By Justin Sweitzer
The 2015-16 academic year saw KU athletes find individual success while leading their teams to a higher level of play.
Wide receiver Kodi Reed capped off his career as a Golden Bear by breaking four school records, cementing his status as one of KU’s all-time great wide receivers.
Forward Josh Johnson led the Golden Bears men’s basketball team to the Sweet Sixteen of the Division II NCAA tournament. Johnson led KU in multiple statistical categories, which was evident in his play on the court.
Natalya Lee started in all 26 games in her senior season for the KU women’s basketball team, scoring in double figures in 23 of them.
Women’s lacrosse found an efficient duo in Lauren Huggins and Sarah Gabriele who combined for 83 goals in 2016, a KU record. The 2015-16 seasons for Golden Bears athletics showcased many of KU’s exemplary athletes and their contributions to their teams.
Kodi Reed finishes career as KU’s most productive receiver
The Hall of Fame career of KU alum and former Buffalo Bills star Andre Reed is often the first that comes to mind when discussing KU wide receivers, but another Reed left his mark on KU football in the 2015 season, shattering records and becoming one of the Golden Bears’ most effective wide receivers in history.
Named to the All-PSAC East Second Team for the second time of his career, Kodi Reed finished his career as a Golden Bear with four school records to his name.
Reed is KU’s all-time leader in receiving touchdowns, receiving yards and total receptions.
Over the course of his career, Reed has had 29 touchdown catches, 2,857 receiving yards
and 202 receptions.
Additionally, Reed caught a pass in 44 straight games throughout his career, breaking and securing the school record for consecutive games with a catch at KU.
His performances throughout his football career have earned him a place in KU history as one of the most dominant receivers to ever play at KU.
His now-historic place in Golden Bear football history will be remembered for years to come largely because of the stellar season he had in 2015 in which he broke four school records and landed a place in school history.
Natalya Lee finishes career as KU’s eighth-ranked all-time scorer
Natalya Lee’s senior season for the Golden Bear women’s basketball team finished off an impressive career for the KU guard from Feasterville, Pa.
Starting in all 26 games in the 2015-16 season, Lee averaged 14.7 points per game in a season where she was named to the All-PSAC East Second Team.
In her 26 starts, 23 of them found the Lady Bears’ guard scoring in double figures.
Following her final season as a Golden Bear, Lee joins other prominent Lady Bears, finding herself within the top-10 of multiple categories in the KU women’s basketball record books.
Likely the most impressive of her individual successes is her career point total. Lee’s 1,239 career points make her the eighth-highest scorer in KU history.
In her final season at KU, Lee moved up to seventh all-time in made three point shots with a total of 124 from behind the stripe.
She is now fourth in both rebounds and assists with 495 and 388, respectively, and fifth all-time in steals with a total of 189.
Despite not finding the result that they were looking for in 2016, the KU women’s basketball team had a memorable season. Impact players made a difference on the court, none as impactful as their captain for the 2015-2016 season, guard Natalya Lee.
Josh Johnson leads Golden Bears to D-II sweet sixteen birth
Josh Johnson was named to the All-PSAC East Preseason Team in October of 2015, seemingly foreshadowing things to come for the upcoming season.
Johnson was named All-PSAC East Athlete of the Year after a memorable season on the
court for the Golden Bears in the 2015-16 season.
In his sophomore year, Johnson led the KU men’s basketball team in multiple statistical categories. He led KU in scoring throughout the season, averaging 14.4 points per game.
He also led the Golden Bears in rebounds, securing an average of 8.5 boards per game.
He not only led KU in rebounds, but had the fifth-highest rebound average in the PSAC.
Johnson also had 10 doubles-doubles in his sophomore year, leading the Golden Bears in that category as well.
Huggins and Gabriele guide lacrosse to best season since 1990
The play of sophomore Lauren Huggins and sophomore Sarah Gabriele has brought the KU women’s lacrosse team to a level of success not seen since their reinstatement in 2008.
Throughout the 2016 lacrosse season, Huggins and Gabriele became the first pair in KU history to score 83 goals in a single season. The duo helped lead the team to seven wins in 2016, a vast improvement from the one win the team earned the season prior.
Huggins scored 41 goals in 2016, with 20 assists, giving her 61 total points in the season. She scored a career-high five goals against Bloomsburg on April 20.
Gabriele led the team with 49 goals in 2016 and became one of eight KU lacrosse players to score over 100 points in their career at KU.
Though the team finished with a losing record, Gabriele and
Huggins look to continue their momentum to 2017 with hopes of leading the team to their first winning record since 1990.
KU found success through a variety of student athletes throughout the academic year.
Though Lee and Reed are moving on from their athletic careers at KU, young Golden Bear athletes will have the chance to make their own mark in their respective sports.
Current KU athletes Josh Johnson, Lauren Huggins and Sarah Gabriele will return to continue upon the progress made in 2015 and 2016.