Branum’s passion for life, UK touched Big Blue Nation Cares couple

Cindy and Chris Cruz with Rodney Branum, front, in Nashville. (Larry Vaught/Verizon Photo)

Cindy and Chris Cruz with Rodney Branum, front, in Nashville. (Larry Vaught/Verizon Photo)


Big Blue Nation Cares is a small group of people that helps UK fans with special circumstances attend Kentucky basketball and football games.

During the SEC Tournament, Big Blue Nation Cares arranged for Rodney Branum of Lexington and his family to attend the championship game. Branum came straight from receiving treatment in Houston for his cancer to watch the title game.

On Sunday, he passed away.

I reached out to Chris and Cindy Cruz, two Big Blue Nation Cares members who were in Nashville with Branum, for their thoughts on his passing:

Lafayette Band Pride of the Bluegrass 5K Run/Walk set for April 30

Buerger 90

Mark Buerger might be a perfect fit in a tutu at the Lafayette Band 5K Run/Walk April 30. (Gary Moyers Photo)


One advantage of being your own boss is that I can use this blog in a lot of different ways now.

That’s why today I want to let you know about the upcoming Lafayette Band Pride of the Bluegrass 5K Run/Walk April 30 at 8:30 a.m. at Lafayette High School track and surrounding streets.

Carole Jurgensen Howell not only listens to WLAP Sunday Morning Sport, but she’s a Danville native and I know her father, Bill Jurgensen, well and he’s an avid runner.

Paducah couple loses almost everything in fire except Calipari signed basketball, family Bible


WPSD-TV, the NBC affiliate in Paducah, reported a story Wednesday full of heartbreak for two Kentucky fans — Rick and Shirley Amyx.

The couple’s house caught fire Tuesday  and they lost almost everything in the blaze except a basketball autographed by Kentucky coach John Calipari that their son got them when he stayed after a UK game and waited for Calipari to sign the ball.

The family Bible was also left in good shape.

The family had a terrific attitude about the fire that occurred during the day.

Radio co-workers, audience always knows Kristin Klingshirn is a Kentucky fan for life

Kristin Klingshirn, left, with her friends when Kentucky won at Georgia in 2009 for the first time since 1977.

Kristin Klingshirn, left, with her friends when Kentucky won at Georgia in 2009 for the first time since 1977.


No matter where you look on Twitter, you seem to be able to find unusual stories about Kentucky basketball fans. Kristin Klingshirn is one of those stories that came my way thanks to UK student Kelsey Mattingly, now a Kentucky Sports Radio contributor who wrote several blog posts for me during her high school career at Rockcastle County.

Klingshirn is part of The Bert Show in Atlanta that is heard on multiple radio stations across the country daily.

Abbey Cheek’s sixth-inning homer gives UK 2-1 win over Eastern Kentucky

LEXINGTON, Ky. – Freshman Abbey Cheek’s two-run home run in the bottom of the sixth powered the No. 12 Kentucky softball team past Eastern Kentucky, 2-1 at John Cropp Stadium on Wednesday night.

Cheek stepped to the plate with one out and a runner on first, trailing the Colonels by a run in the bottom of the sixth inning and deposited her sixth bomb of the season over the wall in right center to score two and put the Wildcats ahead for the rest of the game.

No. 6 Louisville beats Kentucky 9-6

LEXINGTON, Ky. — The sixth-ranked Louisville Cardinals plated seven runs in the first five innings to build an early lead and post a 9-6 win over No. 9 Kentucky, on a gorgeous Wednesday night, in front of a season-high 3,511 at Cliff Hagan Stadium.

Kentucky (22-10) suffered the loss to the Cardinals, as UofL built an early lead with a run in the first and after UK committed a pair of errors on tailor-made double-play balls, scored three unearned runs in the third inning for an insurmountable lead. UofL added three in the fifth inning, with UK rallying with a pair of runs in the bottom half of the frame and added a run in the sixth.

UK Athletics will have surplus sale Saturday

LEXINGTON, Ky. – UK Athletics will hold a public surplus sale at 9:30 a.m. on Saturday, April 16 at Nutter Field House. Team apparel and gear will be available for purchase at discounted prices prior to and during Kentucky football’s annual Blue-White Spring Game at noon at adjacent Commonwealth Stadium. The sale will conclude at 2:30 p.m. or when all items have been purchased.

A mix of used and unused gear and apparel from numerous sports will be available, including football, men’s basketball, women’s basketball and softball. Some footballs and helmets will be available, as well game-worn football jerseys and men’s basketball warmups and men’s basketball practice jerseys. The sale will also include items such as polo shirts, sweatshirts, warmups, hoodies, pants and more. Cash and major credit cards will be accepted.

RetroWeekend has a lot to offer April 29-30 in Pigeon Forge

larry runningBy LARRY VAUGHT

It’s just over two weeks from now that I will be back in Pigeon Forge, Tenn., — one of my favorite spots to visit — for the RetroWeekend April 29-30.

I’m not quite sure how to precisely describe this event or explain why it is so intriguing to me. Maybe it is just that so much is geared to the over 40 crowd — and I am well over 40.

I am looking forward to two seminars with running guru Jeff Galloway, a regular contributor to Runner’s World. His unique training program has been reported to reduce injury risk, aches and pain and make it possible to enjoy running even more, something that certainly appeals to me.

Four UK signees in Jordan Brand Classic Friday

2016-3-30 Shoot Around

2016-3-30 Shoot Around


The postseason high school all-star basketball season ends Friday with the Jordan Brand Classic in Brooklyn, N.Y. The game will air on ESPN2 at 8 p.m. and will feature Kentucky signees Bam Adebayo, De’Aaron Fox, Wenyen Gabriel and Malik Monk.

Adebayo, who was recently named the North Carolina Gatorade Player of the Year, was the only player in the McDonalds All American Game to have a double-double with 16 points and 12 rebounds. He’s being counted on by UK fans to provide the consistent inside play next year that Kentucky  lacked this season. He was selected for the Nike Hoop Summit game but elected not to play.

No. 9 Kentucky hosts No. 6 Louisville tonight

Riley Mahan. The University of Kentucky baseball team falls to Alabama 2-1 at Ciff Hagan Stadium in Lexington, Ky., on Sunday, April 10, 2016. Photo by Chet White

Riley Mahan. (UK Photo by Chet White)

LEXINGTON, Ky. –The ninth ranked Kentucky baseball team will break from Southeastern Conference play to host No. 6 Louisville in a midweek tilt, with first pitch on Wednesday slated for 6:30 p.m. ET at Cliff Hagan Stadium.

The game will be broadcast live on SEC Network +, with Dick Gabriel and Keith Madison voicing the action. The game will also be live on the UK Sports Radio Network, available in Central Kentucky on WLAP 630-AM, in Louisville on WKJK 1080-AM and online at

Cats, Cards Renew ‘Baseball State’ Rivalry on Wednesday