Greenlee Book Signing

Dale Greenlee has always been a winner dating back to his days growing up in Rockford, Ill. The former standout KU guard was a member of the National Honor Society in high school and valedictorian of his graduating glass.

A deadly outside shooter and one of the fiercest competitors in KU history, Greenlee was a three-year starter at Kansas (1973-75) and member of the 1974 Final Four team. He averaged 10.2 points during his career on 48.5 percent field goal shooting and a sizzling 83.2 percent mark at the charity stripe, which ranks second all time at KU behind Rex Walters.

Greenlee was also a two-time All-Big Eight Academic selection, voted Most Inspirational Player by his teammates two seasons, named a team captain his senior year, and was later selected to the Kansas Coaches' Dream Team for his intense, gutty play.

Now, Greenlee returns to Lawrence this weekend in a Jayhawk homecoming as a successful businessman (he's sold over $50 million of industrial valves and instrumentation during his professional career), motivational speaker, and first-time author of Kiss The Sky, a book described as "a novel of adventure, a story of love, compared to the Davinci Code in its historical dimensions and suspense."

"Kiss The Sky will leave you on the edge of your seat," reports David Kaplan of WGN Radio/Comcast Sports Net.  "Dale Greenlee paints a vivid picture that captivates readers from the moment they pick up the book! I can't wait for his next work!"     

Greenlee, who will attend the KU-Missouri game on Sunday at Allen Fieldhouse, will meet with Jayhawk fans and reminisce about his KU career during book signings in Kansas City and Lawrence this Friday and Saturday. His signings for the thriller novel will be:

Barnes & Noble, Town Center Plaza, 4751 West 117th Street, Kansas City, from 7 to 9 p.m. Friday, Feb. 27; Hastings Books Music & Video, 1900 West 23rd Street, Lawrence, from 1:30 to 5:30 p.m. Saturday, February 28.

Kiss The Sky was released by JGC United Publishing in Greenlee's native Rockford. Greenlee's Web site (www.dalegreenlee.com) said the "novel weaves a tale of sports, business, espionage and love as our beautiful heroine defies all odds to save lives and the Chicago Olympic Games."
    
Greenlee said it took him five years to write the novel. This should be a big hit with KU fans since there's several Jayhawk references in the book, including mention of Hall of Famers Gale Sayers and Wilt Chamberlain. A portion of the proceeds from the book will go to cancer research in honor of Greenlee's wife Linda, a two-time cancer survivor, and in honor of  Dale's parents, Wayne and Vivian, both cancer survivors.

"He's a wonderful man," Greenlee said of his publisher, John Gile. "His belief is if you're going to write a book, it should have value. He read my book and said, ‘You know, it's got some value.' It's a novel of hope, it's a love story, it's an exciting story. It's a lot of fun."
    
Greenlee's Web site said "it was a love of sports, business, history, and reading that inspired (him) to write his first novel. Selling over $50 million of industrial valves and instrumentation in his career, playing in the Final Four for the University of Kansas, directing a successful basketball camp for over 25 years, enjoying over 30 years of blissful marriage, and raising two fantastic daughters (Mandy and Julie) provide the foundation for KISS THE SKY.

"The goal was a novel of excitement and suspense which would entertain and uplift. Loyalty, honor, courage, and honesty are portrayed and explored. Good versus evil, greed versus righteousness. Universal conflicts in a contemporary setting. Hope as the ultimate saving grace for us all with a dose of history thrown in. Dale has a love of history and believes a novel can educate as well as entertain and inspire."

Greenlee is in the process of working on a sequel to Kiss the Sky called Kiss For Luck as readers will be able to follow the adventures of heroine AJ Clark.

The former Jayhawk is thrilled about returning to Lawrence. He was previously in Lawrence last February for KU's 110-year reunion weekend, where he attended the Kansas-Colorado game at Allen Fieldhouse.

"What a thrill," he said after the game. "I wanted to shoot one  up. I told Roger (Morningstar, teammate on the 1974 and ‘75 teams), ‘You get open, I'll pass you the ball.' It's just fun to see all the great players, people who have done wonderful things in their lives and they're still connected to the University of Kansas. It's just so exciting for us."

Greenlee has extremely fond memories of his KU career. His Jayhawks went just 8-18 during his sophomore year in 1972-73, but had the best turnaround in school history the following season, posting a 23-7 record and advancing to the Final Four.

He'll never forget KU's stunning comeback overtime victory (93-90) against Oral Roberts on March 16, 1974, a "miracle" win which put KU in the Final Four.
 
Kansas trailed by seven points with 3:19 left in regulation before rallying and beating ORU on its home floor (Mabee Center). Greenlee, who finished with 18 points, made a layup and hit some key free throws to help send the game into overtime.
    
"Teams just didn't come back like that," Greenlee told Jayhawk Insider in 2000 of the era without a time clock and no three-point line. "I'd look at (Tom) Kivisto.  He'd look at me. We'd look at Roger, and Danny (Knight) and Rick (Suttle) and Norm (Cook). We didn't feel we were out of the game. We figured we'd do what we had to do to get back in it."

"Winning in this environment, against a fine team on its court has to be the guttiest thing I've ever seen," KU coach Ted Owens told the Kansas City Star afterwards.
    
Destiny was on KU's side as well. A sign painted on the Mabee Center floor said: "Expect a miracle."
    
And KU did all year.

"We pretty much had a season when we'd come back a lot," Greenlee said.

Now, Greenlee comes back home to Lawrence this weekend as a new hit author. In addition to his book signings, he will appear on Rock Chalk Sports Talk (1320 AM) Friday afternoon with hosts Brian Hanni and Bud Stallworth. Greenlee was on the freshman team during Stallworth's senior year in 1971-72, when Bud exploded for 50 points against Missouri in KU's home finale.

"Wow," Greenlee exclaimed.

Greenlee has always viewed KU and Allen Fieldhouse as a sacred place with a Kansas basketball tradition second to none. The former Jayhawk, quite simply, bleeds crimson and blue.

"I live in Indiana," Greenlee said, "but coming back here is really like coming back to God's country."

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