Kentucky Senior Day Games

Kentucky Senior Day

Senior day at Kentucky is a special occassion which is held prior to the final home game of each season. A listing of the games along with the seniors on each team are lised at this link. Some of the activities in recent years include each player entering Rupp Arena by running through a large hoop covered with paper with their likeness. They are joined by their families at center court where they receive framed jerseys and the entire arena joins together by singing Stephen Foster's My Old Kentucky Home. NBC's Dick Enberg, who has witnessed his share of sporting spectacles, has been quoted as describing Kentucky's Senior Day as "truly one of the most touching moments in all of sports."

A.B. "Happy" Chandler sings My Old Kentucky Home in Rupp Arena

JPS Note: I'm not sure when Kentucky started recognizing their seniors, [although the practice of running through the hoop likely first started in 1977, as there is photographic evidece (below) of this happening in 1977 while in 1976 there was a not only a senior day recognition for Reggie Warford, but a special event involving former coach Adolph Rupp and his former players celebrating the departure from Memorial Coliseum. The previous year there was a celebration of six seniors. Neither of these celebrations made mention of running through a hoop.] Mike Pratt, who played at Kentucky between 1968 and 1970 mentioned on a radio program that they were honored at senior day by turning down the lights and having a spotlight shown on them as they ran onto the court.

If anyone knows any details, either about the hoop or how and when senior day was first celebrated (either at UK or nationally), I'd appreciate learning more. Also, if anyone has additional photos of past senior days, let me know.

Although not a senior day ceremony, this photo is typical of the spotlight used for Kentucky teams and players in the 1960's in Memorial Coliseum

Below are some photographs from various parts of the Senior Day Activities:

| Running through the Senior Day Hoop | Receiving Framed Jersey | Singing My Old Kentucky Home | Seniors Play |

Dicky Beal with father - 1984

Kenny Walker, Roger Harden and Leroy Byrd -1986

Paul Andrews - 1987

Josh Carrier - 2005

Twany Beckham with family - 2013

Running Through the Senior Day Hoop

Larry Johnson - 1977

Rick Robey - 1978

Truman Claytor - 1979

Chuck Verderber - 1982

Sam Bowie - 1984

Melvin Turpin - 1984

Troy McKinley - 1985

Bret Bearup - 1985

Leroy Byrd - 1986

Kenny Walker - 1986

Roger Harden - 1986

Paul Andrews - 1987

Richard Madison - 1988

Ed Davender - 1988

Mike Scott - 1989

Jeff Ginnan - 1989

Derrick Miller - 1990

Reggie Hanson - 1991

Johnathon Davis - 1991

John Pelphrey - 1992

Sean Woods - 1992

Todd Svoboda - 1993

Jamal Mashburn - 1993* (not senior but leaving early for NBA)

Tony Delk - 1996

Walter McCarty - 1996

Mark Pope - 1996

Derek Anderson - 1997

Cameron Mills - 1998

Saul Smith - 2001

Jules Camara - 2003

Gerald Fitch - 2004

Josh Carrier - 2005

Chuck Hayes - 2005

Brandon Stockton - 2006

Lukasz Obrzut -2007

Bobby Perry -2007

Sheray Thomas -2007

Joe Crawford - 2008

Ramel Bradley - 2008

Jared Carter - 2009

Ramon Harris - 2010

Perry Stevenson - 2010

Patrick Patterson - 2010* (not senior but graduating that year)

Josh Harrellson - 2011

Darius Miller - 2012

Jarrod Polson - 2014

Jon Hood - 2014

Brian Long - 2015

Sam Malone - 2015

Tod Lanter - 2015

Alex Poythress - 2016

Dominique Hawkins - 2017

Mychal Mulder - 2017

Framed Jersey

Chris Harrison is supported by his teammate, Anthony Epps - 1995

Anthony Epps holds his daugther, Makayla, who later went on to become a star for the UK Women's team - 1997

An especially poignant moment was when John Stewart's parents received an honorable jersey for their son, who never was able to wear it for the Blue and White - 2003

Rajon Rondo presents jersey to his former teammate Joe Crawford - 2008

Mark Krebs - 2010

Eloy Vargas - 2012

Julius Mays - 2013

Derek Willis - 2017 used the occassion to propose to his long-time girlfriend Keely Potts

My Old Kentucky Home

Albert "Happy" Chandler sings My Old Kentucky Home - 1988

Derrick Miller - 1990

Reggie Hanson - 1991

John Pelphrey - 1992

Senior Day Activities - 1996

Josh Carrier and Chuck Hayes - 2005

Chuck Hayes - 2005

Darius Miller - 2012

Dominique Hawkins - 2017

Senior Day Activities - 2013

Singing My Old Kentucky Home - 2015

Playing Seniors

Although it doesn't always occur, it's a special occassion when the coach tries to give all the seniors, including walk-ons a chance to play in their final home game.

Adolph Rupp gives instructions to walk-on Greg Smith while Larry Miller and Kirk Chiles prepare to enter game.

Sam Malone, Brian Long and Tod Lanter started the game vs. Florida but later go to the scorer's table for one more appearance.

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