Today is the birthday of Meadowlark Lemon, one of the members of a truly iconic institution, the Harlem Globetrotters. The Globetrotters are one of those truly American entities, a traveling group of basketball players, playing in staged games, the whole purpose of which is to entertain. The Globetrotters got their start in segregated America as a group that included some of the most talented African-American basketball players in the country. They traveled the nation, entertaining kids with goofy antics, including the famous “bucket of feathers” skit that finds a way to fool Hubby every single time it is done. Almost everyone has seen the Globetrotters at some point in their life and while their significance has waned in recent years, they are still doing their thing. Wayne Turner was at one time a Globetrotter and the guys now play actual games in the preseason against college teams from time to time, rather than the Washington Generals (who Homer Simpson famously bet on saying, “I thought they were due!”).
But maybe most importantly, the Globetrotters are known to the Kentucky Sports Radio crew for an incident when I was in college that we still talk about to this day. While in college, one member of the crew was involved in a bit of a domestic dispute with a member of the UK basketball team…..both guys were going after the same girl. One night, at the calm setting of Transylvania, a party was about to occur, when it a ruffle came through the dorm that the UK basketball team would be showing up. The members of the Kentucky Sports Radio crew were excited….well except the individual in the domestic dispute. Sweating profusely, the crew member was in a room full of friends and said, “what do I do if the UK guys come up here and try to beat me up.” Our good friend David Huckleberry, the kind sage with all the knowledge said calmly, “Dont worry Kentucky Sports Radio crew member…..my room is at the end of the hall….if I hear the guys coming up the stairs dribbling basketballs, I will call the RA.” I then broke into laughter and said, “Huck, do you think the Kentucky basketball team is like the Cartoon Harlem Globetrotters, dribbling basketballs everywhere they go?” And he said in a serious voice, “maybe.” Not sure why I thought you needed to know that…..but you did.
And with that, the news….
(1) Big day on the Sports Mob as we were joined by two recruits, including the newest UK commitment, Alex Legion. (audio up around lunch). Legion told us that he was excited about his new commitment and that he couldnt wait to play with the Cats. He told the Mob that he believed UK was a special place and that he couldnt wait to come play for the Cats. He said he had no expectations as to playing time but that he wanted to “come in and work hard and do what I can.” He mentioned his team with Patterson and Lucas last summer and said he planned on “recruiting Pat every night” until he could bring him to Kentucky, while also “looking for Jai’s number.” All in all, Legion seems like a very good kid and is a GREAT get for UK. Explosive scorer that UK has needed for some time…..fans should be VERY, VERY happy.
(2) We also spoke with Jai Lucas, who told us that he is entering the home stretch (finally) on his recruiting process. He has all five coaches coming in this week, with Billy Clyde showing up on Saturday to make his final pitch. He mentioned that he knew Legion and thought he would be “a great player at Kentucky.” Lucas talked in depth about the difference between being recruited by Tubby and Billy Clyde and I think you will find his interview fascinating. All signs still point to this being a UK-UF race….I think the decision is either made or close to made, but we must wait to find out for sure.
(3) Mixed bag of news on Brandon Jennings, the explosive point guard talent for Oak Hill. He said today that UK would get a visit from him this year, which is good, but Alex Legion seemed to suggest that he thought Arizona and UCONN were Jennings’ early favorites. Alex did say that he thought there was “no better point guard than Brandon” and that UK should do everything possible to get him. Just being in the mix for Jennings is exciting….watch him play some time and you will see why he is the truth.
(4) Interesting news out of Huntington as it was announced that Billy Clyde will be the speaker for the Huntington High School athletic ceremony in May. Call this generosity or call this creative recruiting, but it is quite a move by a new coach. Billy Clyde continues to get it done and I continue to be impressed.
(5) Matt Walls of Scott County turned down an offer to walk on at Kentucky and have three of his four years at Louisville paid for on scholarship in order to sign today with Marshall. The Ville came in at the last minute and offered, only to have Walls decide to join the Thundering Herd. Good pick for Walls and likely the correct level for him in college.
Look for the audio from yesterday’s show today. Streaming is coming any day now…..I know I say that a lot, but this time I think it may actually be true. More to come as the day progresses…..