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A tale of two Remys

A pair, a parade, and a plan.

by Megan Hirt
Remy Martin basketball
The Remy-Rémy signature moment during the national championship parade on April 10, 2022.

Remy Martin is a former KU basketball player. Rémy Martin is also a brand of cognac. For a downtown Lawrence bar, an adjustment seemed only fitting.

“When Remy announced he was transferring to KU, we switched our cognac from Hennessy to Rémy Martin,” says Chris Neverve, ’02, general manager of the Red Lyon Tavern, 944 Massachusetts St. That was in 2021, before the Jayhawks—with Martin on the roster—became the reigning national champions. “I’m sure we’d joked around about having him sign a bottle,” Neverve adds, “but there was no official plan.”

But with NCAA titles come Mass Street parades, and with the Red Lyon’s prime location on the route, Neverve decided a Remy Martin-autographed bottle of Rémy Martin indeed deserved a shot.

He bought a silver Sharpie to contrast with the black bottle and, on the day of the parade, managed to step away from bartending to join fans gathered out front. As Martin rode past, others in the crowd helped Neverve, bottle in hand, get his attention. “He looked back a couple of times,” Neverve says. “Then the parade got held up for a bit, and he jumped out, jogged over, signed the bottle, signed a basketball, and ran right back to the car.” University Daily Kansan sports editor Nathan Swaffar happened to be nearby and snapped a photo of the moment (above).

Red Lyon Lawrence
Chris Neverve, general manager of the Red Lyon Tavern, with the bar’s Remy Martin-signed bottle of Rémy Martin cognac.
The Remy-Rémy memento is now on display at the Red Lyon for every men’s basketball game as a special reminder of the unstoppable 2021-’22 Jayhawks. Says Neverve of the keepsake: “It’s pretty unique as a championship relic.”

Megan Hirt, c’08, j’08, is assistant editor of Kansas Alumni magazine.

Top photo by Nathan Swaffar; bottom photo by Steve Puppe
Issue 1, 2023


Lawrence, Mass St and More, Men's basketball
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