On This Date In UK History
Special Thanks To Big Blue Booyah
three Wildcats went in the first round of the NBA Draft. The draft took place in the very building where the Cats won their sixth National Championship just a few months earlier. Sophomore Antoine Walker was selected sixth by the Boston Celtics. Senior guard Tony Delk was selected 16th by the Charlotte Hornets. Walter McCarty went 19th to the New York Knicks. A fourth Wildcat was taken in the second round at pick number 52 by the Indiana Pacers: Mark Pope. Head coach Rick Pitino was in attendance and provided analysis for the TV coverage.
UK's "Air Pair" was drafted in the top 13 of the NBA Draft -- Ron Mercer (6th), Derek Anderson (13th). The two members of the 1996 NCAA Championship team were two of the most athletic players our generation of Wildcat fans had ever seen. A first team All-American, Mercer was drafted by the Boston Celtics and newly hired coach Rick Pitino with the sixth pick. Derek Anderson was selected by the Cleveland Cavaliers at selection thirteen. Mercer would play until 2005, averaging 13.6 points per game. Anderson won an NBA ring with in 2006 with fellow '96er Antoine Walker for the Miami Heat. They were the sixth and seventh Cats to win both a NBA and NCAA Championship. The others are: Frank Ramsey, Rick Robey, Lou Tsioropoulos, Cliff Hagan, and Nazr Mohammed.
your University of Kentucky all-time great Tayshaun Prince was named to the United States Olympic team that would compete for a gold medal in Beijing, China. Prince was only the second Wildcat in forty-eight years to be selected to the Olympic team and the first to play since Adrian Smith in 1960. Sam Bowie was selected, but the Americans boycotted the vodka-drinkin’ commies in 1980. In what turned out to be actual tryouts, Tayshaun’s length made him a defensive weapon in case another nation got out of hand. Prince brought back the gold in an impressive performance against the Spaniards and refused to give his medal to Coach K during a ceremonial photo op after the game. He was immediately inducted into the Kentucky Hall of Fame.
your University of Kentucky alums faced off in a game 7 of the NBA Finals as veteran Nazr Mohammed and the San Antonio Spurs edged Tayshaun Prince and the Detroit Pistons. It kept Prince from repeating as the Pistons had won the 2004 title behind his key defense on Kobe Bryant. Mohammed became the fifth player in Kentucky history to win both an NCAA and NBA Championship. He also became the first player in human history to win the trifecta: NBA, NCAA………and Junior Varsity Championship of the world. Nazr was MVP of the JV Championship game scoring 79 points and pulling down 52 rebounds. Way to go Nazr!
your University of Kentucky Wildcats got some good news when both Tayshaun Prince and Keith Bogans withdrew their names from the upcoming NBA Draft. Each Kentucky superstar had entered their name on May 7th, giving the rabid Wildcat fan base a…..how do you say…….swift kick to the nuts. Luckily, they had the “maturity” to recognize how bad we needed them for the 2001-02 season. Prince was coming off a year in which he was named the SEC Player of the Year, and Bogans, a sophomore campaign where he led the Cats in scoring. Big Blue would return all but one letterman (Saul Smith) for the 2001-02 season. In other words, Tayshaun and Keith were looking forward to playing with a new point guard.
tributes continue to pour in for Kentucky's most famous supporter, Albert "Happy" Chandler, who died June 15th at the age of 93. Not only was Chandler an ardent UK supporter, he was the former governor, senator and commissioner of baseball. He would always be seen sitting in the front row of World Series games wearing his blue "K" hat.
three of your former University of Kentucky Wildcats, Pat Riley and Antoine Walker, along with an injured Derek Anderson, led the Miami Heat to the NBA Championship. And when I say led, I mean stayed out of the way of DeWayne Wade and Shaq as much as possible. It was Riley fifth overall NBA title, his first since 1988. It was the first NBA ring for Walker and Anderson, who were teammates on the 1996 NCAA Championship team, the consensus best team of all-time. No one disputes it.
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three Wildcats went in the first round of the NBA Draft. The draft took plac...
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