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John Wall donates $50,000 to Hurricane Harvey relief

John Wall donates $50,000 to Hurricane Harvey relief

Reinhold Matay-USA TODAY Sports

John Wall has joined the growing list of professional athletes donating money to Hurricane Harvey relief. Last night, Wall pledged $50,000 to comedian Kevin Hart and Texans’ defensive end J.J. Watt’s fundraising campaigns for victims of the storm, which ravaged Houston and southeast Texas earlier this week. Wall announced the donation on his Instagram story:

Yesterday, Hart challenged his fellow celebrities and followers to donate to Harvey victims in a video on Instagram, following in the footsteps of Watt, who started his fundraising campaign on Sunday night. Since then, Watt has raised $6 million, and this afternoon, raised his goal to $10 million:

Detailed Update. $6 MILLION! New Goal: $10 Million. YouCaring.com/JJWatt

A post shared by JJ Watt (@justinjames99) on

The $50,000 donation to Harvey victims is just the latest charitable act for Wall, who won the NBA’s Community Assist Award in 2016. The former Kentucky star has made giving back a priority, starting The John Wall Foundation to improve the quality of life for disadvantaged families and at-risk youth. He also created the “Passport to Manhood” mentor program in conjunction with the Boys and Girls Club. Additionally, Wall hosts the annual “#2SQUAD” which helps with back-to-school supplies.

Simply put, he makes us proud in more ways than one. If you’d like to join Wall and help the victims of Hurricane Harvey, donate to the charities above or text HARVEY to 90999 to donate $10 to the American Red Cross.


WATCH: De’Aaron Fox throws out first pitch in minor league game

WATCH: De’Aaron Fox throws out first pitch in minor league game

De’Aaron Fox often draws comparisons to John Wall for his speed in the open floor, but there are no similarities in the way they throw a baseball.

Wall is known for one of the worst first pitches of all time, while Fox showed some potential on the mound in throwing out a first pitch for the Sacramento River Cats.

Watch as he painted the strike zone Tuesday night:

Here’s Wall’s famous toss for comparison:


John Wall calls Zion Williamson one of the most athletic players he’s ever seen

John Wall calls Zion Williamson one of the most athletic players he’s ever seen

John Wall produced one of the most impressive mixtapes in high school basketball history, so when he doles out praise for a recruit, I listen. On the latest episode of his Ball is Life’s “No Offseason” documentary, Wall was asked about YouTube dunking sensation Zion Williamson, one of Kentucky’s top recruits in the 2018 class.

He’s one of the top two, three most athletic players I’ve ever seen in high school basketball, period, or in life, period,” Wall said. “He just does all type of dunks like it’s nothing in games. The best in-game dunker I’ve seen is Vince Carter and [Zion] does some stuff that he does in the game without even trying.”

What advice would Wall give to Williamson, whose star will only rise in the coming years?

“I would tell him just to work on different things. The game is so easy and boring at times for him, you can tell. Work on things you’re going to need for the next level. That’s kind of how I played in high school. When the game got serious, I played the way I knew how to play to get what I wanted to get done. But other than that, I was just trying stuff and trying to improve my game.”

Hopefully Williamson will follow in Wall’s footsteps and improve his game at Kentucky. Kansas has the momentum for the 6’7″ star as of late, but I’m still holding out hope that John Calipari can reel him in. Watch Wall’s comments about Williamson below, followed by Zion’s latest ridiculous dunks from Snapchat:


DeMarcus Cousins and Karl-Anthony Towns rated as top two centers in 2K18

Brad Rempel-USA Today

There are two familiar names on the top of the list of the ten highest rated centers in the newest game of the NBA 2K series.

DeMarcus Cousins and Karl-Anthony Towns are ranked 92 and 91 overall, respectively.

With Anthony Davis and John Wall also listed above 90 overall, we will certainly see them on the top ten lists of their positions, as well.

Not too bad for the former Wildcats, eh?


WATCH: The only thing in Malik Monk’s new house is a UK poster

NBA.com asked Malik Monk to show off his new digs in Charlotte, but with his furniture still on the way, the former Cat only had one item to show off: a large Kentucky display from the SEC Tournament this past March in Nashville. Monk has the poster propped against a wall in his empty living room, a nice nod to his year in Lexington:

Monk’s bedroom was similarly sparse except for the closet, which included a few dozen sneakers from his time at UK, which he insisted just scratched the surface of his extensive shoe collection.

“This is nowhere near all my shoes. Most of these just came from college, what I took from college. That’s not that many.”

Maybe for a basketball star. Good luck decorating, Malik. I suggest sticking with the Kentucky theme.


