It is always fascinating to see the world discover someone you have known for some time. You probably know that guy you went to college with, the one who always claimed to have seen every band years before they went big and “sold out” for money. He was the guy who tried to convince you, “man Seven Mary Three was the bomb back before they became all corporate and stuff.” That guy usually sucked, but the premise behind his thoughts was one that anyone occasionally can feel. There is nothing better than watching someone rise and then hit the big time, taking you along for the ride. Last Thursday was just such a night for a number of the UK players and for those of us that have seen the guys for a long time, it was a great event to watch. For me, watching Patrick Patterson, who I first “discovered” after his Junior year of high school in Indianapolis, dishing with Jai Lucas and talking about potentially playing for Tubby Smith, was a real treat, especially to see his proud parents. From the skinny kid with a big afro, to a future NBA lottery pick, is a journey few kids get to make, and the move from Mosley asking him about his favorite contestant on American Idol to now is quite a journey.
In this great article in the Washington Post, Sally Jenkins talks about the same journey for John Wall, and how Thursday night was the culmination of a long climb, regardless of what happens next. Wall has been discovered by the national media and great writers like Jenkins, columnists like LeBatard and radio hosts like Kornheiser all now weigh in on his life and his story. And we remember him when he was just a high school star doing a dance in the rafters of Rupp Arena. It has been a great journey to watch, and for the first time in my lifetime, a UK star is about to be born.