Big Blue Nation… the basketball season is right around the corner with exhibition play starting this weekend. The Wildcats will play the Golden Eagles of Clarion Sunday evening at 7:00pm EST. One thing I want us to keep in our minds this season is who these players are.
When I went to the Blue and White scrimmage game, it brought everything back. Being back in Rupp Arena felt like home. Seeing the 16,000+ fans pour in for a scrimmage is one of the many reasons as to why the Kentucky fanbase is the greatest of all. When the Cats first came out on the floor to warm-up, the expressions on the faces of the fans inside Rupp were the same expressions I remember having on my face when I was youngin’. Watching the Cats in my living room with my family on our antenna television are memories I’ll never forget. We’ve heard about these players all off-season, and we’re anticipating what this season will bring.
The expression of excitement, amazement, and internal-feeling that this year will be our year for another championship was all over the faces of Big Blue Nation. I looked up in the stands at one point and a father was pointing at different players explaining to his son (I believe) who they were and what position they played. I also noticed thousands of fans stand with a grin on their face when Malik Monk threw down his tomahawk dunk. Even a referee pulled Malik aside to congratulate him on the dunk.
So back to my original point… remembering who they are. These guys are college student-athletes. Depending on your age… you may even say ‘they’re kids’. I still think I’m too young to call them kids, because of how childish I am sometimes… but you get it. Some are 18 years old. We cannot forget that! These guys are young and going to make mistakes. But what is it about at the end of the day?
As much as Big Blue Nation was smiling during the scrimmage… the players were smiling more. Sure, nobody likes to lose, and we want Number 9, but we can’t forget these guys will do everything they can to win and have a good time while doing it! Just look at a few of the smiles I was able to capture during the game:
They love playing basketball for Kentucky. If you go to a game this season (whether you can make the exhibition or not), you will see first-hand the comradery these guys have for each other. The chemistry that these players have already developed is an unbreakable bond, and I believe we’re in for an amazing season with a tight-knit group… and hopefully a championship!