Memorial Day is specifically for honoring those who died in the line of duty, but it’s also a great reminder to give thanks to all veterans. In light of that, I thought I’d take the opportunity to honor one of UK’s past greats for his accomplishments on both the football field and the battlefield. Don Phelps was born in Richmond and raised in Danville. He attended my alma mater, Danville High School (Go Ads!), where he was an all-state halfback with the nickname “Dopey.”
After high school, Don served in the army during World War II, and once it was over, enrolled at UK. Phelps played four years at Kentucky under Bear Bryant, and in his freshman year, led the nation in kickoff and punt returns. Apparently, he was also quite the trouble maker, spending most of his junior year on suspension for violating team rules. However, in his senior year, he led the Cats to a 9-3 record and Orange Bowl berth. Don was drafted by the Cleveland Browns in the sixth round of the 1950 NFL Draft, becoming their go-to kick returner. In his rookie season, he racked up 499 total return yards and one punt return for a touchdown, in addition to 198 rushing yards and a touchdown. His pro career was short-lived, and he retired from the game in 1953. Don came back to Kentucky and worked for the state until he passed in 1982.
Now, onto the very little news there was on this Memorial Day…
The UK Baseball team makes the NCAA Tournament
After a big run in the SEC Tournament, the Bat Cats made it to the NCAA Tournament for the eighth time in school history, earning a 2-seed and a matchup against 3-seed Kansas Friday afternoon at 2 p.m. in Louisville. If they win, they’ll advance to play the winner of the Louisville/Kent State game, which means another possible matchup against the Cards. UK has beaten Louisville twice already this season, and since the Year of the Cardinal is officially over, I like our chances. Also, AJ Reed.
Dominique Hawkins is back from China
Dominique Hawkins has returned from his trip to China with Sports Reach, posting this Great Wall selfie on Instagram Monday afternoon. Hawkins averaged nine points per game, and was a huge hit with the ladies of the Far East:
That smile gets them every time.
Thon Maker may reclassify to 2015
The most exciting news of the day may have been that 2016 phenom Thon Maker is considering reclassifying to 2015. Responsible for what may be the most ridiculous mixtape known to man, Thon “Highlight” Maker is considered the third best player in the 2016 class, and UK has expressed major interest. Maker’s guardian told Evan Daniels that they’re thinking of reclassifying him, and Daniels said they’re already making the move academically for that to happen. Yes, please!
The SEC Coaches Meetings start Tuesday in Destin
The SEC football coaches are en route to Destin, Florida for their annual meetings, which begin Tuesday. Issues expected to be on the agenda: more talk about autonomy for the five major BCS conferences, progress on the SEC Network, the possibility of a 30-second shot clock in basketball, and whether or not to sell beer at games. I’m for all of those things. No word on whether or not Mark Stoops plans to get revenge on Steve Spurrier and Les Miles for that embarrassing sunscreen drawing they did on his back last year.
Willie Cauley-Stein got a new hairdo
UK’s style chameleon changed up his looks again on Monday, showing off his new baby dreads. See, I told you it was a slow news day.
Hopefully we’ll have more to talk about in the morning. See you then.