Karl-Anthony Towns on 2017-18 team: “We could be talking about (this team) for years and years to come.”

Karl-Anthony Towns on 2017-18 team: “We could be talking about (this team) for years and years to come.”

Following his return to Rupp Arena to play in the UK Alumni Game, Karl-Anthony Towns spoke with the media on his recent Players’ Tribune article, his experience back in Lexington, and his expectations for this coming season after watching the team practice.

*Spoiler alert*

He says they’re going to be fun to watch.

“I think they’re going to be good,” Towns said. “I think they’re going to be one of the best fast break teams I’ve ever seen from a Kentucky team. They have so much athleticism that’s just pure. They don’t even know how to use their bodies fully yet because there’s just so much athleticism. This Cats team is going to be very high-flying.”

When it comes to the final product, Towns believes it could be a historic year.

“If they can come together and put egos aside and “I’m the man” mentalities aside, they can be truly special and someone we could be talking about for years and years to come.

Watch the entire press conference below (including an appearance by Rex Chapman)

(I miss him.)


Relive the UK Legends and Alumni Games with KSR’s photo gallery

Relive the UK Legends and Alumni Games with KSR’s photo gallery

The UK Legends and Alumni Games were filled with laughs, smiles, and jaw-dropping talent.

Over 30 former Wildcats came back to Rupp Arena, where they helped raise over $1 million for a wide variety of charities.

Take a trip down memory lane with KSR’s photo gallery from the event:

A big thanks again to Dr. Mike for the incredible pictures (as usual.)


Darius Miller’s role in New Orleans just got EXTREMELY important

Former Wildcat Darius Miller just signed with the New Orleans Pelicans, but he’s about to have his workload increased exponentially this coming year.

According to ESPN’s Adrian Wojnarowski, New Orleans forward Solomon Hill suffered a torn hamstring and will miss most of the regular season.

Beyond Anthony Davis and DeMarcus Cousins, the Pelicans had absolutely no one to contribute while point guard Jrue Holiday recovered from injury last season. Even when Holiday returned, the New Orleans backcourt struggled to find anyone of substance to help provide production.

Solomon Hill was their best option at small forward, and with him likely out for the season, New Orleans is back to square one on the wing.

Insert Darius Miller.

According to New Orleans insiders, the Pelicans are extremely high on the former Wildcat and expect him to be a big player for the franchise.

Here’s just one example:

After winning back-to-back league championships in Germany and having familiarity with the system, it’s no surprise the team has confidence in Miller.

If workouts are any indication of future success, the former Wildcat is going to be a stud for the Pelicans.

Here’s a preview by KSTV:

It looks like a four-Wildcat starting lineup for the Pelicans to open the season is extremely likely.


Nerlens Noel Signs Small One-Year Deal with the Mavs

Nerlens Noel has finally signed a new contract, but it’s not the mx deal he was searching for.  It’s quite the opposite.

According to ESPN’s Chris Haynes, Noel has signed a one-year qualifying offer with the Dallas Mavericks for $4.1 million.  Haynes refuted a previous report that Noel turned down $17 million a year, but his ESPN colleague said that offer was available last month.

Nerlens’ deal is disrespectful, plain and simple.  A year after bad bigs rolled in money (I’m look at you Mozgov), the restricted free agent could not find any bidders.  After negotiating for this long, it was safe to assume he would not sign a large deal, but this low number is still shocking.

There is one silver lining: the deal is only worth one year.  He has a year to convince the rest of the NBA he’s worth more than just $4 million.


Why Karl-Anthony Towns Penned the Piece for The Players’ Tribune

In addition to his letter, The Big KAT rocked these shoes last night at Rupp.

Karl-Anthony Towns took a risk, one he believed was worth taking.

Athletes are criticized more than they are praised for voicing their opinions outside the realm of sports.  Usually a guy who “takes the safe road,” Towns believed it was time to take a different route.

“The first thing you always do when you write an article like that is you think about all the consequences and the backlash that can come from it,” Towns said after last night’s charity alumni game.  “The first thing I thought about all of that is, ‘Maybe I shouldn’t do it.’ That’s exactly what I think people wanted me to do.  I decided to go the route that I felt was right.”

Towns believed the right thing to do was use his prominent platform to do something positive.

“When you live in this time you want to make sure that you don’t have history repeat itself.  I felt that with the platform that I have, everything I learned, how to use my voice effectively at the University of Kentucky, while in the NBA I felt that I could do something positive for the world.”

Towns did not use his forum simply to call out the President.  He did not want to be critical, he just wanted to spread love.

