Good morning Big Blue Nation and happy Friday to each and every one of you! And more importantly, happy Juneteenth!
Today on Juneteenth, we celebrate the ending of slavery in the United States dating back to 1865. Originating in Galveston, Texas on June 19th, 1865, the holiday celebrates African American freedom and emphasizes education and achievement.
While this day does not technically mark the end of slavery in the United States – that did not occur until the ratification of the Thirteenth Amendment to the U.S. Constitution, which abolished slavery entirely on December 6, 1865 – it does mark the day Gen. Gordon Granger arrived with Union soldiers in Galveston to announce to enslaved Africans Americans that the Civil War had ended and they were free.
Juneteenth is not yet recognized as a federal holiday, but it is one nearly all states are celebrating, along with the likes of the NFL, Nike, Twitter, Google, Target, and Best Buy all recognizing today as a company holiday.
As we jump into today’s news, remember and celebrate the historic events of June 19, 1865 on this holiday.
UK Athletics preparing for decreased ticket revenue in 2020-21
UK Athletics is bracing for the impact of COVID-19.
Thursday afternoon, the athletics department proposed a $148.5 million budget for the 2020-21 fiscal year, down $7.4 million from last year’s total operating budget of $153.9 million. While UK says it is planning on hosting events as scheduled, they adjusted the budget to account for a projected decrease in ticket revenue.
“Our goal in building our budget for the upcoming fiscal year was to respond to the unique climate brought on by the COVID-19 pandemic while avoiding adverse effects on the welfare of our student-athletes and reductions to our coaches and staff,” UK Athletics Director Mitch Barnhart said. “To do that will require sacrifice. We also must be ready to adjust in an ever-changing landscape.”
Only two Wildcats projected to be drafted in latest Big Board
The Athletic released its latest NBA Draft Big Board on Thursday afternoon, and it wasn’t incredibly kind to Kentucky basketball’s potential draftees.
In the latest update, Tyrese Maxey and Immanuel Quickley both landed in the top 60, while Nick Richards and Ashton Hagans fell several spots outside draft position.
Meanwhile, EJ Montgomery and Kahlil Whitney were nowhere to be seen in the entire list of 100 prospects.
Maxey led the way at No. 13 overall, falling in line with the consensus late-lottery draft grade the 6-foot-4 guard has been given since the end of his freshman season at Kentucky. Meanwhile, Quickley has dipped a bit to No. 49 overall after finding himself in the late-first/early-second round range early in the draft process.
From there, Richards and Hagans came in at No. 66 and No. 67, respectively, after holding firm as mid-to-late second rounders in recent months.
There are still several months until this year’s NBA Draft, but two of five starters being taken isn’t a fantastic hit rate.
Lynn Bowden featured in 2020 Rookie Premiere Class
Former Kentucky superstar Lynn Bowden Jr. is seen as one of the most promising draft prospects in the nation.
Yesterday, the NFL Players Association and Panini America included Bowden in the 2020 Rookie Premiere Class, which identifies the 42 most promising young prospects based on position, college performance, draft status and projected overall demand and marketability. Even though the Las Vegas Raiders reportedly plan to use Bowden mostly at running back, he is one of 20 wide receivers on the list:
Bowden’s rookie card was also revealed, which is one of the best things you’ll see all day:
Will Bill Curry share his Zoom call with the rest of us?
Early this morning, former Kentucky football coach Bill Curry said Thursday evening was “one of the best nights of [his] life.” Why?
According to Curry, a significant number of his former players at UK gathered for a Zoom call to celebrate one another and reminisce about their time together in Lexington.
“I would have stayed all night, listening to the locker room banter, mostly good stuff,” Curry said. “How I love and admire them, each one!”
Last night was one of the best nights of my life! A bunch of my UK players (more than a Huddle) gathered on Zoom, and celebrated each other for an hour. I would have stayed all night, listening to the locker room banter, mostly good stuff. How I love and admire them, each one!
— Bill Curry (@coachbillcurry) June 19, 2020
Let’s hope the former UK coach hit that ‘record’ button and shares it with the rest of us in the near future.
KSR in an hour
Who up Elliott County?
From 10 a.m. to noon, Matt Jones and the KSR crew will put the spotlight on Elliott County, along with the rest of the latest happenings in the world of UK Athletics and beyond.
Be sure to tune in.