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By LARRY VAUGHT
Count me as one who is not sad, or surprised, that Kentucky is no longer playing an annual game in Louisville’s Freedom Hall. That became clear when the non-conference basketball schedule came out Tuesday and to most fans, it should not have made much difference.
Why? Because not many fans had been going to the game.
One, opponents most years have not been big-name teams. Two, Freedom Hall is not what is used to be facility-wise. There was a reason Louisville wanted, and got, a new arena. Three, Kentucky can make more money with a game in Rupp Arena and have far less hassles.
I’m old enough to remember when UK played North Carolina in Freedom Hall or split tickets with Indiana and had some great games there. I’ve watched some epic UK-Notre Dame battles in Freedom Hall. I also have seen some of the most enthusiastic UK crowds ever at shootarounds the day before a game at Freedom Hall.
But the shootarounds have been abandoned, there’s never going to be a big-name foe UK will play in Freedom Hall when the Cats can go to places like Brooklyn and Atlanta instead, and the facility is lacking.
I’m not even sure how many fans are that upset about no Freedom Hall game.
However, what I want to know today is what is your favorite memory of Kentucky playing in Freedom Hall. It can be a game against Louisville, North Carolina, Indiana, Notre Dame or anyone else. It can be the shootaround story. It can be a postgame memory.
If we get enough responses, I’ll let some folks here pick the one they like the best and send you a special gift to enjoy.
So put on those thinking hats — and creativity is encouraged — and share your favorite Freedom Hall memory with me (and mine might be the meltdown that former IU coach Mike Davis had or maybe the shooting exhibition Derrick Miller and Rex Chapman put on against Louisville or Jimmy Dan Conner’s performance against North Carolina or Josh Harrellson’s breakout performance against the Cards or …)