College Sports

Online fundraiser set up for Kansas drummer who went viral earlier this year

KU basketball pep band hits the road for NCAA Tournament

Only 41 musicians make the cut for the KU men's basketball pep band and when the NCAA Tournament comes around, only 29 can travel with the team. Band director Sharon Toulouse and her students explain the fight songs and pop tunes that make up the
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Only 41 musicians make the cut for the KU men's basketball pep band and when the NCAA Tournament comes around, only 29 can travel with the team. Band director Sharon Toulouse and her students explain the fight songs and pop tunes that make up the

When the Kansas men’s basketball team routed West Virginia 78-53 last month in Allen Fieldhouse, the hottest player was in the stands.

A video of drummer Donovan Miller of the KU pep band went viral that afternoon, because of his high-energy performance.

“All I’ve heard is that I’m a legend,” Miller told the Daily Kansan. “I’ve heard it multiple times in the last couple days.”

This is why there was such a buzz:

According to a GoFundMe page, Miller wasn’t actually enrolled at KU when he had his 15 minutes of fame. The fundraiser, which is hoping to raise $25,000 to help Miller finish his last semester and graduate, was set up by a Denise Warren of Cottage Grove, Minn.

In a message with The Star, Warren identified herself as Miller’s mother.

“I am his mother and Donovan gave me permission to set this up. He was enrolled for Fall 2018 and joined the marching band and pep band during that time,” she wrote. “He continued with the band through spring while waiting to see if we could get funds to enroll. But we were unable to do so before the final enrollment period ended.”

So Miller wasn’t enrolled in the spring semester at KU, Warren wrote. Miller wasn’t with the band at Kansas’ NCAA Tournament game Thursday in Salt Lake City.

“Donovan was supposed to graduate this coming May 2019 but was unable to register for classes to complete his final semester because he ran out of funds,” Warren wrote on the GoFundMe page. “Because of his dedication, he continued to play in the pep band and received national attention for his spirited performance. ...

“Donovan has a bright future ahead of him. He plans to pursue graduate degrees after graduation and wants to be a composer, performer and instructor.

“He just needs help right now to cover the balance owed for the fall 2018 semester and the fees that will be owed for fall 2019 so that he can finish his last semester and graduate. Any funds raised over that amount will be used towards graduate school.”

You can find the fundraising page here.

From covering the World Series to the World Cup, Pete has done a little bit of everything since joining The Star in 1997. He writes about baseball and has a quirky blog that augments The Star’s coverage of area teams.
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