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Photo of the Night: ’96 Cats Reunite at Halftime


Members of the NCAA Champion 1996 Wildcats were presented with new championship rings at halftime of tonight’s game.  Antoine Walker, Oliver Simmons, Jeff Sheppard, Jared Prickett, Walter McCarty, Jason Lathrem, Anthony Epps, Tony Delk, Derek Anderson and Wayne Turner were introduced one at a time off the bench to receive their rings from Mitch Barnhart.

Nazr Mohammed, Allen Edwards, Ron Mercer, Mark Pope and Cameron Mills were unable to attend, but they sent video messages that were played throughout the game.  Pope stole the show when he ripped off his suit to reveal his old No. 41 Kentucky jersey underneath, followed by a “C-A-T-S! CATS! CATS! CATS!” chant.

Article written by Drew Franklin

I can recite every line from Forrest Gump, blindfolded. Follow me on Twitter: @DrewFranklinKSR

40 responses to “Photo of the Night: ’96 Cats Reunite at Halftime”

  1. paducahcat

    What’s the deal with Mercer?

  2. NYCWildcat

    I love last year’s squad, but for those too young to appreciate, this team is probably the greatest UK team of all time.

  3. Buckwild

    No mention of Ron Mercer?

  4. CreoleCat

    Drew – it’s Lathrem, not lathram

  5. Humphrey Marshall

    That team could still finish in the top 8 of the SEC this year.

  6. Humphrey Marshall

    BTW what the heck was Mills doing? Hes always around! Did Golden Coral have a discounted buffet tonight? 😀

  7. Downcline

    Tell me again why Tony Delk’s jersey wasn’t retired tonight?

  8. duckeastwood

    no allen edwards either, but i guess he’s doin his thing at wyoming.

  9. Jake_GOCATS

    6. Haha that was great!

  10. 2PumpChump

    Lathrem got more floor action tonight than he did his year at Kentucky…..and he looks drunk. Hell yeah!

  11. 2PumpChump

    Lathrem got a nice rack!!!

  12. 2PumpChump

    Antoine had to bum some clothes off Walter. “Man, all I gots is jogging pants.

  13. Kevin C.

    I’m betting Walker’s ring ends up on eBay before long.

  14. Mike

    If Wiggins didn’t appear to be engaged in the game as earlier poster suggested, and if he couldn’t relate to the returning team, and if he doesn’t like attention and to be the focus, then maybe we need to let go before he has a chance to turn us down.

  15. atlantacat

    Greatest team of all time, not just UK. I have every game they played that season still on VHS tape. Hope to transfer to DVD soon.

  16. 2PumpChump

    Antoine is probably eBaying his whole wardrobe

  17. Wiggins?

    So did Wiggins commit yet?

  18. 2PumpChump

    How does a recruit get engaged in the game anyways? Was he not smiling or something? What do people want? They normally don’t cheer.

  19. BoomKentucky

    why did simmons show up. Didn’t he leave after that year to go to FSU.

  20. 2PumpChump

    Simmons did leave but he was on the team so he deserves a ring. Lathrem transfered to Belmont the next year.

  21. Houston Wildcat

    Everyone was freaking out this time last year when Nerlens was texting during the game and didn’t look happy. That turned out ok.

  22. chris gettelfinger is not walking through that door

    I still haven’t seen an explanation as to how in the world Ricky (or CM for that matter) could “forget” to buy rings for these guys. I had never heard about that until seeing it on KSR the other day, and I was an avid reader of TCP (Oscar is the man!) back in those days. Does anyone know what happened?

    Anyway, GREAT gesture by Cal and Mitch. Just one of the many things I love that Cal has done is building these bridges with all these former players.

    Mark Pope was always a joker. Please post that video here!

  23. DVDuh

    15. why are you skipping laser disc? Maybe you can get it transfered to a digital file before they, too, become technologically obsolete.

  24. A walker

    I will start the bidding at $100

  25. Eric K

    #7 should have been done years ago! Good win! GO CATS!!

  26. Marvb

    Unbelievable story, and now historic. Makes me love Pitino for the moment. Did he get a ring?

  27. wildcatwill

    One thing about Pitino come the last half of the season it was a beatdown. I remember we would just destroy teams.

  28. Marvb

    Maybe next time Louisville comes to town we can have a Pitino ring ceremony. He could be our “Y”. Sure wish the whole state of Big Blue Nation would get rings

  29. Marvb

    They should put fake UK national championship rings in a cereal box.

  30. Han

    2) It’s unlikely we’ll see many teams as good as they were as long as one-and-done exists. We truly had a dynasty there for 3 years.

    Even if we add Wiggins and Randle, and depending on who comes back and how quickly guys gel (man, I wish we could do the overseas trip this year to get extra exhibition practice), 2013-14 would have to be amazing to be a better team than 1996. We may have a chance in scoring, blowouts, wins, title, etc. 40-0 would do it, though. Until then, 1996 is the best team ever.

  31. Han

    17) Unless he and his parents are blown away by the off-the-court stuff today, he won’t publicly commit any time soon. (He could silent verbal whenever he likes.) He’s still got a couple officials to take.

    Most players don’t commit on their visits because someone with them keeps them grounded. Even some crap schools can make you feel really good on a visit when everything’s set up to be perfect. That’s also why a lot of guys take unofficials, or even just drive up to campus on their own with no warning.

  32. AaronJ

    @29 What makes them fake? They were one of the most dominate teams EVER and won the National Championship.

    Love this, great for the players, fans, and University.

  33. Wed Bull

    They finally got theiw wings!!

  34. Houston Wildcat

    @32 – I think he just wants a fake ring in a cereal box. Didn’t say anyone was fake.

  35. KJones

    @32 I’m pretty sure he meant we could all do with some cheap cracker jack box 96′ championship rings. I know if I had one I would keep it.

  36. CTheTerminatorK

    14) That’s the reporters again reporting bull shit he had a blast he was giving Fans high fives and sining autographs, don’t believe these reporters ok Wiggins and the Reportors are Just building emotion and drama with Wiggins recruitment these reports now that UK is in great shape to land him , these reporters are just trying to over dramatize it and push him away from UK so you doesn’t land all three and become a better team than the Charlotte Bobcats. The only report that matters is Wiggins an nicking to the whole world where he’s going the fact his pea rents even traced with him from all the way from Canada tells you UK is in great shape. Last night wasn’t even his visit that’s going on right now! Relax and prey & GO CATS!!!!

  37. Mike

    Great picture! This should have been done years ago!

  38. Mitchell

    There’s my boy Jason Lathrem. What a dream. Walk on to a team of pros and pick up a championship ring!

  39. Joe C

    What is the deal with Cameron Mills not being around?

  40. DT in DC

    For old times sake, I would have loved for Prickett to grab a ball and miss a layup 🙂
    I love this team! This was my senior year at UK and was at the Meadowlands to see them bring home Number 6!