John Wall wins NBA Cares Community Assist Award

LEXINGTON, Ky. – Former Kentucky men’s basketball player John Wall was named the recipient of the NBA Cares Community Assist Award on Wednesday. He is the fifth-ever winner of the season-long award, which is accompanied by a $25,000 donation from Kaiser Permanente and the NBA to a charity of the recipient’s choice.

Wall (2010) will donate his winnings to the John Wall Foundation and the money will be donated for a new playground sponsored by the Bright Beginnings, Inc., in Washington, D.C. The Raleigh, N.C., native will also match the donation with his own money to a charity in his hometown which he will designate at a later date.

Kentucky-Florida will be on CBS on Sept. 10

LEXINGTON, Ky. – The Sept. 10 football matchup between Kentucky and Florida in Ben Hill Griffin Stadium in Gainesville, Fla., will be televised on CBS with kickoff set for 3:30 p.m. ET.

The announce team for CBS Sports will feature Verne Lundquist, Gary Danielson and Allie LaForce. Lundquist, who is celebrating his 53rd year in television, announced Tuesday he would step down from his lead college football role at CBS Sports following the 2016 season.

Henderson: “100% my decision to resign”

LEXINGTON — This is a letter from UK baseball coach Gary Henderson, who resigned today.

“It has been an honor and a distinct privilege to represent the University of Kentucky as head baseball coach. It has been a source of pride to compete in the SEC for 17 years, including the last 13 at Kentucky, eight as head coach and five as an assistant coach. We’ve just completed five consecutive 30+ win seasons, for the first time in Kentucky Baseball history, and we’ve competed in two NCAA regionals. That said, it is 100% my decision to resign at this time, based in part because the results don’t meet my expectations.

Spake ready for 70.3-mile Ironman, BBN can help her raise money for charity

Shannon Spake, left, is gearing up for the Raleigh Ironman 70.3 on Sunday.

Shannon Spake, left, is gearing up for the Raleigh Ironman 70.3 on Sunday.

By LARRY VAUGHT

If you are a Shannon Spake fan — and it seems that most University of Kentucky basketball fans are — then you certainly will be supporting her Sunday when she competes in the Ironman 70.3 Raleigh (N.C.).

For those wondering, the 70.3 stands for a 1.2-mile swim in Jordan Lake, a 56-mile bike course that ends in downtown Raleigh and then a 13.1-mile run that even goes through North Carolina State University.

Gary Henderson resigns as UK baseball coach

LEXINGTON, Ky. – Gary Henderson has resigned as head coach of the University of Kentucky baseball team, Director of Athletics Mitch Barnhart announced Wednesday.

“I am deeply appreciative of the contributions Gary Henderson made during his time here,” Barnhart said. “He has poured his heart and soul into Kentucky baseball, giving us many of the best seasons and most thrilling moments in our history while competing in the most difficult league in America. He has conducted himself and the program with honor and integrity. Already solid in the classroom, he challenged the team to even greater success academically and the players responded with several consecutive semesters with a team grade-point average over 3.0. Again, I am thankful for everything he has done at UK and wish the best for Gary and his family.”

Badet has special connection with Drew Barker

Jeff Badet, right. (Vicky Graff Photo)

Jeff Badet, right. (Vicky Graff Photo)

By LARRY VAUGHT

From the first time Jeff Badet saw Drew Barker throw and play until now has produced a dramatic change in the sophomore quarterback.

“It’s crazy. He’s a leader, used to everything, and calm and collected. You can’t tell he knows what he’s doing back there,” Badet, a receiver.

Badet says he is “real cool” with Barker and has been during their years together at UK.

Tai Wynyard going for 2nd 3-on-3 gold medal

Tai Wynyard (UK Athletics Photo)

Tai Wynyard (UK Athletics Photo)

ASTANA, Kazakhstan – Kentucky men’s basketball freshman forward Tai Wynyard will represent New Zealand in the FIBA 3-on-3 U18 World Championships this week for a second consecutive year after leading his home country to the gold medal in 2015.

After dropping their opener last year, Wynyard led the Kiwis to eight straight wins, the championship and most valuable player honors.

This year’s 3-on-3 tournament will begin Wednesday in Astana, Kazakhstan. Wynyard’s team begins group play Thursday vs. the Philippines in pool play.

