KU’s Johnny Furphy avoids Gradey Dick flub, wears fab tux (with a secret) to NBA Draft

After Kansas standout Gradey Dick’s fashion fiasco at last year’s NBA Draft, is it any wonder that Jayhawk freshman Johnny Furphy chose a “sharp but calm” look for his red carpet moment Wednesday?

Oh, you weren’t among the scores of NBA fans and armchair fashion critics on social media who ripped to shreds Dick’s sparkly “Wizard of Oz” jacket last year?

Gradey Dick (Kansas) arrives for the first round of the 2023 NBA Draft at Barclays Arena.
Gradey Dick (Kansas) arrives for the first round of the 2023 NBA Draft at Barclays Arena.

Dick, a Wichita native who now plays for the Toronto Raptors, gave Furphy advice about the draft and life in the NBA.

Clearly, they didn’t speak of sequins because Furphy’s draft fit was fabulous.

Kansas Men’s Basketball posted a video about the tux on its Instagram, where it also posted a photo of Furphy with Kansas coach Bill Self in front of the main stage — “stage ready.”

Unfortunately, after Furphy walked the red carpet he and the tuxedo spent the evening in the invite-only green room at Barclays Center in Brooklyn because he wasn’t selected in the first round, a shock because most mock drafts tagged him as a mid-to-late first-round pick.

Toronto tailors Shana Uthaya and Trevis Villafana, who run Nota Bene Bespoke, spent the last three months designing suits for four NBA prospects, including Furphy.

They make luxury bespoke garments. They showed the Toronto Star how they made Furphy’s fit for the 19-year-old’s inaugural walk on the glamorous NBA red carpet.

Furphy chose a royal blue, single-breasted tuxedo with a peak lapel that, worn with a black tie, evoked James Bond cool.

The tailors nicknamed him “Johnny Bond” while creating the suit, on which they embroidered the words “Welcome to the League” in gold under the coat’s collar.

“I wanted to keep it simple, nothing too crazy, nothing in your face. The idea was sharp but calm,” Furphy told the Toronto paper.

Interesting detail: They left extra fabric in the seams so he can wear the suit in years to come when his body is NBA-bulky.

Furphy told the suit makers he wanted to pay homage to his native Australia, so the lining included an outline of the continent with a yellow star marking Melbourne.

It also had the name of every NBA player from Australia.

“There haven’t been many Australians in the position I am now,” Furphy told the Toronto newspaper. “It’s cool to be a part of the small group of guys that have been in the same position.”

He likely didn’t have two custom suits made, so who knows what he will wear during the draft’s second round, which begins at 3 p.m. Thursday.

But that tuxedo jacket is ready.

His name is printed on the lining, too.