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KU50: #49 Paul Mokeski


Paul Mokeski might best be known to non-KU fans for his ridiculous photos, or his mention in Bill Simmons’ Book of Basketball, in which the author suggests the Mokeski Award, given to the best white American basketball player each year (for the record, 2017’s would have gone to Gordon Hayward).

The semi-ironic thing is Mokeski was never a great pro. He averaged 4 ppg, 3.4 rpg, and just under an assist per game in his NBA career. He’s also bounced around as a coach, with stints in the NBA as an assistant and a couple of jobs in Canada’s National League. He also served as an assistant for Great Britain in the 2012 Olympics.

But Mokeski was legitimately good as a Jayhawk. Again, I have to point out he looked like this. Mokeski’s first two seasons were shortened due to injury, but averaged more than 11 points and 8 rebounds per game in his final two seasons in Lawrence, while also chipping in about a block per game. It’s also worth noting that, much like Charlie Black yesterday, Mokeski was one of the defensive lynchpins of a couple pretty good Kansas teams. The Jayhawks went 24-5 and 13-1 in the Big 8 in 1978, although they were screwed by the NCAA and lost in the round of 32 to UCLA.

Mokeski shot right around 50 percent from the field in his final two years in Lawrence, which was no small feat in those days, and played almost 34 minutes per game as a senior.


#50 Charlie T. Black