The celebration is over but it can live on forever inside your home or office with this Final Four print from Stadium Frame. The 34×24 framed photo is matted with coins and features a shot of the Superdome court just after the final buzzer sounded to end Kentucky’s magical 2011-12 season. Go to www.Final4Prints.com to purchase the print you see here, or pick out another print or variation of this one from Stadium Frame.
Hey, guys. TGIF, amirite? I’ve had a long day of scrolling through Twitter, watching SportsCenter, and occasionally feeding the baby I nanny, and I have to say I’m exhausted. It’s a rough life I lead. Let’s get to the news and views, and then I’ll read you Goodnight, Moon and tuck you in. I’m still in nanny mode.
–The Coach Calipari Fantasy Camp has, by all accounts, continued to exceed everyone’s expectations. Today saw more big names show up- Dick Vitale, Anthony Davis, Anthony Davis’s gold medal, DeMarcus Cousins, John Lucas, Michael Kidd-Gilchrist, Hayley Minogue, and more.
-After taking in the local horse history (seriously, the dude loves him some thoroughbred statues), Dick Vitale stopped at Cal’s camp and delivered an incredibly inspiring and moving speech to all in attendance. Vitale, who works tirelessly to raise money for pediatric cancer, addressed the campers and took questions from the media. One quote that stood out- “Passion and work ethic. Those are the two most important things in achieving your dreams” (h/t @LauraLeighKSR). He also apparently took a moment to kiss his wife during his speech, noting that she changed his life. All together now: Awwwwww….
-Speaking of life-changing, the money raised by the John Calipari Fantasy Camp Experience was totaled at $25,000, all of which will go to Dick Vitale’s V Foundation for finding a cure for cancer. We can’t mention enough how impressive Calipari’s philanthropic tendencies are, and it’s not just bake sales and calls for donations. Instead, Calipari innovates ways to get the fans involved while helping a charitable cause. That’s not anywhere on his job description, and it’s just another way he goes above and beyond the call of duty at Kentucky.
-Vitale’s got jokes.
-After a long day of workouts, the camp members have media have convened behind the wrought iron gates of Calipari’s Castle for some dinner, relaxation, and Mrs. C’s brownies. Just like in rec league soccer, Calipari even handed out trophies. Nice touch, Cal.
-Of course, the camp culminates with the UK Alumni Charity Game tomorrow at Rupp at 2 pm. Tickets are still available, guys, and I’m mentally kicking myself that I didn’t have the foresight to fly home for this incredible weekend. The game won’t be available on television or radio, so in person is the only way to enjoy. You can buy tickets on Ticketmaster.com. Go. Now. You’re already on the Internet so you really might as well.
-In case you missed it, John Wall was named as the other celebrity guest coach (along with Drake). It’s Jimmy Wall versus Wheelchair Jimmy, and I can’t wait to see how their coaching styles match up. I picture Wall distracting his opponents with props such as neon sunglasses and clown wigs, while Drake uses his dulcet tones to lull the opposing team into an R&B, baby-making-inducing haze.
-All of the names I’ve dropped so far in this post have been already established Wildcat stars, with one hopefully soon-to-be star among them. Power forward Julius Randle arrived on campus today, and the top 2013 prospect is set to enjoy all the glamour that UK Alumni weekend has become. Wonder if he’s going to root for Team Wall or Team Drake?
–In soccer news, both teams walked off their respective fields tonight with absolutely HUGE wins over Top 25 teams. The men beat #22 Louisville 1-0 in front of a record crowd, with Matt Lodge scoring the 20th goal of his career for the win. Cedegren’s squad improves to 2-4-0. The women’s team won their SEC opener against #13 Florida. After falling behind 1-0 early, Kentucky defender Arin Gilliland scores on a penalty kick and Courtney Raetzman (she of the horribly grotesque black eye) followed suit. Ally Tucker was there, and caught some great shots of Raetzman’s goal and the post game celebration.
The Wildcats relied on defense to contain Florida, a team that tends to dominate possession, and Coach Lipsitz and his team move to 6-1-0. They face undefeated Mississippi State on Sunday afternoon.
-Amidst all the basketball and soccer excitement, I nearly forgot there’s a football game tomorrow night. The Wildcats will take on Western Kentucky Saturday evening at 7 pm, and for many people, it’ll be the culmination of a Kentucky-filled day after the UK Alumni Charity Game, tailgating in what I’m assured will be gorgeous, girls in dresses and cowgirl boots weather. After their impressive games last weekend, Aaron Boyd, Miles Simpson, and Dakotah Tyler have been named the game captains. Nick Roush had the honor of writing the scouting report for Western Kentucky, so check it out here.
-And finally, some late breaking news: Billy Gillispie is back in Lubbock, Texas after a very brief stay at the Mayo Clinic. No further details have emerged, but we’ll keep our ears out over the weekend.
Whew, that was a lot. Are you sleepy yet? Me too. I’ll see you bright and early for an omelette with a side of Saturday morning links before we hit Spin class. Get some rest. Go Cats.