“I put my passion, my soul, my feelings, my ideals, my values, my morals into there,” he said.  “The intention was to spread love.   Racism, bigotry, gender equality can all be fixed with love.  It seems that a lot of times in life when you go to work, you look at your kids, you do anything in life, you always seem to do better when you put love into it.  I feel one of the biggest components the gives me an advantage over my opponents is the love I have for the game.  Nothing about talent, nothing about mentality, just straight love.  That’s what the article was about, just trying to spread love.”

There Are More of Us Than There Are of Them

The only thing missing from his piece: 

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WATCH: All of the sights and sounds you need from the UK Alumni Event

What a night.

Over 30 former Kentucky stars of all ages came back to play during the UK Legends and Alumni Games to help raise money for several charities.

Here are all the videos, pictures, and interviews you need to give you a sense of just how cool this event was.

Kentucky stars of today watching the stars of the past:

Over a million dollars donated by various generous sponsors:

Go. Big. Blue.


Nerlens Noel turns down contract of $17.5 million a year from Mavs

Former Kentucky star Nerlens Noel has reportedly declined an offer from the Dallas Mavericks that would have made him a very rich man.

According to Steve Kyler of Basketball Insiders, Noel was offered a contract extension worth $17.5 million a year, but the three-year veteran is looking for a lot more.

It has been reported that Noel is looking for a max contract (roughly $29 million a year), and has hired star agent Rich Paul to help accomplish that. Despite setting lofty goals for himself in the financial department, teams have been reluctant to give him anywhere near that.

Portland Trail Blazers star CJ McCollum believes Noel needs to get a reality check.

According to several Maverick insiders, Noel is selling teams on a massive development he is expecting in his game, believing he will be worth a max contract in a year or two.

If I were him, I’d take the $17.5 million on a short contract, and then re-evaluate in a year or two. But then again, I’m not a professional athlete.

 


The rosters for tonight’s UK Alumni Game…

The rosters for tonight’s UK Alumni Game…

Photo by Dr. Michael Huang

The rosters for tonight’s Alumni Game at Rupp Arena was just handed out. Here are the teams for the main event at 8 p.m.:

Walter McCarty will coach the Blue Team and Dwane Casey the White Team.

Who ya got, BLUE or WHITE?



WATCH: Anthony Davis and DeMarcus Cousins Practice their Softball Swing

Three sports collided this afternoon on UK’s campus.  NBA superstars DeMarcus Cousins and Anthony Davis played a game of softball on the Kentucky football field inside Nutter Field House.

For a couple of NBA guys, they know their way around a bat.  Unfortunately, the angle shot from the Pelicans’ Twitter account doesn’t show where each hit landed, but the reaction should help you decipher who’s better in the batter’s box.

Up first, the ball left Cousins’ bat and made a loud BOOM that echoed throughout the Field House.

Davis did not bring as much power, but the spectators went a little wilder for his hit.

Who did it better?



Karl-Anthony Towns Does Not Stick to Sports in The Players’ Tribune

Jamie Rhodes-USA TODAY Sports

Before Karl-Anthony Towns returned to Lexington for tonight’s charity alumni game, he expressed his concerns about our country’s race relations following the last weekend’s protests in Charlottesville.

An eloquent speaker and writer, Towns used his prominent platform to have an honest discussion about racism in America.  Even though many see him as just a basketball player, he’s a black man who’s disappointed with what he’s seen across the country over the last year.  He refuses to simply “stick to sports.”

To anyone who says, “Stick to sports” … let’s be real: Our President used to host a reality TV show. You’re telling me I can’t voice a political opinion?

The piece is not primarily focused on blasting Donald Trump, but he did use a basketball analogy to condemn the President’s reaction to what happened in Charlottesville.

I was shocked by how our President responded to Charlottesville.

Our President was given a layup: Denounce white supremacists.

And he couldn’t … and wouldn’t.

He missed … he missed badly.

I think about it like this: The President’s response, in basketball terms … ’cause you may know I know a little about the sport … was just like catching the ball on a fast break — no one else is even past half court — and then tripping on your own feet inside the paint as the ball flies out of bounds.

Should’ve been pretty easy.

Before you watch him play basketball tonight in Rupp Arena, see America through Towns’ eyes by reading “There Are More of Us Than There Are of Them.”

There Are More of Us Than There Are of Them

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Karl-Anthony Towns just touched down in Lexington

Karl-Anthony Towns just touched down in Lexington

One by one, the former Wildcats are coming together in Lexington.

