University of Kansas

KU basketball adds walk-on guard Michael Jankovich, son of SMU hoops coach

Michael Jankovich, a 6-foot-4 shooting guard from Northfield Mount Hermon School in Massachusetts and Jesuit College Prep School of Dallas, has committed to play basketball at Kansas as an invited walk-on.

Jankovich, the son of current SMU head coach and former KU assistant Tim Jankovich, scored 1,254 points in his three-year career at Jesuit College Prep School in Dallas. He was chosen all-district three years and all-region his senior year, 2017-18, during which he hit 47 percent of his three-pointers.

He announced his college choice Sunday, his graduation day at Northfield Mount Hermon.

“I’m excited and thankful for the opportunity. Lawrence ... even now it’s my second home. It’s the first place I remember living,” Michael Jankovich said in a phone interview. He lived in Lawrence from the ages of 4 to 8 when his dad worked on Bill Self’s coaching staff at KU.

“I lived there four years. It’s kind of where I grew up. I have great memories there. I call it my second home. Our family has best friends who live there.”

As a youngster who hung out in Allen Fieldhouse as much as possible, Jankovich remembers gravitating toward certain players from 2003 to 2007.

“I was like a little brother to those guys (Jayhawks). I have great memories of all the players, really all of them. I guess some names come to mind,” he added, rattling off the names Mario Chalmers, Sasha Kaun and Russell Robinson.

“There’s Wayne Simien, too, just a ton of those guys,” Jankovich said.

Known as an accurate three-point shooter, Jankovich helped his Dallas Jesuit team to a 30-6 record his senior year. The squad advanced to Texas’ large class Elite Eight.

He decided to attend prep school for a year and helped NMH win the New England League title in 2018-19. He scored 24 points and grabbed five rebounds in a win over New Hampton Prep on Jan. 25.

Jankovich, according to Rivals.com and 247sports.com, heard from Utah State, Texas State, Brown, Dartmouth and others.

“Kansas just got better,” NMH assistant coach Camryn Crocker wrote Sunday on Twitter. “(He is) a program lifter that will give his all each and every day. Plus, he can shoot the lights out.”

“Mike is a knock down shooter that has improved as an outside scorer off the bounce. He can potentially be a secondary ball handler at the next level. The former Dallas Jesuit Ranger has great size, a sweet stroke, and is a willing passer,” writes Brandon Jenkins of prephoops.com.

Jankovich acknowledges he’s comfortable shooting from beyond the arc.

“I think it’s one of my strengths,” he said. “I just try to do anything I can to help the team win, honestly.”

He acknowledges one person above others for teaching him accurate shooting form.

“My dad. I’ve got to give credit to him for that,” Michael Jankovich said.

Of his dad’s reaction to his committing to KU, Michael said: “He is definitely excited for me. He’s tried to find the balance between being coach and my dad. He found the right balance with that. He’s there to help me and be supportive.”

Tim Jankovich and Self are good friends.

“I have only great memories of coach Self,” Michael Jankovich said. “We all love coach Self. He’s a great coach and great person.

“Roles will change a bit now. This is going to be a different role for me,” added Jankovich, who has been a starter all his life. “I will try my best to be a positive addition whatever form that will be. I’m embracing the challenge. I’m really excited.”

KU coach Self cannot comment on Jankovich’s joining the program until the player completes enrollment paperwork on campus. Jankovich said he would report to KU on June 2 with summer school beginning the fourth.

“I’m thrlled to be back in Lawrence,” Jankovich said.

Jankovich is the fourth player in the recruiting Class of 2019 to join KU’s team.

The others are guards Christian Braun and Issac McBride and guard/forward Tristan Enaruna. KU is hoping to land R.J. Hampton, 6-5 senior point guard from Little Elm (Texas) High School, who will announce for KU, Memphis or Texas Tech on Tuesday. KU also would like to land Jalen Wilson, a 6-8 small forward out of Guyer High in Denton, Texas, who will visit KU on Thursday. He has a list of KU, North Carolina, Oklahoma State and Florida. The Michigan signee, who asked out of his letter of intent after coach John Beilein accepted the Cleveland Cavaliers job, also is considering Michigan.

Jankovich will join Elijah Elliott, Chris Teahan and Garrett Luinstra as invited walk-ons on the Jayhawks.

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