Former Kentucky Wildcat and current Brooklyn Nets shooting guard Keith Bogans recently spoke to Wildcat Blue Nation.
Daniel Solzman: Keith, thanks for joining Wildcat Blue Nation today. How are things treating you out in Brooklyn?
Keith Bogans: Great, man. Fans are great. New team. It’s just a lot of fun right now. The hype. It’s just fun being here right now.
Daniel Solzman: You grew up in the DC area. Was Sandy your first experience with a hurricane? I know that the practice facility was damaged. What have the Nets been doing as far as relief and recovery?
Keith Bogans: No, definitely not my first hurricane experience. I experienced a hurricane in Orlando in 2004 or 2005, I think. One of the worst ones I saw. Sandy was pretty bad but it’s probably the worst I’ve experienced up north so far.
Daniel Solzman: You played for Coach Morgan Wootten at DeMatha Catholic High School before coming to Kentucky. Are there any life lessons that he taught that stick with you today?
Keith Bogans: Coach taught me one of the things on the court first. He’s more like a father figure teaching me the right way. His main thing was get the hot dog out of the game. That’s one of his favorite sayings though. That’s one thing that always stuck with me.
Daniel Solzman: What about Coach Tubby Smith?
Keith Bogans: Tubby’s a guy that who put defense on the table for me and told me after my senior year, right after we finished playing, that I would have to find something else to do besides score the ball because everybody in the NBA scores the ball. That’s what made me focus on defense.
Daniel Solzman: If you were 100% healthy and didn’t hurt your ankle in 2003, do you think Kentucky would have advanced to the Final Four and beat Marquette in the Elite 8?
Keith Bogans: Hell, yeah! That’s all I got. Hell, yeah!
Daniel Solzman: What thoughts do you have on what Coach Calipari has been able to do with Kentucky since he was hired in 2009?
Keith Bogans: He’s doing a great job with the program. That’s a program with high expectations and he’s definitely living up to it. He has a recruiting class coming in, young guys wanting to be there and play there. It’s like everybody’s dream to want to play at the University of Kentucky now so I think he’s doing a great job.
Daniel Solzman: What is your favorite UK memory?
Keith Bogans: Favorite UK memory? It would be my senior year when we made that run of almost 26-27 games in a row before we lost to Marquette. That’s one of my highlighted years in college right there.
Daniel Solzman: Having been in the league for a better part of a decade now, have you started to think about what you will do after your playing career is over?
Keith Bogans: No, right now my main focus is trying to get back to 100 percent after my injury last year. That’s what I’ve really been focused on. I know I still have a lot of basketball left in me so that’s not one of my first thoughts with me right now.
Daniel Solzman: What do you think of the one and done situation? You were at UK for 4 years. At any point at Kentucky, did you ever consider leaving early to go to the NBA?
Keith Bogans: I think it’s good for some guys who are talented enough. It’s not for everybody. I think four years really got me. The main thing is four years will prepare you not only for basketball but for life outside of college.
Daniel Solzman: Thanks again for joining us. Any final words for Big Blue Nation?
Keith Bogans: Go Big Blue!