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College, NBA, Where Are They Now? / May 26, 2011 / 3:00 pm

Where Are They Now: Wayne Simien

Wayne Simien

Wayne Simien

It’s hard to forget the name Wayne Simien. And I doubt anyone in Kansas ever will. This January, the 28-year-old had his No. 23 jersey hoisted into the rafters at Allen Fieldhouse with the hardware to deserve it. Consensus First-Team All-American. Big 12 Player of the Year. A 110-28 record from 2002-05 with the Jayhawks, winning three Big 12 titles and reaching two Final Fours and an Elite Eight. Oh yeah, and he ranks 12th all-time at KU in scoring, seventh in rebounding and fourth in double-doubles. Not bad. But despite all the success, Simien found himself searching for something greater than basketball, becoming a born-again Christian in 2003.

With the Miami Heat in pursuit of another NBA title, you’d be remiss to forget that Simien won a championship in South Beach as a rookie after being selected 29th overall in the 2005 NBA Draft. Having retired from professional basketball in 2009, Simien now spends his time ministering through Called To Greatness, a Christian-based sports organization he started in Lawrence, and volunteers as a KU Religious Advisor and Mentor of Student Athlete Development. Here’s his story in his own words:

If Simien’s story interests you, be sure to read Sarah Henning’s great piece in the Lawrence Journal-World that was published following his retirement from hoops.

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  • north

    wow. Serious respect for this kid… not sure I could give up what he had for something I believed in.

  • barons_beard

    what a waste of ‘god given’ talent

  • http://www.facebook.com/loganlight loganlight

    Respect.

  • Young Gunner

    More power to him

  • beiber newz

    FINANCIALLY…POOR DECISION OBVIOUSLY…HOWEVER HUMAN LOVE IS WORTH MORE IN THE EYES OF GOD..

  • http://www.DarkWingPro.com DarkWing Productions

    That was real. That’s the type of stuff I want to see more of, and less filler.

  • http://Basketballelite.com James Blackburn

    That is what the gospel does- it changes people- great testimony

  • lifep

    The love of Christ is truly amazing.

  • http://bigleaguewiffleball.com/ Jon L.

    That is probably a better time spent than sitting on the bench as the 12th man in the NBA.

  • Elliott

    Awesome! I’m sure some here will try to clown him but it’s obvious this brotha’s life was dramatically changed and for the better. Now that is a true role model!

  • http://dimemag.com Celts Fan

    Great post. Need more like this. I always thought hed end up like a PJ Brown whos never great but is a solid contributor for 10 years. Good to see things worked out for him in life. Very cool

  • Jacqueline Mitchell

    How wonderful for him to realize at such a young age that “money isn’t everything” and that there are more things in life that are important.Like peace of mind and and happiness within yourself.

  • KnicksFan

    Great story…great guy

  • the truth

    Great story…but he’s got a ring so that makes him better than lebron right?? haha had to

  • notforgotten

    God will bless and honour you, Wayne Simien.
    Also, great quoted scripture.
    Ladies and Gentlemen, Jesus is alive.