WICHITA, Kan. — When KU and Penn face-off Thursday in the NCAA Tournament, there is a lot on the line. And for two players, that includes hometown bragging rights.
KU sophomore forward Mitch Lightfoot and Penn senior forward Sam Jones are both from the same town.
"When I saw we were playing Kansas, I shot him a text and said see you in Kansas," said Jones.
Both went to Gilbert Christian High School in Gilbert, Ariz. Although they attended the school at separate times, they also grew up down the street from each other.
"Every summer or so we would work out together," said Jones. "So this will be a glorified scrimmage for us."
That glorified scrimmage will come in the game's biggest stage. And the two could find themselves guarding each other.
"It's great to see him doing well," said Lightfoot. "His team is succeeding and I'm excited to play against him."
Despite squaring off on the court, both are happy for each other.
"He's been working his butt off and getting a lot of playing time," Jones said. "He been doing great and I'm really proud of him."
KU faces the 16-seed Penn Quakers Thursday afternoon in Wichita, Kan.