Kentucky Wildcats Basketball: La Familia

Feb 23, 2013; Lexington, KY, USA; Kentucky Wildcats forward Alex Poythress (22), forward Willie Cauley-Stein (15), guard Julius Mays (34), guard Archie Goodwin (10) and guard Ryan Harrow (12) during the game against the Missouri Tigers in the second half at Rupp Arena. Kentucky defeated Missouri 90-83. Mandatory Credit: Mark Zerof-USA TODAY Sports

It’s one thing to attend a school; it’s another to be a part of a family. Little did I know that when I got my acceptance letter to UK I wasn’t just being accepted into a school, but also one of the biggest families of fans around.

We all saw the BBN rally around Nerlens Noel when he was injured during the Florida game. In fact, just to put it in perspective his tweet about his injury got 11,255 retweets. At College Game Day this past weekend, which I got the privilege to cover, there were many signs showing support for Noel.

<script><blockquote class=”twitter-tweet”><p>Minor setback for a MAJOR comeback!I love you all and can’t thank y’all enough for the prayers.</p>&mdash; Nerlens Noel (@NerlensNoel3) <a href=”https://twitter.com/NerlensNoel3/status/301767077797167104″>February 13, 2013</a></blockquote>
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This was an extremely busy weekend on campus for UK students. Aside from the College Game Day show and the actual game another huge annual activity was taking place in the former home of the Cats, Memorial Coliseum. Dance Blue was going on from Friday night until Saturday night. For those who don’t know what Dance Blue is, it’s a 24-hour Dance Marathon to raise money for the Pediatric Oncology Clinic at UK’s hospital.  The participants don’t sleep or sit for an entire 24 hours to help raise money and supporters cheer them on and volunteer all day and night.

<blockquote class=”twitter-tweet”><p>Just visited @<a href=”https://twitter.com/ukdanceblue”>ukdanceblue</a> &amp; it warms my heart to see kids trying to raise nearly a $1M dollars for children. Thx 4 your help too <a href=”https://twitter.com/search/%23DB13″>#DB13</a> <a href=”https://twitter.com/search/%23FTK”>#FTK</a></p>&mdash; John Calipari (@UKCoachCalipari) <a href=”https://twitter.com/UKCoachCalipari/status/305138635760619520″>February 23, 2013</a></blockquote>
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This year, Dance Blue surpassed the million-dollar mark raising $1,113,189.42 for cancer research. Since it’s start in 2007 Dance Blue has raised over $5 million. Some College Game Day faces came out to show their support for the dancers including Jay Bilas who’s main comment was that he wished they had been playing Jeezy, and Dick Vitale who spoke briefly to the crowd and took pictures with many of the dancers before heading to Rupp that night. Coach Cal also made his annual appearance at the event as well.

<blockquote class=”twitter-tweet”><p>Few things that mean more than coming together for a worthy cause. Keep up the great work @<a href=”https://twitter.com/ukdanceblue”>ukdanceblue</a> <a href=”http://t.co/vmtkNOjhPe” title=”http://twitter.com/UKCoachCalipari/status/305140161895882752/photo/1″>twitter.com/UKCoachCalipar…</a></p>&mdash; John Calipari (@UKCoachCalipari) <a href=”https://twitter.com/UKCoachCalipari/status/305140161895882752″>February 23, 2013</a></blockquote>
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<blockquote class=”twitter-tweet”><p>UK BLUE DANCE MARATHON- raising big dollars to fight Cancer- had a blast surprising students <a href=”http://t.co/D0eqgeYo1D” title=”http://twitter.com/DickieV/status/305447083522027520/photo/1″>twitter.com/DickieV/status…</a></p>&mdash; Dick Vitale (@DickieV) <a href=”https://twitter.com/DickieV/status/305447083522027520″>February 23, 2013</a></blockquote>
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<blockquote class=”twitter-tweet”><p>UK BLUE DANCE MARATHON- raising big dollars to fight Cancer- had a blast surprising students <a href=”http://t.co/D0eqgeYo1D” title=”http://twitter.com/DickieV/status/305447083522027520/photo/1″>twitter.com/DickieV/status…</a></p>&mdash; Dick Vitale (@DickieV) <a href=”https://twitter.com/DickieV/status/305447083522027520″>February 23, 2013</a></blockquote>
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UK athletes such as La’Rod King, former UK football player also participated in the event and several other athletes tweeted that they were in attendence to show support.

<blockquote class=”twitter-tweet”><p>UK BLUE DANCE MARATHON- raising big dollars to fight Cancer- had a blast surprising students <a href=”http://t.co/D0eqgeYo1D” title=”http://twitter.com/DickieV/status/305447083522027520/photo/1″>twitter.com/DickieV/status…</a></p>&mdash; Dick Vitale (@DickieV) <a href=”https://twitter.com/DickieV/status/305447083522027520″>February 23, 2013</a></blockquote>
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Rewind to Saturday Morning- as Dance Blue is taking place; I was covering ESPN’S College Game Day at Rupp. The lower arena was PACKED and we set the attendance record for CGD this year from what I understand with over 15,000 tickets being distributed. I thought it was rowdy that morning but that was nothing compared to how loud and electric it was that night. Clearly, it paid off and that was a huge win for the Cats. Maybe they finally got the whole “La Familia” mantra? Only time will tell.

Between the huge success that was Dance Blue and the awesome time I had supporting there and covering College Game Day and watching the Cats take down the Tigers I couldn’t be more proud to be a Wildcat than I am this weekend. People say that the BBN is special, but until you witness people coming together like that it really doesn’t click. The Big Blue Nation is very, very special and the University of Kentucky is a very special place. If you haven’t had a chance to A.) Attend Dance Blue, B.) Attend College Game Day and C.) Attend a game in Rupp I recommend you get on all three of those immediately, they’re life changing. I am honored to be a UK student, a Kentucky Wildcat and a proud member of the Big Blue Nation all because of weekends like this one. Keep it up, Cats.

Topics: Basketball Articles, Kentucky Wildcats

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