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University of Kentucky Basketball, Football, and Recruiting news brought to you in the most ridiculous manner possible.

UK stories come pouring into my email box

On Monday, I put up a post about your favorite UK stories that had nothing to do with winning and losing.  And I was stunned by the amount of email that I received on that topic.  It has really been amazing reading through all of the cool stories from the past that make you love this program even more.  I was even more surprised about the number of football-related stories I got.  So, I will begin posting this stories on the site in my morning post and other times until I can get them all up, because they are really something that should make you happy as a UK fan.  If your story doesn’t appear today, don’t worry, because I will try and get them up soon.  And if you haven’t sent me one yet, you can do so at [email protected]


In August of ’06, my best friend’s wife took him to New York for birthday. She invited me and another close friend. As she was the only female, this quickly became a “guys weekend.” The other friend was determined that we go to a strip club. The best friend was sure his wife would veto this quickly. Other friend promptly gets wife drunk, and convinces her that “something great” would happen if we went to a strip club. We end up at random club in NY, having a normal time (normal for a strip club anyway.) About an hour after we got there, in walks the tallest human I have ever seen. I do a quick double take and it’s Shagari Alleyne! Now, this was after he had announced his transfer from UK, but we were drunk and didn’t care. We immediately ran over for handshakes and a bunch of drunken rambling with him. After about five minutes, we went back to our table and left him alone with his posse. The best friend’s wife was amazed at how correct it was that “something great” happened!


My dad and I attended the father-son summer camp a few times. I played on my middle school basketball team and was with the high school team until midway through my sophomore year, but the second time we went was actually after I wasn’t playing organized ball anymore.  The first time was before my freshman year. A few things stand out in my mind from that year. One was all of the campers packed into one of the dining halls trying to watch Game 5 of the 1994 NBA Finals, which, of course, was interrupted by the O.J. Simpson chase. It was on this trip that I also had Papa John’s pizza for the first time, as the chain hadn’t graced our far western Kentucky area just yet.

Neither of these things are as memorable, obviously, as the time we got to spend with Mr. Wildcat, Bill Keightley. In those few moments with Mr. Keightley, it became quite clear why no one has a bad word to say about the man. I felt like we were catching up with some long-lost family member. Quite an experience for us. Pitino was there for the first day but gone the second, leaving his staff and players to run the camp. I remember the rumor being that he was interviewing for another NBA job, which made it less of a surprise for me when he actually did leave a couple years later.

Our second trip provided another great experience for us. Tubby Smith had just been hired as head coach, and he was involved in the camp from start to finish and everything in between.  The second day of the camp included a 2-on-2 tournament. Naturally, the speed at which some of us wannabes played left a fair amount of downtime between games. Dad and I were shooting to keep warm, and who walks up? Tubby and Saul: “You guys wanna play?”

My top memory from our game: Dad takes the ball at the top of the key. I’ve got Saul posted up at the top-right elbow of the lane. Dad fakes a bounce pass to my left, and I roll right and toward the basket. Dad hits me with a lob, I catch. Right foot, leap, left-hand layup … rolls off the right side of the rim. It became clear at this time that I made the right decision to quit my high school team. Still, a great time and a great memory.


For a few years as I was growing up we would go to Oxford, MS to watch UK play Ole Miss.  As far as I know there was only one hotel in town which meant we stayed at the same hotel as the team.  I remember me and my brother and cousin waiting for our dads to tell us the team was headed down to the restaurant to eat.  We would go meet all the players and get pictures and autographs.  As a kid that was maybe 9 or 10 years old that was priceless. 

One thing that tops that was the day we were eating at the same time the team was.  My dad told me that Coach Rupp and Caywood Ledford were at a table on the other side of the restaurant.  As the youngest of my brother and cousin I was “elected” to go to their table first and ask for their autographs.  As I approached the table I remember being as nervous as a cat. Even at my young age I knew what a legend Coach Rupp was.  I eased up to the table and sheepishly asked for his autograph.  Without hesitation Coach Rupp turned to me and said “Why would you want my autograph? My name is John Johnson.”  I know I had to have turned white as a ghost and was about ready to bolt when he started laughing and put his arm around me and said “sure you can, son”.  With the path now cleared my brother and cousin quickly lined up behind me for their autographs.  We also got our picture taken with him which I have framed today.

It must have been during the ’71-’72 season because I remember when he walked into the gym before the game there in Oxford he received a standing ovation from everyone in the gym. I remember getting chills when this happened because even at that age I realized the significance of this happening to a Kentucky coach at an away game.

