University of Kansas officials recently announced that their men’s basketball team will represent the United States at the 2015 World University Games (WUG) in Gwangju, South Korea. The Jayhawks were selected by the U.S. International University Sports Federation (US-IUSF) and will compete against 24 teams from around the world. More than 150 countries will compete in 21 sports at the games next summer.
The University’s selection to represent the United States at the 2015 World University Games in Korea reflects the school’s expanding connections to Korea. According to KU, they are the only institution in the state that offers elementary to advanced Korean language courses. The university also offers numerous courses on a diverse range of topics within its Korean Studies program. As well, KU organizations such as the Korean Student Association (KUKSA) and Korean School Student Organization serve to strengthen ties between Korea, the university, and the local community. Kansas is home to more than 4,000 Koreans, and Korean international students represent nearly 7% of all foreign students in the Sunflower State.
KU Chancellor Dr. Bernadette Gray-Little said, “This is a tremendous honor for the University of Kansas, and is a reflection of the Jayhawks’ long tradition of excellence on the court… It’s also auspicious that the 2015 games will be held in South Korea, which is home to a strong group of KU alumni and to several of our university partners.” The school has a South Korea Jayhawks alumni chapter, and one of its graduates served for many years as the president of Sookmyung Women’s University after completing her doctorate at KU.