Not all students have love for UK basketball

By Elizabeth Suh

Big Blue Nation is anticipating the game against Indiana as a step closer to an eighth championship title. But what about the students who won’t be bleeding blue — or even watching?

Kevin Fletcher, a freshman from Cincinnati, doesn’t care for basketball.

“I think it’s a little ridiculous how much tickets are and how hyped up people get for it,” Fletcher said.

When he came to UK, Fletcher said he was annoyed when he saw the tents of people waiting for practice game tickets.

“I would never do that,” he said.

For those who aren’t passionate UK fans, basketball games mean deserted businesses and heavy traffic.

“I try to take advantage by seeing a movie or go to the mall if I need something. It’s more empty,” Fletcher said. He said if he hears about a game, he will wait for fans to leave before he heads out.

“It’s ironic because I’m wearing a Kentucky basketball shirt right now,” Fletcher said, looking down. “I pretty much didn’t realize it until now. Why I’m wearing it is a mix of being a UK student and because it was the only clean shirt.”

Steven Walker, a materials engineering freshman, also avoids UK basketball events.

However, he does watch basketball — as a University of Louisville fan.

Walker said he stays away from celebrations.

“But everywhere around here’s desolate when there’s a game — it’s pretty great,” Walker said. “I also take advantage of no traffic when I drive back home.”

He said one time he made the mistake of driving in post-game traffic.

“The hype gets to ridiculous levels, but it’s in good fun,” Walker said. “Except last year’s burning the couches was a bit excessive. I wouldn’t burn couches for UofL.”

But though some students on campus aren’t huge UK fans, some are on their way there.

Gaines Brown, a business and finance freshman, believes those who aren’t into basketball just haven’t experienced it.

“Basketball is pretty much everywhere in Lexington,” Brown said. “The city probably would shut down if we won the championship. People would probably call out of work and probably lose money.”

Broderick Grimes, a materials engineering freshman from Atlanta, said he has become a big fan now that he attends UK.

Grimes said he saw how much pride people in Lexington have toward the sport.

“People here just try to be expressive,” Grimes said. He said since the state doesn’t have a professional team, there is an emphasis on celebrating.

“The atmosphere makes it fun and more interesting because people are so passionate.”

Grimes is usually at the games, so the empty restaurants and mall doesn’t affect him.

“Atlanta wasn’t like that because they have a pro team, so there’s not as much hype on college teams,” he said.

Grimes believes UK students should be UK fans — and especially not U of L fans.

“I believe the people who wear U of L shirts around campus are jealous their team’s not as good as UK,” he said. “They should be wearing blue, not red. Water always

puts out fire.”

Grimes admitted he once lost a bet and had to wear a U of L shirt on campus for a day and have his photo taken.

When asked if he would be caught dead in that U of L shirt again, Grimes replied, “probably cutting grass or something. Or cleaning gutters.”

Meagen Corley, a journalism freshman, wasn’t raised around basketball, but is on her way to becoming a huge UK fan.

“I was deprived,” she said, “but I’m learning more about basketball and becoming more and more of a fan each day because I’m around it every day, and all my friends

are huge fans.”

She said that even on spring break, people often did the C-A-T-S cheer.

“You can’t get away from it,” Corley said. “There’s nothing like a Wildcat fan.”