I appreciate all of this much more now than I did at the time.  For a man who was such a legend as Coach Rupp to take the time as he was preparing for an away game in the SEC to be so gracious to a scared and nervous little UK fan still means alot to me.  And to pull a little prank on me that would make the experience even more memorable is priceless. Though not at the time I’m glad now that my brother and cousin were too chicken to go ask Coach Rupp for his autograph and sent me instead.

Article written by Bryan the Intern

23 Comments for UK stories come pouring into my email box

  1. CaliCatFan78
    4:41 pm June 28, 2011 Permalink

    I served Tim Couch 3 chicken soft tacos at Don Pablo’s in 1998. Greatest day of my life.

  2. nick
    4:47 pm June 28, 2011 Permalink

    great stories

  3. David Schmidt
    4:48 pm June 28, 2011 Permalink

    My dad is a disc jockey and in the late 90’s his radio station played a charity game at Dunbar high school. He was down on his back so he subbed his 19 year old (me) in for the game. Out team was filled with radio jocks, sales people, and Jeff Brassow. Our team was facing Sean Woods, Anthony Epps, Richie Farmer, Kenny Walker, and I believe Ed Davender. When I finally was put into the game I had to guard Farmer, he went for a 3 and I stuffed it right in his face. Later I boxed out Walker and he started trash talking as he was running down the court. I was smiling ear-to-ear as he took flight and dunked over me, well not really over me as I just kind of stepped away. I have plenty more memories because of what my dad does for a job, and I would be more than happy to share them all.

  4. Kidnut
    5:11 pm June 28, 2011 Permalink

    I remember Travis Ford with a buddy and a girl trying to challenge 5 people to play them in a pickup game (3 v 5) the year he had to sit out…he was a tool.
    I remember beating a Wildcat Lodge Flag Football team (with Walter McCarty) in the Dorm League Finals.
    I remember guarding Jamaal Mashburn in the post in a pickup game and he drop step dunked on me.
    I remember playing 32 with Rex Chapman and Kenny Walker while waiting for the team to get done with conditioning to play pickup in Memorial.

  5. Jones Returns
    5:31 pm June 28, 2011 Permalink

    cool stuff

  6. Well pilgrim, I gotta tell ya
    5:42 pm June 28, 2011 Permalink

    I remember my son coming back home to show me a picture of him and Cal made at the Marshall Co. Hoopfest – and from then on I wished
    we could get him. Musta been 02, 03?

  7. oh the memories
    5:48 pm June 28, 2011 Permalink

    I remember back in my senior year of high school, we played Leslie County in the first game of the year. It was Tim Couch’s freshman year. We ended up getting five interceptions off of him and ended up winning. I usually just played offense but got to get in on defense a couple of plays and pretty much got lucky and tackled Tim for a sack. So now that is my one little cool fact when talking about Tim Couch and his career. Glad we played them early in his career.

  8. AnthonyWeiner
    5:52 pm June 28, 2011 Permalink

    I remember letting the whole Women’s basketball team “do me” online.

  9. siestakeycat
    6:05 pm June 28, 2011 Permalink

    You know, my Dad and both of my grandfathers met Coach Rupp several times. They all said that in person, he was a gracious, friendly, kind, and funny man. Plus, I talked to many other people who knew Coach Rupp, and to a person, they all said he was a very misunderstood man in many ways. Take this for what it’s worth.

  10. Mr.Wildcat's Boy
    6:17 pm June 28, 2011 Permalink

    I was Coach Rupp’s last Manager in 1972..He was a great man and a hard man to please..Mr. Keightley gave me good advice..Don’t piss him 0ff and do what he tells you.I did and survived to see the sunrise..
    Mr. Wildcat was the Finest man I ever met…Hands Down.

  11. UK
    6:57 pm June 28, 2011 Permalink

    I played 2 on 2 vs Tayshaun Prince and one of the current walkons(cant remember who) in the 3rd grade at a camp in Lexington… they did an alley opp dunk against us

  12. drip drip drip
    7:17 pm June 28, 2011 Permalink

    One time Tubby walked up to the urinal next to me and asked me how it was going. Talk about performance anxiety…and no I didn’t peek at his gopher

  13. the fake koobs
    7:22 pm June 28, 2011 Permalink

    By buddy fought jarred prickett at a bar in Richmond

  14. GusPick
    7:26 pm June 28, 2011 Permalink

    That would be Cawood Ledford.

