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Ashley Scoby

Ashley Scoby

Vaught’s note: Ashley Scoby, 18, of Glasgow  is a freshman journalism, marketing and international relations major at the University of Kentucky and was one of many fans who attended Darius Miller’s autograph signing at Wildcat Ford in Nicholasville Saturday. She shares her perspective on that event and hopefully will become a regular contributor to give us a regular on-campus presence/perspective. She has worked for Kentucky Sports Radio College and the Lexington Herald-Leader. Enjoy her first column.


He walked in the building wearing a black sweatshirt with the hood pulled up, surrounded by security personnel – enigmatic, mysterious, and as inconspicuous as a 6’8, 235-pound man can be.

Ushered into an upstairs room, Darius Miller went largely unnoticed by the 200 or so UK fans anxiously waiting below. A few minutes later, the star was brought down in an elevator to the showroom of Wildcat Ford in Nicholasville, dropping his hood as he was jubilantly greeted by his admirers.

Having come straight from another signing that took place in Danville earlier that day, Miller ran about half an hour late, but that hardly affected the fans. The whole event underscored how special a player UK fans have been blessed with for four years.

As a UK student, I constantly see the athletes with the “jock” mentality. I see, firsthand, athletes that don’t go to class and don’t do their work simply because they play a sport for UK. I see players blow off fans even when said athlete is not in the middle of something keeping them from interacting with people that want to meet them. I see the cockiness, the egos.

Darius Miller takes all of those ideas about athletes and stomps on them with his Nikes.

The fact that a college kid would get up early on a Saturday morning to go sit in a chair and sign things for hours is refreshing. As athletes, it’s important for them to appreciate and respect the fans that adore them. Miller certainly is a prime example of how beautifully that relationship can flourish.

While Miller was the example that I personally saw on Saturday, the rest of the UK Draft Cats have, by all accounts, done the same. Anthony Davis and Michael Kidd-Gilchrist were in Hazard Saturday and ended up not getting to everyone that was present. Davis later tweeted that he had already planned another trip to Hazard to sign more autographs for the fans he had missed earlier. Terrence Jones, according to his own tweet, stayed an hour and a half past the time he was supposed to be at Lexington Sports Cards, just so everyone at the event could get an autograph.

We’ve heard it time and time again that this team was “special” and there’s absolutely no doubt about it. The players’ autograph tours simply add to that degree of special, creating memories and firsthand experiences for fans that will last a lifetime.

College athletes across the country often keep a curtain between themselves and overzealous fans. As a contrast to that, it’s great to see that UK players are able to drop the hood and interact with the people that love them like family.

10 Responses to Guest post: Darius Miller prime example of how an athlete can appreciate and respect fans that adore him

  • Judi Cole says:

    Excellent, Ashley. You have a nice career in front of you with all your talent. Thanks for expressing what so many of us feel about our Wildcats but can’t put into words like you can. So glad you got to meet Darius!

  • Jim Boyers says:

    Ditto to all that Judi said.

    I would also like to add that my first response to the title of your article was that ALL the players had been doing special things. But you addressed that halfway through, so thank you. These players have, by all accounts, gone out of their way to honor and respect the fanbase. You hear story after story of them staying late or showing special attention to someone.

    We have loved these guys for the last 4 seasons or 2 seasons or 1 season. They are lost to us on the basketball court, but they are continuing to show why our love was not been misplaced. I don’t think you can measure that, as a fan. These kids are truly special.

  • Well said and to the point. This group of Cats is unselfish, genuine and sincere. It’s easy to see why the fans love them so much. I am so glad to see a Kentucky kid get to grow up and play for his home state team…..and ultimately hoist the national championship trophy in Rupp upon his return. Perfect ending to a fantastic story.

  • UKFMLY says:

    Nice job young lady. Keep up the good work. I look forward to the Campus perspective in the future.

    Thanks Larry for continuing to find fresh new ways to keep us informed.

    • larryvaught says:

      Ashley has agreed to be a regular weekly contributor and do even more when football season starts. Can’t tell you how happy I am to have her and her perspective/insights joining us

  • Karen Sprinkle says:

    Great job, Ashley. I’m looking forward to reading more of your work. For me, it wasn’t so much as getting the autograph as to say thanks to Darius for being a Wildcat, and I suspect many feel the same way.

  • Ashley Scoby says:

    Thank you to everyone for the kind words – I’m really excited to start writing weekly!

  • Theresa Crow says:

    Ashley, I enjoyed your article. Larry, thank you for continuing to get a fresh perspective for us. Looking forward to more!

    • larryvaught says:

      Amen Theresa. Think Ashley could be a God-send for all of us here. I just have to be careful not to overwork her. And sure she will be receptive to story ideas that maybe only an on-campus presence can provide

  • House says:

    Ashley that was very well written. I too have been impressed with the public actions of the 5 players, they’ve all shown class and have represented UK well. With that said, I’m sorry to play the devil’s advocate here, but do keep in mind that these guys are getting paid well to do these signings, so that is probably why he was up on Saturday morning! But I’m not complaining at all, these guys certainly deserve to get paid for their time and to reap some of the benefits of their accomplishments. And they all seem to have gone over and above the requirements of their signings, which is nice to see. I am wondering where has Teague been in all of this though?


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