See that group of young men right there…..they may not look like the newest edition of the Fab Five, but at this point they are one of the Final 16 teams playing basketball in Kentucky and will be in Rupp Arena tomorrow night at 8 for a real life “Hoosiers” at the State Tournament. When I first heard the story of June Buchanan (told wonderfully today in a Courier Journal article today) and its strong basketball team earlier in the year, I didnt believe it. You mean to tell me that there are a group of mountain kids who grew up together in a school of 74 students who can play basketball? Come on…..but like Kurt Angle would say, yes its true.
This group of kids have played together since they were in first grade and come from deep in Appalachia, in Pippa Passas, also home to Alice Lloyd College. They have had a great season and after pulling off a couple of upsets, took home the 14th Region Championship to make it to the state tournament. June Buchanan, which is named after one of the more charitable individuals in the Appalachian region, has captured the minds of many from my home area and now brings their traveling show to Rupp tomorrow night. They play mighty Warren Central tomorrow night, led by Jeremy Anderson, who will be playing in his fifth State Tournament in a row, including a past state champion.
Such a game is daunting…..and it may be likely that the dream ends tomorrow night. But in the mean time, I have my new favorite March Madness group. I am trying to arrange a trip to Rupp tomorrow night, but even if I cant make it, I will be listening. And if Buchanan happens to pull out a victory, Friday night in Rupp will be a crazy Eastern Kentucky party as the team will likely take on Elliott County. News organizations from CNN to NPR have contacted June Buchanan about their group of mountain ballers…..now its up to them to make a story complete and win a game. June Buchanan, Kentucky Sports Radio is with you!!!!