Denzil Ware’s favorite basketball team isn’t Kentucky


Kentucky linebacker Denzil Ware walks through the Cat Walk prior to the game against Ole Miss on Saturday, November 4, 2017 in Lexington, Ky. Kentucky lost the game 37-34. Photo by Carter Gossett | Staff

At UK, there is a sense of family that’s present in UK Athletics.

If you were to go to a volleyball game, baseball game, or any type of UK Athletics event, if you look around in the crowd, you’re likely to land you eyes upon one of UK’s athletes.

“We always like to support each other, hang out with each other,” junior basketball player Jonny David said in a preseason interview.

However, if the Cats were to come across Duke on the basketball court, one of UK’s defensive ends would have a hard time picking sides.

“I have been a Duke fan since eighth grade,” Denzil Ware said. “I just put the TV on and see them blowing somebody out and just like, ‘That’s my team right there, Duke,’ so I ride with them.”

Ware, who is from Opp, Alabama, might not be from North Carolina but is a big fan of Duke basketball. Anyone who follows Ware on Twitter knows of Ware’s passion toward Duke, as the defensive end has plenty of Duke basketball tweets all over his timeline.

Ware’s favorite player on Duke’s team is Grayson Allen, the senior leader on a relatively young but talented Blue Devil roster.

“Grayson Allen, you know that’s my dog,” Ware said. “I really don’t know him but that’s my favorite college player.”

Fortunately for Ware, the Blue Devils project to be one of the best teams in college basketball this season. Duke was ranked No. 1 in the AP’s preseason polls, and added many top freshmen in the offseason, such as Gary Trent Jr., Wendell Carter Jr. and Marvin Bagley III.

The Cats and the Blue Devils don’t have a planned game on the schedule this season, but they will walk past one another at the Champions Classic in Chicago, when UK will play Kansas and Duke will play Michigan State.

However, since both teams are ranked highly, it’s possible that the two teams could face each other in the NCAA Tournament, and if that game happens, Ware already knows who he will cheer for, but doesn’t want to share his answer.

“I’m just going to keep my mouth shut, I think everybody knows the answer to that question,” Ware said.

However, it’s possible that Ware’s football team could play Duke on the gridiron this postseason, as the Cats are already bowl-bound and it’s possible Duke could be the same.

None of the major sports sites project Duke and Kentucky to pair up against each other in a bowl game, but if it happens, it could spark some awkward questions in the locker room leading up to the bowl game.