Look, I won’t hesitate to tell you that it’s hard to like women’s basketball. The athleticism just isn’t anywhere near what it is on the men’s side, and the highlight reel plays, high-flying dunks, and fast-paced excitement is what makes basketball so fun to watch. I’ll be honest, I used to hate women’s basketball. You couldn’t have paid me to go sit through a game, five or six years ago. But over the past few years, I opened up to the sport and got to where I, we’ll say, “tolerated” it. I could go to a game but I’d still spend the majority of the time playing with my phone. Now, however, I can honestly say I enjoy it.
Matthew Mitchell has a good thing going with the women’s basketball program at UK. The team is 14-2, ranked No. 9 in the country, and only getting better as the year progresses. But I’m not just impressed with what they’re doing on the court; UK has made attending games at Memorial Coliseum very enjoyable for the fans.
While an Anthony Davis block or a Michael Kidd-Gilchrist dunk are the selling points for UK basketball, I’d say the fan experience draws a large majority of the Hoops fans to Memorial. It’s just a completely different atmosphere. If you have any hands at all, you’re probably going to catch a t-shirt during a timeout. On top of that, you’re going to leave with a poster and, if you wait around, that poster will be autographed by one of the players. You want more? That ticket stub will get you free Cane’s if the team scores 35 in the first half (they’ve done it in all ten games at Memorial this season) and your UK Hoops Card will get you a reward at every game. All that, plus a good basketball team, and you only paid $7.00 to get in.
I attended my first Hoops game of the season on Sunday against Mississippi State. The student section was pretty thin because of the break, but it was still a pretty solid turnout throughout the gym. I was really impressed by the team and player introductions (UK doesn’t half-ass it for the women’s team), the play on the court (they’re talented and they’re deep), and the crowd support. The seats might not sell out, but the people who show up are there to cheer. There’s no company seats or casual evenings out at Memorial. If you’re there, you’re there to be loud, have fun, and watch good basketball.
So, do yourself a favor and go to a game. Show your support for the ninth-ranked UK Hoops team. If you don’t have fun, we’ll give you a week of KSR posts for free. I bet we could even get Coach Mitchell to dance for you.
UK Hoops next home game is Thursday night against No. 6 Tennessee. A limited number of general admission tickets are still available and can be purchased through the UK ticket office.