Kentucky is famous as the world capital of thoroughbred racing, but basketball is also one of this state’s best-loved sports. So many of the greats have come through us. The 1995–96 UK team (the “Untouchables”) had nine players who went to the NBA. The “Draft Cats,” the 2009–10 team, set a record of five players from the same school drafted to the NBA in the first round. The “8th Wonders” (2011–12 NCAA champions) topped even them: The first time that two players from the same school were the first and second draft picks.
Whether we’re talking UK or UofL teams or just players who grew up here, Bluegrass basketball has propelled so many players into the pros — Terry Rozier, Pervis Ellison, Allan Houston, Tayshaun Prince, Jamal Mashburn, Donovan Mitchell, D’Angelo Russell, DeMarcus Cousins. (And those are just the guys we haven’t already mentioned before.)