RAYTOWN, Mo. — It was a night Kansas State fans in the metro, especially the dad of one Wildcat guard, won’t soon forget.
Kansas State (25-11) is still dancing as March Madness continues into the Elite Eight. The Wildcats pulled an upset on Thursday night in Atlanta, knocking off one of college basketball’s blue bloods, Kentucky (26-11) in the NCAA Tournament South Region Semifinals.
Closer to Kansas City, Calvin Wainright celebrates the win by sharing his faith.
“Nothing’s too big for our God. This is a God thing,” Wainright said Friday.
Wainright, a father of eight children, spent his Friday sporting a purple Kansas State fleece pullover. His son Amaad Wainright, a guard for K-State, scored six points in Thursday’s tilt. The younger Wainright attended high school in California, having spent his younger years in the Kansas City metro. His father said Amaad attended an out-of-state school in order to take advantage of more opportunities.
“I was screamin’ and holerin’ all night long,” Calvin Wainright said. “I was screaming at the coach. I was screaming at Barry. I was screaming at Sneed.”
Amaad, a junior guard for Coach Bruce Weber, scored on a tip-in during the game’s first half and added in a few free throws. He made one of two free throw attempts with under five seconds to go, missing the second attempt, which brought his dad back in Raytown to his feet in the family living room.
“Jesus!” Calvin Wainright laughingly shouted. “I probably woke up my neighbors and everything.”
Victories like this one are what Calvin, a church pastor in the Kansas City metro, had in mind when he considered alternative atmospheres for Amaad’s schooling. Kentucky has won the national championship eight times, and John Calipari’s ballclub was favored to defeat K-State and possibly return to the Final Four.
“It was like David knocking off that Goliath dude with one stone. Whenever you have that opportunity to go against that giant, you knock him down,” Calvin Wainright beamed.
His son can help accomplish another huge feat — a berth in the Final Four — by slaying one more beast. K-State and Loyola-Chicago (31-5) will meet in the South Regional Finals on Saturday night. K-State hasn’t been to the Final Four since 1964. The Ramblers boast two players from the Kansas City metro — Blue Valley Northwest High School graduates Clay Custer and Ben Richardson.