This Draft week, Ramel Bradley is writing on KSR on a number of subjects related to his time in Lexington, the Wildcats and the NBA Draft. Here is his latest piece on what it means to play for the Big Blue
No matter what city you are in, what street corner you’re on, or whatever place in life you are at, once you’ve battled in Rupp and worn that Kentucky Blue, you will always be known as a Wildcat. The beauty of this game is the way memories are created and legends are born. No program understands this more than our program at the University of Kentucky. A legend lives on as time fades away and in Lexington, KY new legends are born within the walls of Rupp every year. The team that stepped on the floor this season showed passion, desire and a pure drive to succeed. Success is defined in a million different ways, but at every angle these players reached goals.
Pat finishes school in three years and enters the draft at peak performance. John Wall comes in and dominates from the first game he stepped on the floor. DeMarcus demanded ownership of the post down low, while Orton would come off the bench to swat shots into the bleacher seats. Then, with all these guys doing their thing, Eric played side-by-side with the best guard in the country and, instead of falling to the way side, he offered the energy needed to help make this team what they were. Every few years you look at a team and can say something about that was special. I like to think what Joe and me went through our senior year was an experience, but through it all we played to the max of our ability and left our game on the floor. What I do know, without question, is that this team was special and the most important reason why is that in almost every play, in every game nearly every player gave it 150% without letting up. That’s what this game is about.
These five guys are getting ready to be in dreamland Thursday and for them what most people desire will become their own personal reality. At the end of the day, once this is all said and done with the lights off and the game over, this group will look back at this season and say I was a Kentucky Wildcat, I am a Kentucky Wildcat and I’ll always be a Wildcat at heart. Life is about memories. Life is about moments. The important thing is to enjoy the time we have here and be grateful for the opportunities we’ve been afforded. I hope this group moves forward into the league and creates a whole new chapter to put in their story book, but I do believe each player will at some point look back and remember the pregame at Rupp, the halftime talks in the locker, or the tough workouts with their brothers. Here at Kentucky we are family. We have love for this game that is flowing with passion and those are the moments in life that will never be forgotten.
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