  15. WKY cat fan
    7:30 pm June 28, 2011 Permalink

    GusPick – you’re right. I always forget and try to put a “y” in his name. My bad.

  16. flemingcountycat
    10:34 pm June 28, 2011 Permalink

    I can only assume its true, but the best “UK story” ive ever heard was about a guy in DC that gave an intern a UK t shirt as a going away present and told them to always wear it in airports and they would never be alone. Great story, wish i could find it online….

  17. Boom baby
    11:10 pm June 28, 2011 Permalink

    In the 1998 season, my family and I lived in Charlotte, NC. We traveled to see Kentucky play USC with some family friends. Kentucky won and our families got access to the UK players after the game! I am a proud owner of a Kentucky t-shirt with the entire teams signatures and Tubby’s!!

  18. Marcus
    12:52 am June 29, 2011 Permalink

    I’m from Lexington and lived there (before moving to Cincinnati) until I was 6 years old. My cousin from Brooklyn, NY was a college student at KY. State and knew all of the guys on the UK’s basketball team. Well, I was 5, my sister (who was sick) was 7, and my brother was 12. My cousin comes in the house and with his thick NY accent says, “yo, I brought someone over to see you all” In walks the tallest man I’d ever seen in my life, Sam Bowie! I couldn’t believe it! Growing up my dad was a season ticket holder and we always attended the SE regional. I wasn’t sitting too far from Rex Chapman at a tournament game when I was 14. I approached him and asked him to take a pic with me and he was cool about it, still have this pic till this day at 33!

  19. Luvdacats
    6:25 am June 29, 2011 Permalink

    BTI…. This is the bestest idea you have ever thunk up. I love all the stories. This will never get old, you will never run out of stuff for people to write in about.

  20. hersheyisabear
    7:13 am June 29, 2011 Permalink

    Saul Smith really makes my stomach turn. I really could have gone without seeing his picture posted on KSR.

  21. A Girl Who Reads KSR
    9:35 am June 29, 2011 Permalink

    I lived in the dorms next to Wildcat Lodge and would see the team every now and then eating in Blazer Hall. One time I was buying some groceries at the little store there and was making fun of my roommate who was in line with me. We looked up and Tayshaun Prince was in line right behind us (getting a turkey sandwich, I think). He was smirking at whatever I had said. After we left my roommate looked up in awe and said, “You made Tayshaun Prince laugh!!” I also found a student ID in the parking lot outside Wildcat lodge one time. I picked it up – it was Gerald Fitch’s. I was way too chicken to knock on the door at the lodge and give it back, though. Sigh.

  22. another girl
    9:39 pm June 29, 2011 Permalink

    Deandre Liggin’s then-pregnant girlfriend lived on my floor in Patterson Hall last fall. Deandre came around a lot, usually in the morning. I would wish him good luck in upcoming games and congratulate him after wins. One time I was sleepily walking from the showers to my room and bumped into him in my towel.

    Also, my boyfriend and I went to Tolly Ho once for late night shakes and french fries when somebody blocked us in in a black Camaro. It was close to 2 in the morning and I had class the next morning, so we decided to ask around and find the people who blocked us in so we could leave. Nobody in Tolly Ho claimed the car so we went next door to Jimmy Johns. My boyfriend (at that time) didn’t know much about our basketball team (trust me – I forced him to get into and by the end of the year he was just as big a fan as I am), so everytime he saw a really tall guy he’d jokingly say “hey, look, it’s a basketball player!” We walk in to Jimmy Johns and he says “hey, look – it’s one of em’!” I thought he was kidding as usual, but I looked up and saw Doron Lamb munching on a tuna sub. They were the only people in the place (it WAS 2 AM afterall), but thankfully on of the guys that were with Doron was checking out. So I decided to ask him first. But of course, he says “Awww naw, that aint my car, it’s Doron’s”. My boyfriend was chicken so I had to go interupt him, mid bite, to ask him to move his car. He was friendly enough about it…and when my boyfriend pulled out, there was a really awkward moment when he didn’t know if he should wave or not. I think he ended up giving him a really stupid looking thumbs up before driving away…

  23. another girl
    9:42 pm June 29, 2011 Permalink

    Another great moment from this season that I forgot to mention is when the guys came into the student center for lunch after making it to the final four. Everybody simultaneously burst into the C-A-T-S CATS CATS CATS cheer for the team. They all seemed to be blushing…