One of the things the UK Athletics Department does well is honoring former Kentucky greats. Today at Rupp Arena, one of the greatest teams in college basketball history will be honored and celebrated. The 1948 Kentucky basketball team, known as the Fabulous Five, was historically great. It lost only two games in the regular season before becoming the SEC Regular season, SEC Tournament and NCAA National Champion. The team was led by the great Ralph Beard and Alex Groza and was considered the first truly “rock star” college basketball team of the modern era. However its greatness did not stop there. It then went on and played the Phillips Oilers, the then AAU champion at a time when AAU basketball was a top sport, nearly beating the supposedly unbeatable team. Members of that AAU team then combined with the Kentucky Wildcats to form the 1948 United States Olympic Team, which went to London, England and brought home the gold medal.
That is an amazing accomplishment that almost boggles the mind in the modern era. A collegiate team went to the Olympics as a whole, and in the process brought home the gold medal, defeating Switzerland, Czechoslovakia, Argentina, Egypt, Peru, Uruguay, Mexico and France in the process. This team represented the University of Kentucky and truly deserves to be honored as one of its most historic group of athletes. Unfortunately the great Ralph Beard passed away this year and wont be at the event, but his memory will live on at the ceremony today. If you are going to the game, soak in what an historic day it is, but even if you arent going, take some time to read about the Fabulous Five. The history of Kentucky basketball is what makes it great and today Kentucky honors some of its true legends.