Blood donors take to Rupp Arena court floor for annual competition against Florida


Donors recline while giving blood at Rupp Arena on Monday, Jan. 22, 2018. Photo by Taylon Baker

Taylon Baker

Every year, a friendly weeklong competition between the blood donors of Kentucky and Florida occurs in a blood drive known as Big Blue Slam.

This year’s event took place in Rupp Arena, The 90, UK Singletary Center and many more across campus and throughout the Lexington area, and will continue across the city for the rest of this week.

Donors at Rupp Arena got a firsthand experience of the Cats’ home court and had the chance to take some shots where so many basketball legends have delivered the thrill of victory to Big Blue Nation. Midday, donors were also treated to a live broadcast of Kentucky Sports Radio hosted by Matt Jones.

Students donating at Rupp said they gave because they felt they were helping save lives.

“I give blood every time that KBC is here because I hope that it will help someone in need and possibly save a life,” said Cassie Frame, a music education junior.

According to chemical engineering senior Aum Patel, a pint of blood can save three lives.

“Giving a half hour of my time is nothing compared to the years of life donated blood can save,” Patel said. “Hopefully the contribution of all blood donors will save lives and prevent unnecessary medical complications.”

History sophomore Peyton Barnhill wished that everyone would come out and donate.

“We never know whose life we’re changing,” Barnhill said. “We never know what one pint of blood can do for someone. I know so many that have had to have transfusions, and it’s these people here that made it possible for my friends and family to be here today. I have no idea what we’d do without programs like this.”

Kentucky currently leads the competition 5-4, winning last year. All donors received a commemorative Slam T-shirt, ideal for the rest of basketball season, and were able to say that they are supporting DanceBlue and KBC will make a donation in their name.

The Kentucky Blood Center is always needing donors, and according to their website, KBC relies solely on volunteer blood donors to supply nearly 70 hospitals throughout the Commonwealth. The current demand for blood is 400 units a day. 

Other places to donate on campus this week:

Tuesday, Jan. 23

  • Chem./Phys. Room 114 — 10 a.m. to 4 p.m.
  • Singletary Center — 10 a.m. to 6 p.m.

Wednesday, Jan. 24

  • The 90, Rooms 211, 215, 217 — 10 a.m. to 4 p.m.
  • Singletary Center — 10 a.m. to 6 p.m.

Thursday, Jan. 25

  • Singletary Center — 10 a.m. to 6 p.m.
  • Johnson Center — 1 p.m. to 7 p.m.

Friday, Jan. 26 

  • Funkhouser via Bloodmobile — 10 a.m. to 4 p.m.
  • South Campus Courtyard — 10 a.m. to 4 p.m.