Many University of Kansas fans have seen or heard Greg Gurley provide color commentary on television and radio on KU men’s basketball games. But most of these fans likely don’t realize that Gurley has Johnson County ties.
Gurley played basketball for four years at Shawnee Mission South and, likely, made the most famous shot in Johnson County high school basketball history.
The Raiders trailed Wichita South 43-42 with less than 15-seconds to play in the 1990 Class 6A state championship game in Emporia.
It was Gurley who as a junior connected on a 25-foot jumper from the left side with two seconds left in the game to give the Raiders a 45-43 victory and an undefeated season.
The former Raider calls that the highlight of a very successful prep career.
“It’s pretty hard not to bring up our state championship in 1990,” he says. “We just celebrated our 25th anniversary in January and had a great couple of days hanging with my teammates and coaches.”
The event was hosted by the school and culminated at a basketball game between SM South and SM West.
Gurley went on to play at KU, but injuries hindered his career.
Now, he sits beside veteran sportscaster Bob Davis, providing analysis the games for the legion of KU basketball fans.
How did he get the job?
“I had been doing Kansas games on the Jayhawk Television Network for several years when Chris Piper wanted to step away from the radio job,” he says. “I was asked to replace him and I accepted the position just over three years ago.”
There is a difference between providing color commentary in television and radio.
“Preparation is the key,” he says. “Having the gift of gab is very important as well. Not having the luxury of the visual image on TV forces you to be able to carry the broadcast through painting the picture for the listeners.”
The former Jayhawk is heavily involved at the school in Lawrence.
“I have two jobs,” he says. “I work as the director of development for the Williams Fund.
“We raise money for the athletic department for the University of Kansas. The last two years I’ve been involved in the fundraising, design and construction of McCarthy Hall, which is the new student housing project where some of our student athletes will reside.”
And, of course, his other job is with the broadcasting of KU men’s basketball games; a job that has meant more involvement with the basketball program.
“After my career ended, I missed the camaraderie of being around the team on the road, in the locker room and at practice,” he says. “Working with broadcaster Bob Davis is such a bonus, too.
“He has been around, seen just about everything, plus he’s great work with.”
The new job has an added bonus.
“Working with Bill Self is great,” he says. “I’ve known him for long time so that helps, but he is a lot of fun to interact with and we always have a little friendly banter in our pre-game and post-game interviews.”
The former Raider and Jayhawk is enjoying his work in Lawrence.
“I am very fortunate to have two jobs that I love every day,” he says. “I like to entertain and talk, so I couldn’t be in a happier place than I am right now in Kansas athletics.”
Gurley has been married to wife, Ann, for 17 years and they have two daughters. Kate is 14 years old and a sophomore at Blue Valley North, while Jane is 12 years old and looks forward to 7th grade at Leawood Middle School in the fall.