When it’s time to look for that new college jersey to wear to the tailgate, the next party or just around the house, there’s no shortage of Kansas greats, current and past, to choose from.
The state has two Naismith Award winners, multiple All-American greats who went on to Hall of Fame basketball careers, a couple of Hall of Fame running backs and even the first female member of the Harlem Globetrotters.
But who’s college jersey is the most sought after?
BetKansas.com took a break from Kansas sports betting and utilized Google Trends to determine the most searched college sports jerseys in the state. For the study, only colleges in Kansas were included. After completing the trends over the past 12 months (from July 2022 to July 2023), we were able to find results to get the top 3 college sports jerseys for the state of Kansas.
Most Popular College Jerseys in Kansas
Not Many Kansas Legends Made the List
It would seem the data shows a bit of recency bias with regard to the most popular jerseys in Kansas, as three of the top four players were drafted this year into the professional ranks.
Shooting guard Gradey Dick, the 13th overall pick in last month’s NBA draft by the Toronto Raptors, tops the list over the great Paul Pierce, who was inducted in the Basketball Hall of Fame in 2021 after his illustrious NBA and college career.
Tying with Pierce for the second-most searches is forward Jalen Wilson, who led the Jayhawks with 20.1 points per game in a season that ended with a second-round NCAA Tournament loss to Arkansas. The Brooklyn Nets drafted Wilson at No. 51 overall and signed him to a two-way contract with the Long Island Nets.
Kansas sports betting apps list Dick as +4000 to win NBA Rookie of the Year honors. San Antonio’s Victor Wembanyama is the overwhelming favorite at -200.
Dick, who averaged 14.1 points as a freshman, and Wilson, who battled injury and off-court issues to become the Big 12 Player of the Year, are solid players, but when stacked up against Jayhawks greats, they’ve got a long way to go.
Kansas is home of Hall of Famers Wilt Chamberlain, Pierce, Jo Jo White and Clyde Lovellette, plus former great players Danny Manning, who won the Naismith Award, and current NBA MVP Joel Embiid (+600 odds to repeat as MVP at BetMGM Sportsbook Kansas).
Even the women’s program has a Hall of Famer with Lynette Woodard, who was a four-time All-American for the Jayhawks averaging 26 points per game. She played with the Globetrotters in 1985, won Olympic gold in 1984 and at age 38 helped start the WNBA by playing two seasons.
Kansas State running back Deuce Vaughn finishes off the list. He was drafted by the Dallas Cowboys in the sixth round after he had 1,558 yards rushing and 12 total touchdowns for the Wildcats. He made a splash because his father, Chris Vaughn, is a scout with the Cowboys, and he helped make the selection.
While that’s a nice running back story, Kansas is also home to NFL Hall of Fame greats in Gale Sayers with the Chicago Bears and John Riggins with the Washington Redskins. Even Kansas State has a great one in 5-foot-8 Darren Sproles, who had 8,300 total yards and scored 64 touchdowns in a 14-year career. Vaughn has a chance to continue that small Wildcats back in the NFL story as he stands 5-foot-6.