Former University of Kansas star Brady Morningstar is the new assistant men's basketball coach at Kansas City Kansas Community College.
"I'm excited; I think he'll be great on and off the floor," says Brandon Burgette, who is in his first year as the Blue Devils' head men's coach. "He's done multiple things as a player that will help in the development of our players along with bringing a winning culture to the program."
Morningstar will begin his new duties next week. This week he's in Wichita helping coach a team of former Jayhawks named 'Self Made' playing in The Tournament, a winner-take-all event with a $2 million prize. The Wichita winner and seven other regional champions will advance to the finals to be played in Chicago Aug. 1-6.
For the past two years, Morningstar has been an assistant coach at Texas Wesleyan in Fort Worth where he helped the Rams win an NAIA national championship and make two national tournament appearances. "My coach there, Brennen Shingleton, is in his 17th season and knows how to run a program. He taught me a ton of things on and off the court to be successful," says Morningstar.
In addition to coaching, Morningstar has been doing off-season development work with such NBA stars as Willie Cauley-Stein of Olathe and former KU stars Marcus and Markieff Morris. "It's something I enjoy most, helping players reach their potential by studying their games and finding ways they can improve."
Morningstar said returning to the Kansas City area offers enhanced coaching opportunities. "I have more contacts here so it made good sense. It's a good area, good facilities and a lot of high schools in the area, one in which I think we can be successful."
Morningstar brings a wealth of playing experience – five years at KU and five playing professionally. Following is career at KU, he played two seasons in the NBA's D League with the Tulsa 66ers (Oklahoma City Thunder) and Canton Chargers (Cleveland Cavaliers) and three seasons overseas in Greece, Finland, Germany and Argentina,
"With his playing background, working five years with Bill Self and then playing professionally, he'll bring great energy to the floor as well as working with our players on their development and scouting," says Burgette, whose friendship with Morningstar began as youngsters playing against each other in rival AAU programs.
A redshirt member of KU's national championship team in 2008, Morningstar played in 116 games in a four-year career with the Jayhawks. During his career, he was also part of three NCAA Elite Eights, four NCAA Sweet 16s, five Big 12 regular season titles and four Big 12 Tournament championships.
A 2005 graduate of Free State High School in Lawrence where he led the Firebirds to their best record in school history, Morningstar spent a year at New Hampton Prep in New Hampshire where he led the team in scoring with 22 points a game. As a freshman at KU in 2006-07, Morningstar played in 16 games and then took a redshirt year during the 2008 national championship season before becoming a major contributor his final three seasons.
Morningstar started 34 of 35 games as a sophomore, leading the Jayhawks in 3-point shooting percentage at 42 percent and finishing second in the Big 12 in 3-point shooting in conference games (44.4 percent). As a junior, he had nine starts in 27 games – all in Big 12 play. Averaging 4.1 points, 2.3 rebounds and 2.9 assists, he led the conference in assist-to-turnover ratio at 2.6.
As a senior, Morningstar was named to the Big 12 All-Defensive team, earned All-Big 12 Honorable Mention and All-Big 12 Academic second team. Averaging 7.3 points a game, he was second on the team in assists (3.3) and again led the conference in assist-to-turnover ratio (4.4). In Big 12 play, he was 26-of.49 for a team best 53.1 percent from 3-point and shot 59.5 percent over his final 12 conference games.
Morningstar's father was also a standout at KU. Roger Morningstar was a started on 1974 and 1975 Big Eight Conference championship teams under head coach Ted Owens.