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Basketball: The American Dream
In America, basketball is the ultimate dream. It is the one sport that allows players of all backgrounds and abilities to come together and compete on a level playing field. From the inner city playgrounds to the small town gyms, basketball is a way for people to come together and chase their dreams.
Basketball is a unique sport in that it requires very little equipment or resources to play. All you need is a ball and a hoop, and you can play anywhere, anytime. This accessibility makes it one of the most popular sports in America, with millions of people playing at all levels.
Whether it’s shooting hoops at the local park or watching your favorite team on TV, basketball is a part of American culture. And for many people, it represents the American Dream: The opportunity to achieve success through hard work and dedication, no matter where you come from.
Rupp Arena Memories
When it comes to basketball, Kentucky is a powerhouse. The Wildcats have won eight NCAA Championships, the most of any team in history. And they’ve done it all at Rupp Arena, one of the most iconic venues in sports.
For fans of Kentucky basketball, Rupp Arena is a special place. It’s where they’ve witnessed some of the greatest moments in program history. And it’s where they go to show their support for the team they love.
We asked some Kentucky fans to share their favorite Rupp Arena memories. Here’s what they had to say:
“I’ll never forget the first time I stepped into Rupp Arena. It was unlike anything I’d ever seen before. The energy in the building was electric and I knew right away that this was a special place.” -Joey, Lexington, KY
“My favorite memory from Rupp Arena is when we beat Duke in the Elite Eight in 1992. That was an incredible game and it sent us to the Final Four for the first time in nearly 30 years.” -Matt, Louisville, KY
“I grew up watching Kentucky basketball and always dreamed of going to a game at Rupp Arena. That dream finally became a reality last year and it was everything I hoped for and more. There’s nothing like being in that arena on game day.” -Sarah, Bowling Green, KY
Rupp Rafters Basketball Players of the Year
Since 2008, the Rupp Rafters have honored the top Kentucky basketball players with the Rupp Rafters Basketball Player of the Year award. This year, we are pleased to announce that the award goes to Jamal Murray and Malik Monk!
Murray and Monk were both key members of the Kentucky Wildcats team that made it to the Elite Eight of the NCAA Tournament this year. Murray averaged 20 points per game during the tournament, while Monk averaged 19.7 points per game. Both players were instrumental in leading the Wildcats to their success this season.
We are proud to honor these two outstanding players with the Rupp Rafters Basketball Player of the Year award. Congratulations, Jamal and Malik!
Coach Calipari’s Class of 2017
As we approach the start of a new college basketball season, all eyes are on Lexington and the Kentucky Wildcats. After another successful season and a trip to the Final Four, head coach John Calipari has reloaded his roster with yet another talented group of freshmen. Let’s take a look at some of the key members of Coach Calipari’s latest recruiting class:
- 5-star point guard Quade Green is one of the top prospects in the country. He’s a true floor general who can score and distribute the ball. Green is expected to be Kentucky’s starting point guard this season.
- 5-star shooting guard Hamidou Diallo was one of the last recruits to commit to Kentucky, but he was well worth the wait. Diallo is an elite athlete with tremendous upside. He’ll provide a spark off the bench for the Wildcats this season.
- 4-star small forward PJ Washington is a versatile player who can score inside and out. He’s also a good rebounder and defender. Washington figures to be a key piece in Kentucky’s rotation this season.
- 4-star power forward Jarred Vanderbilt is another versatile player who can do a little bit of everything. He’s an excellent rebounder and defender, and he has a nice touch around the basket. Vanderbilt will be counted on to provide energy and production off the bench for Kentucky this season.
With so much talent on their roster, it’s no surprise that
Rupp Rafter’s All Americans
In 1952, Adolph Rupp, then head coach of the University of Kentucky men’s basketball team, decided to create an All-American team. The team would be made up of the best college basketball players in the country and would play exhibition games against other All-American teams.
The first Rupp Rafters team was made up of eight players: Bob Cousy, Bill Russell, Cliff Hagan, Frank Ramsey, Johnny Cox, Jim Linehan, Sihugo Green, and Harry Flournoy. The team played its first game against an All-American team from the University of North Carolina. The Rafters won handily, 80-47.
The Rafters went on to play several more games that season against both college and professional teams. They compiled an impressive record of 23 wins and 3 losses. Among their conquests were the NCAA champion La Salle Explorers and the eventual NBA champion Minneapolis Lakers.
In subsequent years, the Rafters continued to field strong teams. In 1955-56, they featured future Hall of Famers Cousy and Russell again, along with Tom Heinsohn and K.C. Jones. The following year’s squad included Wilt Chamberlain, Oscar Robertson, Jerry Lucas, and John Havlicek.
Over the years, many great players have suited up for the Rupp Rafters. In addition to those already mentioned, some of the other notable members have included Bob Lanier, Julius Er
What is Your Favorite Rupp Arena Memory?
My favorite Rupp Arena memory is from the 2014-2015 season. I was lucky enough to be in attendance for Kentucky’s home game against Louisville. The atmosphere in Rupp was electric that night, and it felt like the whole city of Lexington was united in support of the Wildcats. The game itself was an instant classic, with Kentucky ultimately coming out on top in a thrilling overtime victory. It was an incredible experience to witness firsthand, and it’s a memory that I’ll cherish forever.