a role Simien played during those years of dominance.

Simien ended his career at KU with 1,593 points, 884 rebounds, and 38 double-doubles, despite losing nearly half of his sophomore season to injury.  He was a two-time All-Big XII Conference selection, the 2005 Big XII Player of the Year when he averaged a double-double, a consensus first-team All-American, and the Lowe’s Senior CLASS Award winner in 2005.

Professional Career

Drafted in the first round of the 2005 NBA Draft, he went on to win one NBA Championship with the Miami Heat in 2006 before retiring from basketball in 2009.