Oscar Combs: Legend


With it being a slow news period regarding UK athletics, I thought I would honor a man who has meant as much to UK fans over the years as most players, or coaches ever have: That man is Oscar Combs.

Growing up in Eastern Kentucky I was taught three things: Work hard, never think you are bigger than you are and to listen to whatever Oscar Combs says regarding UK basketball. Oscar is a legend in eastern Kentucky, not necessarily because he has become one of the legendary reporters on all things UK, but because of his humble demeanor and never losing sight of where he came from. Oscar is from Hazard, deep in the heart of Eastern Kentucky and for many in that area he is their connection to what is going on in Lexington.

As Kentucky fans we seem to appreciate when someone who enters into the spotlight stays true to their roots, and Oscar Combs is the epitome of staying true to your roots. Oscar has been covering UK basketball since before I was born, and is still doing so today. He does so with such vigor, passion and knowledge that anyone trying to match his legend in the future will most certainly fail. He has covered every coach since Rupp, started The Cats Pause and has been doing pre game shows for decades.

Oscar is best known at least to me as someone who gives you what the story is, not what he wishes it was or a version that would make it a better story. When UK has it going well he relishes in it, and when things are going bad he doesn’t hold any punches in letting us know exactly where the blame should go. Oscar’s humility when he is wrong is something I have tried to copy since I started covering recruiting and now covering UK here at WBN. He has no shame in admitting his source was wrong on a subject or that he just simply got it wrong, those traits are something that seems to be missing from many journalists today.

Even after 50+ years of covering UK basketball Oscar is still going strong, and his passion is as strong as ever as could be seen during the Enes Kanter situation, and now because of the NCAA not allowing Joe B. Hall to coach the UK Legends team. Oscar took to twitter to let the NCAA and the world know exactly where he stood, and that’s why as UK fans we love Oscar. He is not afraid to let you know his opinion and exactly where he stands.

Although I have never met Oscar, every article or person I have heard speak of meeting him have always marveled at his humbleness, his passion for UK and his wit. On my bucket list of things to do in my life is meeting Oscar, and I am sure a lot of UK fans have it on theirs as well. As writers we all owe Oscar a huge thank you for revolutionizing the way we follow our favorite sports teams, and as UK fans we owe him an even bigger thank you for giving us a glimpse of what is really going on inside the program.

If you aren’t following Oscar on twitter (@wildcatnews), I strongly suggest you do because with the Joe B. Hall coaching situation gaining steam for the Legends game, he is sure to put out many more gems throughout the next few weeks. Simply put, Oscar is awesome.

You can follow me on twitter: @tyleradkins_.

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