Big Blue Madness introduces freshman to UK basketball


Daniel Lowe takes a photo with UK basketball player Kevin Knox during the Big Blue Madness campout outside Memorial Coliseum on Thursday, September 28, 2017 in Lexington, Kentucky. Big Blue Madness which will be held on Friday October 13, 2017 at Rupp Arena as the beginning to the 2017-2018 basketball season. Photo by Arden Barnes | Staff

Today is Big Blue Madness, and for the first time this season, Big Blue Nation will get to meet this year’s team that will be chasing UK basketball’s ninth national championship.

The event is fun for fans, but it’s also a great experience for the freshmen, who have yet to introduce themselves to the fans. Since the freshmen have never experienced a Big Blue Madness as a player, they’ve had to ask the experienced players what to expect.

“They told me it’s an epic thing, and I’m ready for it,” Green said. “Last year I was waiting to be in this type of a situation.” 

Words likely won’t do the justice of explaining what Big Blue Madness is like to the freshmen. The pyrotechnics, excitement and unannounced guests make each year’s Big Blue Madness more and more unique. 

I know every school kind of does something like this, but it’s just Kentucky.” Kevin Knox said. “Just the fans, the fan base is ridiculous. We have one of the bigger madnesses, so it’s definitely really great to have a madness like this because the fans is electric.”

As for the advice Knox received on how to soak in the experience, it was simple: Have fun and enjoy it, since it’s possible that Knox, and several other players might not go through a Big Blue Madness again. 

That same advice also applies to Jemarl Baker, a California native who has never been to a Big Blue Madness. Some of UK’s freshmen like Knox, were in Rupp Arena during last year’s glorified practice, but Baker’s only experience with Big Blue Madness is what he’s seen on television since he wasn’t even recruited to UK until last spring. 

Baker has witness Big Blue Madness on TV and social media in the past, but he’s excited to see it live as a player on UK’s basketball team.

“I’ve seen it on TV, I’ve never actually been to one, it’ll be very fun,” Baker said.

However, Big Blue Madness isn’t only for the freshmen. They introduce all the players on this year’s team, including the ones who participated in Big Blue Madness last year.

Wenyen Gabriel enjoyed his experience at Big Blue Madness last year, but this year, he said he’s just sitting back and letting the younger players enjoy the experience.

“I head in this year more as a fan kind of,” Gabriel said. “We going in to have fun, but you know it’s really about the freshmen here, it’s their first impression to the fans out here, I just want them to be themselves and encourage them to have fun.”

No matter what age each of the players all, Big Blue Madness is fun for everyone, and this year’s show will likely be another good one of the players, and the fans.