John ThompsonFriday, May 11, 2012 By Rupp speaks in DHS "arena"
Kentucky is built on three pastimes: horses, bourbon, and basketball. The fields of the Bluegrass Region produce finest thoroughbreds. Kentucky corn introduced the world to bourbon. Why basketball? Adolph Rupp is the reason for the unreasonable pride and love for Kentucky basketball. Intersession gave the students at Danville High School a chance to explore Kentucky’s addiction with the "Big Blue Nation: A History of UK Basketball" class. On Tuesday, students had a chance to meet the man in the brown suit in person. DHS was fortunate enough to have Dr. Edward B. Smith of Kentucky Chautauqua and his representation of Adolph Rupp as a guest. In his presentation the class discovered why the Bluegrass has such an intense fan base. Judging from Rupp’s personality, anything less than perfection is failure. His expectations transferred to the Commonwealth. There is an incredible amount of pressure to win with this program and it was instilled by Adolph Rupp’s 42 year tenure at Kentucky. For the rest of the week, the class explored significant games and teams during the program’s history: the Fabulous Five, Rupp’s runts, the Untouchables, and the Comeback Cats to name a few. The class studied "Glory Road" and the impact of the 1966 NCAA final had on the game as a whole. Thursday, Danville’s own Larry Vaught came in and answered questions about his 37 years covering UK. The last day students watched footage of Kentucky greats and were reminded, once again, why UK is the great Roman empire of college basketball. All the information seems fitting as Vaught wins his seventh Kentucky National Sportswriter of the Year award, Rick Pitino and Joe B. Hall are inducted into the Hall of Fame, and Kentucky goes back to the Final Four.