Niko Roberts

It’s common knowledge in Jayhawk nation that basketball is much like a religion. It’s filled with traditions passed down through generations. Once someone has experienced a game in Allen Fieldhouse, it’s hard to say there is any place quite like it. With March Madness rapidly approaching, who better to make a campus celebrity than one of our very own Jayhawk basketball players?

Niko Roberts (center) on bench with teammates / CONTRIBUTED PHOTO

Niko Roberts (@N_Roberts20), #20, is originally from New York, and has had his heart set on playing basketball his entire life. He started playing at age 3 and hasn’t stopped since, maybe because basketball runs in his family. Roberts is the son of Norm Roberts, KU’s assistant coach. Roberts didn’t just want to play any basketball; he wanted to play Jayhawk basketball. He’s known that he wanted to be a Jayhawk from the time his father first started coaching here.

“When my dad coached here I saw how great of a school it was and how special the basketball program was,” Roberts said. “It was such a great atmosphere and it was so much better than anywhere else.”

Between being a Jayhawk basketball player, a senior business major and communication studies minor, Roberts has little free time. When the summer rolls around and he has time for himself, he goes wakeboarding as much as possible on his uncle’s boat in Arkansas. During the season, when he has a lot on his plate and is looking to relieve stress, Roberts simply hangs out with his teammates in the locker room or anywhere else. He said he’s always in for a good laugh and great time when he is around his team.

Niko Roberts, with his father Norm / CONTRIBUTED PHOTO

Roberts said he has been playing basketball so long he honestly can’t see himself doing anything else. He has worked hard to be where he is and to achieve his dreams.

“Just keep working as hard as you can,” Roberts said. “Obviously I'm smaller than most if my teammates, but I make up for it by working hard and being as tough as I can.”

Niko Roberts and teammates celebrate Andrew Wiggins dunk Dec. 14 / Photo by George Mullinix Photography

For those who haven’t made it to a game yet this season, check out the Jayhawks' basketball schedule and mark your calendar. Going to a basketball game in Allen Fieldhouse should be on every student's to-do list before graduation.