On This Date In UK History

Special Thanks To Big Blue Booyah

April 17th

the two senators from Kentucky got it right. Mitch McConnell and Wendell Ford sponsored a motion, following our sixth National Championship, declaring Kentucky to be "rightly known as the basketball capital of the world." Ford's speech went a lil' something like this:

"They rib us for taking our basketball too seriously in Kentucky. And apocryphal stories, about fans being buried in their Wildcat sweatsuits or calling on Coach Pitino to help settle their marital spats, sometimes make it seem so."

There were no objections to the resolution and there weren't even objections from the senators of North Carolina, Kansas, Indiana, and California.

In conclusion, we are not only the "Horse Capital of the World", but also the "Basketball Capital of the World", putting us one step closer to world domination. At least the senators of the great Commonwealth got their priorities straight on this day.

April 16th

your University of Kentucky Wildcats were in the news yet again, but this time it was indirectly. T. Boone Pickens and Oklahoma State did its best Kentucky impersonation by booting Sean Sutton as their head coach and replacing him with Travis Ford. Ford started coaching at Campbellsville, moved up to Eastern Kentucky, then bolted to Massachusetts. An interesting tidbit: the prospect of playing behind Sean Sutton at Kentucky was the reason Ford started his college career at Missouri. After the scandal of the late 80's, the Sutton's left town, opening the point guard spot for Ford, who led UK to a Final Four appearance in 1993. Apparently it was an upgrade.

April 15th

your University of Kentucky Wildcats had a very public and busy day under new head coach John Calipari. The newly anointed one made the rounds on ESPN, ending with "Five Good Minutes" on PTI with Tony Kornheiser and Michael Wilbon. The Wildcat faithful were amazed to have a coach want to be in the public, giving them signs of the 1990s brand of basketball. Calipari also held practice for the first time with his new team to get a feel on who would be a good fit and who would not. All in all, the team would totally be made over. One of the first things that happened after the practice was Coach Cal handed out the shirts Nike had made for Jodie Meeks' historic game vs. Tennessee. The previous coach had not given them to the team due to..........well, nobody knows for certain. Maybe because he's a golfer. This day in 2009 is also significant because DeMarcus "Boogie", "Big Cuz", "Carl" Cousins officially committed to play basketball in Lexington. He immediately became a fan favorite because everyone was scared to death of him. But at least he was on our side.

April 14th

your University of Kentucky Wildcats changed its mind and decided to offer John Pelphrey a scholarship (GASP!). UK seemed to be skeptical about the talent of the red-haired kid from Paintsville. That is, until he was named Mr. Kentucky Basketball. Just two weeks earlier, Eddie Sutton and his staff said they would only take on one more player, and were going hard after Memphis' Elliot Perry (w/ goggles). The rest lives in UK history, as Pelphrey became one of the most beloved and popular players in the last 25 years. He currently sits at 31st on the all-time Kentucky scoring list and consistently gets named as a possible replacement every time we need a new basketball coach.

April 13th

Kentucky head coach Adolph Rupp was in enshrined in the Basketball Hall of Fame in Springfield, Massachusetts. Rupp coached 41 seasons at UK, retiring as the all-time winningest coach in college basketball with 876 victories and a record winning percentage of .822. Kentucky won four National Titles while he was the head man, one NIT title, appeared in 20 NCAA tournaments, and won 27 SEC titles. Not a bad day at the office, huh? Coach Rupp saw 24 players become All-Americans, 28 play in the NBA, and 8 of his players won gold medals. Rupp attended the University of Kansas from 1919-1923 and played basketball under coaching great Forrest "Phog" Allen and assistant/inventor of basketball James Naismith.

April 12th

your University of Kentucky Wildcats fan base went scrambling to a television as the most desired player in the country was playing for the first time since John Calipari had been named our basketball coach. He was a freaky point guard from North Carolina still looking for a place to play basketball in the fall. His name…..John Wall. Such a simple name for such an extraordinary talent. The Nike Hoops Summit in Portland pitted Team USA vs. The World, and featured the best soon-to-be-freshman against an all-star International squad. The kid wouldn’t disappoint either. Steal after steal, led to fast break dish/fast break dunk. John Wall was a player we HAD to have; Wall was a man among boys to say the least. And with our new coaches’ success with talent like his, why would he choose not to come to Lexington? Everyone always wanted to know what it would have been like if LeBron went to college, the Big Blue Nation was on the verge of experiencing it first hand. Freak Show ended the game with 13 points – 11 assists – 5 steals. John Calipari also had an ace up his sleeve: verbal commit DeMarcus Cousins was also on the team and around him 24/7. Go Cats.

April 11th

your University of Kentucky got back to its roots when newly named head coach John Calipari announced Scott Padgett would be joining his coaching staff for the upcoming basketball season. It was a move that was completely opposite of his two predecessors, and quickly sent a message around Big Blue Nation that all former players were welcome and their presence was encouraged. It was a great way to showcase the players, the University, and more importantly the Kentucky Brand. The new coach seemed to be the perfect hire for a University (and fan base) longing for the glory years. The hire would get Mr. Padgett off the air in Louisville and give him a front row seat in what would arguably be the best Kentucky team of the century. Sources close to the situation told the Big Blue Booyah Padgett’s official title was, “old, alum basketball helper.” Go Cats.


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April 17th, 1996
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