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UK’s first black players to be honored with statues

Greg

Nate Northington, Greg Page, Wilbur Hackett, and Houston Hogg will each receive a statue outside of Commonwealth Stadium – the university announced this weekend.

Page and Northington (who were inducted into UK’s Hall of Fame this Friday) became the Wildcats’ first black players in 1967. Tragically, Page died after an injury he received in practice, and Northington had to leave the team in his grief. However, he urged his fellow teammates Hackett and Hogg to remain in school, and they became the first black players to finish their careers at Kentucky.

With some supporters fighting for recognition for almost 20 years, this honor has been a long time coming:

“I keep thinking I’m going to wake up from some kind of dream today,” said Paul Karem, a former Cats quarterback and longtime crusader to give those pioneers their due. “We started trying to get the guys recognized appropriately probably 20 years ago and it just sort of died out. But this latest effort has been going on about three years.”

Not only did they pave the way at UK, Northington was also the first black player in the SEC, and Hackett became the first black captain in the league’s history.

It’s great to see these guys – who opened the door for so many others – finally receiving this honor. Well done, UK.

Article written by Caleb Epley

Vanderbilt student, Kentucky fan. Skilled at using big words and telling bad jokes. Twitter: @CalebEpleyKSR

18 Comments for UK’s first black players to be honored with statues



  1. H Grif
    10:13 pm September 27, 2015 Permalink

    It’s about time!!!!!!



  2. KevTucky
    10:17 pm September 27, 2015 Permalink

    That’s a good thing to do. Both Northington and Page where pioneers in the SEC, and UK should be very proud of the part it has played!



  3. H Grif
    10:20 pm September 27, 2015 Permalink

    Yes Indeed KevTucky!

  4. Nice gesture.



  5. SoCal Will
    10:44 pm September 27, 2015 Permalink

    I am so happy for Greg in particular. He was such a gentleman and his tragedy robbed Kentucky of a great man.



  6. Commie for Life!
    10:45 pm September 27, 2015 Permalink

    I think a statue for the first black president would also fit right in with these. Go Barry O Baby!



  7. Blue Gray
    10:59 pm September 27, 2015 Permalink

    This news makes me even prouder to be part of the BBN!!!!



  8. Greg
    11:40 pm September 27, 2015 Permalink

    What about Tom Payne…..



    • novalsi
      12:04 am September 28, 2015 Permalink

      Wow, man.



    • Sharieff Rhaheed-Muhammad
      12:08 am September 28, 2015 Permalink

      Greg, right?



    • Louisville Core Values
      1:17 am September 28, 2015 Permalink

      1. Honesty
      2. Treat women with respect
      3. No drugs
      4. No stealing
      5. No guns

      This had to be POSTED in the LOCKER ROOM after your newly rehired Saint Bobby left…..

      Don’t throw stones, Greg. 😉

      #1-3



    • Marcie
      10:28 am September 29, 2015 Permalink

      Tom played basketball; this is about football.



  9. SheaDaddy
    8:23 am September 28, 2015 Permalink

    Don’t forget Emmett “Buzz” Burnam, Clark County, the first full scholarship black player for UK football..,.



    • XCAT80
      12:45 pm September 28, 2015 Permalink

      SheaDaddy…I was a “full” scholarship football player from 1966-1970 and I also personally know Buzz Burnam (a good guy and a good football player). All that to say…you’re comment is completely wrong. How could Buzz be the “first black scholarship player” when he was preceded by the 4 others mentioned in this article? You’re delusional.



  10. DACats86
    9:41 am September 28, 2015 Permalink

    Great news and about damn time!



  11. wildcatchick95
    1:40 pm September 28, 2015 Permalink

    This is very nice, BBN Forever