You know why I'm here. #BBN

A post shared by Karl-Anthony Towns (@karltowns) on

It’s going to be a fun weekend!


@BeMore27

More former Kentucky players added to the Alumni Game

@BeMore27

The list of former Kentucky players participating in tomorrow night’s Alumni Game continues to grow. While NBA rules prohibit UK from announcing which current NBA players will take part, UK did release a list of players not in the league that will play in the main event at 8 p.m.:

  • Derek Anderson
  • Keith Bogans
  • Ramel Bradley
  • Rex Chapman
  • Erik Daniels
  • Tony Delk
  • Jamaal Magloire
  • Mychal Mulder
  • Antoine Walker

Dwane Casey, current head coach of the Toronto Raptors, and Walter McCarty, a current assistant head coach with the Boston Celtics, will serve as head coaches. Many others have confirmed on social media they will participate, including:

  • Anthony Davis
  • DeMarcus Cousins
  • Rajon Rondo
  • Darius Miller
  • Eric Bledsoe
  • Jamal Murray
  • Alex Poythress
  • Joe Crawford

Jamal Murray is already making himself at home in Cal’s office:

The NBA Alumni Game takes place at 8 p.m., and will be preceded by the Legends Game at 7 p.m. If you missed it, we picked the rosters for the Legends Game last Friday:

UK officially announces the rosters for the Legends Game

Lots of great tickets are still available on Ticketmaster for as low as $5, so grab yours and I’ll see you there.


Today on KSR: Nine Days ‘Til Kickoff

Good morning, friends. We are NINE DAYS from Kentucky’s season opener at Southern Miss, which should have you feeling like those fans up there. The gridiron is where we’ll start today’s agenda:

We’ll hear from Matt House and the defense

Yesterday was the first day of classes, so there was no media availability, but late this afternoon, Matt House and his defense will update reporters on their progress with little over a week to go until the first game. With classes starting, fall camp has shifted into game prep, and tomorrow, Mark Stoops will take his turn in front of the mics. While we have to wait nine more days to watch the Cats, football will actually be on your televisions starting on Saturday as Charlie Strong’s No. 19 South Florida takes on San Jose State, followed by No. 14 Stanford vs. Rice. One week from today, games start in full force, headlined by No. 2 Ohio State’s trip to Indiana.

It can’t come soon enough.

More players arrive in Lexington for the Alumni Game

We already know the rosters for the Legends game, but over the course of the week, more and more of our NBA Cats have confirmed they will participate in the main event Friday night. Per social media, here’s who we know is in so far:

  • Anthony Davis
  • DeMarcus Cousins
  • Rajon Rondo
  • Darius Miller
  • Eric Bledsoe
  • Jamal Murray
  • Alex Poythress
  • Rex Chapman
  • Joe Crawford

I expect that list to keep growing today. Still plenty of great tickets left (including in the lower level), so get on over to Ticketmaster to secure yours.

Aaron Harrison Workout Video of the Day

Harrison is working hard to make an NBA roster before training camp next month, and yesterday, released this impressive video of a recent workout:

“What if” of the Day

On Tuesday, Trey Lyles reminded us that had he stayed at Kentucky for four years, he would be a senior this season, along with Karl Towns, Devin Booker, and Tyler Ulis. Instead, all four are in the NBA making millions. Can you imagine? I don’t want to let myself go there.

Gorgeous football practice facility of the day: Northwestern

Northwestern’s new $260 million facility on Lake Michigan is still under construction, but check out these views of the practice field:

Kentucky’s new practice facility is great, but that is insane.

Surprise of the Day

If I told you, it wouldn’t be a surprise now, would it? Let’s just say that around 10 a.m., some of you are going to be very, very happy.

Summer Tour Stop of the Day: Mt. Sterling

Come on down to Mann Chrysler to enjoy the show and hear the guys break down another region of the 2017 Restaurant Bracket.


Karl Towns is in Katy Perry’s new music video

Karl Towns is in Katy Perry’s new music video

This morning, Katy Perry released “Swish Swish,” her new music video featuring Nicki Minaj, and it includes a surprise cameo by Karl Towns. The former Cat and current Minnesota Timberwolves star appears near the end of the basketball-themed, celebrity-laden video, dancing with Katy and her crew:

That is incredibly random, but I love it. Somewhere, Bam Adebayo is very jealous.


NBA 2K18 First Look: Former Wildcat edition

Some of these have been posted on the site over the past few weeks, but more Wildcat player ratings and pictures have been released for NBA 2K18.

Check out the video game versions of your favorite former Kentucky stars:

Do you agree with the player ratings? Did 2K get the animations right?