This March marks the 20th anniversary of Kentucky’s seventh National Championship. There were many memorable moments along the Comeback Cats’ conquest to the top of college basketball, but none were more memorable then “The Shot Heard Round the Bluegrass.”
Cameron Mills’ go-ahead three in the waning minutes of the Elite Eight forever cemented the walk-on Kentucky kid into UK lore. It’s a prestigious place in Kentucky history, but it’s not always easy living life after earning all the glory.
Ahead of the 20-year anniversary of Mills’ epic shot, Jeff Pearlman of The Athletic talked to him about the good and bad that comes with Kentucky super stardom.
“I’ll be honest,” he said. “And this is me being really honest on a subject that’s hard. People talk about the shot I hit against Duke or the two national championships we won, and it feeds my ego. It does, factually. And when your ego is fed, you like that. But at the same time, you want to blend in. I mean, that’s natural. You don’t want to be only remembered for something from two decades ago. But here’s what’s crazy—when you do blend in, your ego takes over and you think, ‘Wait. No one here recognizes me? What’s going on?’”
Again, a pause. An awkward one. “Does that make sense?” he asked.
It makes sense. Becoming a Kentucky legend is great when you’re cutting down nets, but it’s not as fun when YMCA All-Stars are gunning for you anytime you try to have fun playing rec league basketball. The good news: Mills has made the most out of his Shot Heard Round the Bluegrass.