Last night, “Bluegrass Kingdom: The Gospel of Kentucky Basketball” premiered at the Kentucky Theater in Lexington. For those of you who didn’t attend, the Turner Sports documentary on Kentucky basketball will air on truTV on Selection Sunday, March 17 at 8 p.m. ET.
The documentary is narrated by hip-hop star Drake, is directed by Mike Tolajian (“Once Brothers” from ESPN’s 30 for 30 series) and features interviews with Pat Riley, Jamal Mashburn, Michael Kidd-Gilchrist, Joe B. Hall, John Calipari, and Ashley Judd. Turner Sports released a sneak peek at the film, which you can view above. In addition, we’ve also been given some select quotes and stills. Take a look:
Pat Riley on Adolph Rupp’s recruiting trip to his home in Schenectady, NY: “When he came up to our house, it was really like royalty. I remember him saying to my mother: ‘Don’t worry we’re going to take care of your son.’ Then he looked at my father and said: ‘Don’t worry we’re going to make him an All-American.’ When he left, my mother told me: ‘That’s where you’re going to go to school.”
Riley on Rupp’s legacy: “Adolph Rupp started this whole tradition – this culture – about what Kentucky basketball is all about. He came to that school in the late 40s to the 60s. It was about Kentucky basketball. It was about the Kentucky Derby. It was about the whiskey. But basketball trumped everything.”
Riley on the 1966 NCAA championship game vs. Texas Western College: “They were playing for a lot more than just a trophy or being a NCAA champion. We were beaten handily.”
Riley retelling a story of meeting up with Coach Rupp in an elevator following the 1966 NCAA Championship game vs. Texas Western College: “Adolph Rupp got on the elevator with us alone…[when] he got off he sorta turned to us and said: ‘This game is going to be really significant in the future. You have no idea what you were a part of tonight.’ He knew. I’m proud to be a part of that loss because I know what that loss meant to a lot of players.”
Ashley Judd: “Bringing Jamal Mashburn to the University of Kentucky absolutely changed the trajectory of our program.”
Jamal Mashburn on facing Duke in the 1992 NCAA Tournament’s Elite 8 (“Game for the Ages): “Facing Duke…they were bigger than life. That game in itself, and that season, was the bridge to helping revive this program.”
Judd on the 1996 team: “The 1996 team was truly one-of-a-kind. There was just a feeling from the very beginning that they were absolutely destined. And, it would shatter our collective heart if this team didn’t win it all.”
Kentucky Head Coach John Calipari on his temperament: “I’m very protective of my family of people – players and coaches. I don’t think I walk on water. I don’t think I’m the devil either.”
Hopefully the film will be the icing on our Sunday.
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