Kansas basketball newcomers arrive in Lawrence for Monday’s start of summer classes

It’s move-in weekend for Kansas men’s basketball players, who began arriving on campus Saturday for Monday’s start of summer-school classes and team workouts.

A representative of KU basketball’s official social media account greeted each of the Jayhawks’ seven newcomers and posted a comment from Zeke Mayo, AJ Storr, Rylan Griffen, Rakease Passmore, Flory Bidunga, Noah Shelby and Will Thengvall upon their arrival at McCarthy Hall and the Jayhawks’ practice gym.

“It was a dream of course, but my route was a little different,” former South Dakota State player Mayo said Saturday, referring to playing at KU.

“My journey … it was planned by God so he brought me back here for a reason,” added Mayo, a 6-foot-4 senior combo guard out of Lawrence High.

Mayo, the reigning Summit League player of the year, averaged 18.2 points a game last season at SDSU.

Storr, a 6-7 junior guard who has transferred to KU from Wisconsin, told his mom on a KU hoops account post that, “I learned (the game) from you.”

Storr’s mom, Annette Brandy, played basketball at Illinois Central College and the University of Missouri-St. Louis. AJ Storr averaged 16.8 points per game last season at Wisconsin and earned second-team all-Big Ten honors.

Griffen, a 6-6 junior transfer guard from University of Alabama, said upon arrival: “It’s just a dream to play for a great university that cares about basketball, that wants to win a national championship, because that’s aligned with what I want to do. It’s just been my dream to play for a national title contender. It checks that box.”

The Dallas native started 31 games for the Crimson Tide and averaged 11.2 points and 3.4 rebounds per contest in 2023-24.

Passmore, a 6-5 freshman guard from Combine Academy in Lincolnton, North Carolina, originally from Palatka, Florida, said Saturday upon arrival: “(It’s) a lot of work to get here as you know. Kansas isn’t a little school or just a school you can just go to. It’s definitely a dream come true to come play for a blue blood.”

Passmore enters college ranked No. 32 in the class of 2024 by, No. 39 by and No. 44 by

Bidunga, a 6-9 freshman post player from Kokomo (Indiana) High School, said simply Saturday upon arrival: “Rock Chalk Jayhawk.”

Bidunga, who is originally from Congo, arrives ranked No. 14 in the class of 2024 by, No. 17 by and No. 18 by

Shelby, a 6-3 junior point guard who played at Rice University last season, said Saturday: “Something I haven’t been able to experience in college really is winning basketball, so coming to a school where winning is an expectation, a way of life … winning there is no other option. I’m excited for that.”

Shelby — he attended Vanderbilt in 2022-23 before heading to Rice — averaged 3.9 points and 1.0 rebound a game in 2023-24 for the Owls. He starts his KU career as a nonscholarship player.

Thengvall, a 6-4 freshman walk-on guard out of Wichita Kapaun Mt. Carmel, said Saturday: “I’ve thought about it (arriving on campus). I really haven’t thought about it this specific, but now that it’s here it’s kind of crazy. I mean, it’s a dream come true.”

Thengvall averaged 17.6 points, 7.8 rebounds and 3.5 assists per game while hitting 42% of his 3-pointers this past season for the Class 5A state champs.

Other players to be on campus for summer school are scholarship returnees KJ Adams, Zach Clemence, Hunter Dickinson, Dajuan Harris, Jamari McDowell and Elmarko Jackson. Also returning are walk-ons Justin Cross, Wilder Evers, Patrick Cassidy and Dillon Wilhite for a total of 17 players.