Just a few miles from the famed Allen Fieldhouse in Lawrence, an old friend Ted Juneau is doing all he can to bring a wonderful basketball experience to the members of the Haskell Indian Nations University team. It has been my privilege to know Ted since the early 70’s. He and I became friends during his time working as an assistant to Willie Nicklin at Topeka High. He went on to coach state championship teams in boys’ and girls’ basketball during his career in Topeka and Lawrence.
I always remember what he said to one of his winning teams in the locker room after the title game. I had been given the permission to photograph the celebration before Ted called his team together and said to them, “In 10 or 20 years, I don’t want any of you to come back and tell me this was the greatest day of your life.” Even in that joyous moment, Ted was thinking beyond basketball towards the full and rich lives he hoped each of his players would live.
ESPN.com today ran a feature on the Haskell team and Ted’s role with these young players known to few outside the campus in the city where KU basketball reigns supreme. Once again, I was given the privilege of photographing Ted and the team for the story. Watching Ted in action again more than made up for the fact my name was initially spelled “Jed Jacobsohn” on the lead photo and “Jed Jacobsen” on rest. As every photographer laments often, “Editors!”
Please take the time to read Dana O’Neil’s stories. I hope you also will enjoy the pictures, but that really doesn’t matter on this one. I truly enjoyed my time with the wonderful players on the Haskell team and the fine man shaping their lives for the better.