Wholesome Gesture for Jonathan Phog Takes Over Special 50th Year Anniversary for TCU vs Kansas

Published 01/07/2024, 2:06 AM EST

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Kansas Athletics commemorated the 50th anniversary of KU’s 1974 Final Four squad during the game against TCU. The game included Ted Owens, the head coach, as well as a number of past players and staff members. But the spotlight was stolen by a special member.

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Kansas was on an eight-game winning streak heading into Saturday’s contest. The Jayhawks held a 25-4 series edge overall, including a 10-1 record in Allen Fieldhouse, while going into their thirty-first match against TCU. The presence of a young member made it a memorable match.

A special guest at the special event

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The Kansas men’s basketball team recently welcomed a new member, 16-year-old Jonathan Phog Bemberger, also known as JP, from Lenexa, Kansas. He has been officially named a member of the team through Team IMPACT.

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JP was diagnosed with Ewing’s sarcoma, a kind of pediatric cancer, and had to undergo chemotherapy, radiation, and surgery to overcome the illness. JP attended the Jayhawks-TCU match-up with his family.

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Kansas coach Bill Self, along with the KU staff and 2020-21 Jayhawks, held a Zoom video conference to welcome JP to the team. JP, his family, and Team IMPACT officials were also present during the video conference. During the conference, JP and his father, Tom, shared the good news with the group that, after nine months of treatment, JP is now cancer-free and on the road to recovery.

Team IMPACT is the only non-profit organization in the United States that caters to the social isolation and mental damage that children with serious diseases go through. Team IMPACT selects children like JP to participate in a two-year therapy program that complements their medical care. This program enables the kids to build skills and connections that help them reach their full healing potential.

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Kansas vs TCU

In an exciting game on Saturday afternoon, Kansas defeated the TCU Horned Frogs 83-81 to begin Big 12 conference play. In a thrilling match, the Jayhawks won their 33rd consecutive conference opener; they now need a game-winner to go to 13-1 overall.

Hunter Dickinson, a senior center, led the Jayhawks by example. With three seconds remaining, Dickinson scored thirty points and pulled down eleven rebounds to give the Jayhawks the lead.

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Junior forward KJ Adams and graduating senior guard Kevin McCullar both made significant contributions for Kansas. Adams had his first-ever double-double with 18 points and 10 rebounds, while McCullar chipped in with 16 points.

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Written by:

Nima Murugan

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“Basketball isn’t an act of jumping jacks, it’s a sport mirroring life through assists and rebounds”. Before becoming an NBA writer at EssentiallySports, I was drawn to the world of basketball when 'The Chosen One' first started locking horns with 'His Airness' over the GOAT debate. Some discourses shape your imagination and rightly so.
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Edited by:

Bilal Handoo

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