Most Recent Posts
- Swiss Cat Part 2: Larry continues his adventure in Switzerland
- Brumbaugh understands junior college talent, feels he can bring JUCO players to UK
- Volleyball training, personality will both help Marcus Lee at Kentucky
- UK coach Mark Stoops was patient with Neal Brown because he was “all-in” on hiring him
- UK signee Marcus Lee overcame early education struggles to succeed in academics, athletics
- No. 12 Kentucky and No. 5 Arizona State to start best-of-three NCAA Super Regional set Saturday at 10 p.m. ET
- Stoops: Hiring Neal Brown to run Kentucky offense was a “no-brainer for me”
- Nunley, Cumbess Propel No. 12 UK Softball to Super Regionals
Vaught’s note: Happy Father’s Day to all the UK dads today. As a special treat, enjoy this column by UK fan Whitney Kessinger about how her UK relationship with her dad and how she managed to get him a special Father’s Day treat — a John Calipari autograph.
By WHITNEY KESSINGER
Ever since I can remember, my dad and I have been watching UK basketball. It is definitely something that we have bonded over for the past 23 years. Growing up a die-hard UK fan, the only school I applied to for college was ,of course, the University of Kentucky. While most people choose their school based on academics, the basketball team heavily influenced my decision.
Once I got to UK, Billy G. was hired. Those were not the best two years to be at UK, that is for sure. Having said that, I was still in the stands for all of the home games. (Yes, I was front row until the buzzer sounded for the Gardner-Webb fiasco.) Then, finally, Coach Cal was hired. I unfortunately only got to experience UK basketball under Coach Cal for three semesters since I graduated a semester early. I’m not sure that was a great decision for the sports side of me, but it worked out when it came to grad school and work.
Luckily for my dad, my little sister decided to transfer to UK from WKU for her sophomore year. She of course got to experience a National Championship and has gotten my dad a ton of signed UK stuff. I’m talking basketballs signed by both the Final Four and National Championship teams and a signed Anthony Davis jersey, among other things. So at this point she is more than likely the favorite daughter.
Living in northern Kentucky now, I finally got an opportunity to chip in on the UK memorabilia collection Tuesday night. I attended the Dominican Republic vs. Team Ignition exhibition game at the Bank of Kentucky Center at Northern Kentucky University. I got to the game at 7, which was right when they opened the doors and an hour before game time. Since it is close to Father’s Day, I had already purchased Larry Vaught’s special edition National Championship book “Elite Eighth” for my dad. I decided that I would try to get Coach Cal to sign it, which would add to my dad’s growing collection.
The great thing about this event was that it was general admission and I was one of the first to get there. I sat in the end zone, on the floor, right next to the Dominican Republic Bench and right next to the tunnel that the team and Coach Cal came out of. About 10 minutes before tip-off, Coach Cal comes out and walks right over to the guys sitting beside me and started signing the poster and basketball that they had. He walked right down the line and signed my book before he walked to the bench to start coaching his team.
Overall, it was a great experience and I am so glad that I went. I know that my dad will enjoy the book to read as much as I have and will love to display it with all of his other UK stuff!
So, Happy Father’s Day, Dad! Thanks for sharing UK Basketball with me. I love you and Go Cats!