WICHITA, Kan. (KSNW) — On the eve of the Sunflower Showdown in Manhattan, KSN’s Jason Lamb visited with Bart and Carmen Dick to find out how their son is adjusting to college life and playing a key role for the No. 2 ranked University of Kansas (KU) Jayhawks.
Gradey Dick played and lived at Wichita’s Sunrise Christian Academy during his last two years of high school before joining the KU basketball team last summer. His mother says the adjustment has been “seamless.”
Bart, Carmen, and their mini poodle, Louis, live in an almost empty nest. Their three oldest children all attended KU. Gradey, their youngest, is currently starring as a freshman on the hill at Allen Fieldhouse.
“He just got a new cat. So, we are not cat people. We have dogs. So, this was something new,” said Carmen. “He showed up here at Christmas with a cat. And it’s not any cat. It’s an exotic Bengal cat. It’s half Asian leopard, half tabby. So, he has a cat in his dorm room right now.”
Gradey might be a cat person, but not tonight. Carmen says he grew up loving the Jayhawks.
“I would say he’s doing great. I mean, like I said, this has been a dream of his whole life to play at KU, and he loves the campus. He loves the team. He loves the coaches. And, of course, going to school, but I mean, it’s going great. He’s a happy kid. It’s a great place for him,” Carmen said.
“I think he was ready for next stage,” said Bart. “And he seems to be happy and seems to be enjoying the team and coaches.”
Gradey leads the Big 12 and is fifth nationally in three-point shooting percentage at 48%.
He scored 21 points in KU’s slim victory over Iowa State University last Saturday.
“What I love about it is that Gradey, he’s pretty creative. It (basketball) allows you to be creative. I mean, we can watch a game, and I see plays and say, I’ve never seen that before. And that’s what’s fun about it, and that’s what he likes about it because he’s not just a shooter,” said Bart.
The Dicks attend every game, and they’re spotted by the broadcast TV cameras almost every time.
“It’s very true. They seem to like to shoot the parents a lot. And I think especially us since we’re from around here. You know, we have the KU connection,” said Carmen.
And they expect to be spotted again on Tuesday when they attend their first game together at Bramlage Coliseum to watch Gradey’s first game against the Kansas State University (K-State) Wildcats.
“It is a great big rivalry, but I think they prepare for every game, and they’re going to look at it just like any other game. And, you know, just do the best they can, and hopefully, they come out victorious,” said Carmen.
Bart says his son understands the significance of the Sunflower State rivalry because he’s lived it.
“Oh, yeah, I mean, he’s witnessed it for years, and plus, he’s got a lot of friends that are K-State students. Even to add to that, Coach Tang (K-State’s head coach) recruited him when he was at Baylor. Baylor was one of our top choices. And one of the assistants is one of the people that was at Texas Tech before he went to Texas, and he offered Gradey. So, we’ve got a great relationship there already with the staff. They’re great people, but we want to beat ’em,” laughed Bart.
Carmen played basketball at Iowa State University in the late 1980s. Bart graduated from Fort Hays State University. The Dicks say being part of the KU basketball family has been a “phenomenal” experience so far, and they’re expecting a very rowdy atmosphere in Manhattan tonight.