Carter all-in with Trent package, but he likes UK best

By LARRY VAUGHT

Wendell Carter Jr. likely is the No. 1 prospect in the 2017 recruiting class and had justified that with 30 points, 16 rebounds and five blocked shots in a recent matchup with DeAndre Ayton, the No. 2 player in the 2017 class.

Carter and Gary Trent Jr. have talked openly about a package deal in college and over the weekend Carter told SNY.tv that they definitely will go to college together.

That could be good — or bad — for Kentucky since Duke and UK seem to be the two major players for the package deal.

Guest post: Why do fans love Dominique Hawkins so much?

Dominique Hawkins (Vicky Graff Photo)

Dominique Hawkins (Vicky Graff Photo)

By JESSICA JONES (@thereal_jones)

Another highly touted recruiting class will make its way to Lexington this summer but this year John Calipari will have something he’s rarely had in his tenure at Kentucky: three seniors. Derek Willis, Mychal Mulder, and Dominique Hawkins will be honored at senior day this season. Perhaps one of the fan favorites is Dominique Hawkins.

Dom came in with a highly anticipated recruiting class that included the Harrison twins, James Young, Marcus Lee and Julius Randle. In his career he has been apart of two Final Fours; including the 38 game winning 2015 Cats. He’ll finish his career with another top-ranked recruiting class and hopefully hanging number 9 in Rupp.
Why do we love Dom?
If you remember Dominique secretly got a Kentucky offer and kept it under wraps up until his announcement in April 2013. I remember being very excited to have a local kid joining the Wildcats. Dom, from Richmond, KY, gets to live out the dream of every boy growing up in Kentucky: Becoming a Kentucky Wildcat. This alone would make him a fan favorite but Dom gives so much more.
Upon Dom’s commitment, Coach Calipari noted his toughness as key reason for recruiting him. Dominique wouldn’t get the starting minutes of guys like Andrew Harrison or James Young but from day one Wildcat fans knew he would see the floor for valuable minutes. Hawkins has always willingly accepted his role on the team. More than that, he truly understands what it means to wear Kentucky blue.
Dominique also has one of the most infectious smiles I have ever seen and many fans enjoy his humble smile. As a young man growing up in Kentucky, one couldn’t imagine more of a dream come true than Dom’s March/April 2013: Winning the Kentucky state championship, being named Kentucky Mr. Basketball, and receiving a college scholarship offer from John Calipari at the University of Kentucky. Dominique is kind, humble, and virtually every Kentucky fan is pulling for his success.
 Notable moments:
As a freshmen, Dom played a key defensive role in the epic Final Four run of 2013 against Louisville and Michigan. As a sophomore, Cal used Dom in the platoon system as a relief guy. During his sophomore season, Dom started to emerge as more than just a defensive guy, starting to find the basket as well. During his junior season, Dom fought injuries — breaking his hand and spraining an ankle. Despite an injury plagued season, I think it was his best season yet. Dominique really showed up against Louisville by draining three 3-pointers in the victory.
What does Dominique bring to the 2016-2017 Cats?
As noted before, Dominique will be a key defensive guy especially with the departure of Charles Matthews. I look for Dom to have a key role off the bench. He may be used more in certain match-up situations.
More than that, I expect Dom to have a huge leadership role off the court. Kentucky will bring in five freshmen and Dom will have to step into the leadership role. I imagine he will be a quiet leader much like Darius Miller.
Dom also got really confident with his shooting last year and I look for that to grow especially with all the driving guards Kentucky has coming in. I couldn’t be more proud of Dominique and I’m excited to see him play this season.

Snyder, McDaniel Pace Cats to 13th Place Finish at NCAAs

Senior David Snyder led UK with a 72 in his final round for the Wildcats. (UK Athletics/Ryan Frazer)

Senior David Snyder led UK with a 72 in his final round for the Wildcats. (UK Athletics/Ryan Frazer)

EUGENE, Ore. – The Kentucky men’s golf team’s bid to advance to match play at the NCAA Championship came up just short on Sunday in Eugene, Ore., but that does not diminish its rise to become one of the nation’s top teams in 2016 in which the Wildcats achieved this year.

From a non-tournament team a season ago, to one of the top-15 teams in the country in 2016 the Wildcats enjoyed one of the best seasons in the country under the tutelage of Brian Craig who led his team to the NCAA Championship for the sixth time in his tenure.