Archive for the University of Kentucky Category

In honor of Mr. Wildcat

Posted in Kernel, University of Kentucky on April 2, 2008 by lenscapremoved

This vigil formed only 2 1/2 hours after Bill Keightley died. The man was a link between the generations, and my favorite person on any UK team.

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Story by Eric Lindsey | Kernel staff

They were “his boys.”

The ones who were there with Bill Keightley before every game, before every practice, before a lot of the players, coaches and trainers got there. The ones who helped Keightley push the towel cart and who got the jerseys and equipment ready for the players and coaches when they needed a hand.

Generations of managers like Zach Murphy, Dustin Marr and Will Campbell have shuffled through the halls of Rupp Arena with the upbeat Keightley by their side.

And when the basketball team opens its season next year for Big Blue Madness, another group of managers will once again do their job as Keightley did with such effortless enthusiasm over the last five decades.

But Keightley’s seat will be noticeably empty. The always infectious grin that smiled upon UK basketball for years will be gone. And the managers will carry on, remembering and honoring the man that taught them how to act like men.

“He taught us things that we will take with us for the rest of our lives,” said Murphy, a senior. “It helped us as a group to mature and brought us close together. He was really like a father figure to us.”

Keightley, affectionately known as “Mr. Wildcat,” died on Monday in Cincinnati while making his annual trip to the Cincinnati Reds’ season opener. He fell while getting off a bus at Great American Ball Park and was taken to the University of Cincinnati Hospital.

Internal bleeding from a previously undiagnosed tumor on his spine caused his death, according to doctors at the hospitals.

Gillispie, the players and the managers sat together in front of reporters yesterday at a news conference to talk about a man who “made a difference in so many peoples’ lives on a daily basis,” Gillispie said.

“It didn’t matter how old you were, it didn’t matter how young you were, it didn’t matter what, he was something else,” a soft-spoken Gillispie said. “We all have been lucky enough to have a great example of someone that showed us what having the spirit of life means, and that person celebrated life on a daily basis. You never want those lives to end.”

As Gillispie and senior guards Ramel Bradley and Joe Crawford spoke during the 20-minute news conference, Murphy sat to the side with the other managers as he tried to fight back tears.

All three managers – who, like the UK players, were called Keightley’s boys – said they could always go to Keightley with any problems they had and he would be there to offer support.

“It didn’t matter what time of day you walked into his office, his face just lit up when he was with you, and it lifted your spirits,” said Marr, a senior. “You forgot about all of your worries when you went to Mr. Keightley’s office. It was kind of our escape from the outside world.”

Gillispie said Keightley offered that same uplifting spirit and support to the players and coaches throughout this season as he often did in his 48 years as equipment manager. At first, Gillispie could not figure out why everybody, young and old, was so quick to gravitate to Keightley when he entered the room.

It didn’t take him long to understand.

“I wanted to spend all my time with Mr. Keightley, and everybody does,” Gillispie said.

In their four years at UK, Bradley and Crawford have been around Keightley more than any of the current coaches or other players. During their four up-and-down seasons at UK, the two said there would be times when they did not want to practice because they were having a tough day.

But Keightley would quickly put a smile on his face, said Bradley, who referred to Keightley as “Big Smooth.”

“If I was upset or feeling some kind of way, when you walked in he was going to grab you and hold you real tight and tell you, ‘You’re my boy Little Smooth,’ ” Bradley said. “He made me feel like I was his favorite, and this thing about it is, he made everyone feel like that.”

Many of the people who were close to Keightley said his love and affection for his Cats came second-to-none. At one point this season, Keightley broke down in tears after a short-handed UK team suffered a three-point loss to the then No. 1 team in the nation, Tennessee.

“He was crying like a baby because he was so proud of his Wildcats,” Gillispie said.

Gillispie said he’s not sure what next year’s opening night will be like without Keightley, but said everybody needs to find a way to make it a celebration. Some have already proposed that UK should keep Keightley’s seat at the end of the bench empty.

The school retired a jersey in Keightley’s honor in 1997, making him one of only two non-players and non-coaches to receive the honor (legendary radio broadcaster Cawood Ledford was the other).

“But that’s not nearly enough,” Gillispie said. “I think over time the right people will remove some of the emotion and make a great decision about what needs to be done to continue his honor.”

Until then, the players, the coaches and the managers – “the boys” Keightley worked with everyday – will try to carry on without a man who became synonymous with UK basketball during his 48 years with the program.

E-mail elindsey@kykernel.com.

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Kickin’ it with Smooth

Posted in basketball, Kernel, Photo lesson, photography, photojournalism, University of Kentucky on April 2, 2008 by lenscapremoved

It was one of those assignments that you see and instantly call dibs.

Beat writer Travis Waldron told me he would be hanging out with UK basketball star Ramel Bradley while he polished off his single before releasing it and I knew this was an assignment I wanted. I spent all of my days in high school recording music and I still love music studios. The whole process is very similar to writing a story in that you take time fixing all the little details until it’s as far as you can take it.

I ‘m also a Ramel fan. He plays with a lot of heart and I admire that about him. Also, if you have ever seen his news conferences then you know how well he handles himself. So the chance to combine music, Ramel and photography was an obvious choice.

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The challenging part of assignments like this one is to find a shot that is different from what everyone else is going to have. Everyone you see in the photo above besides Ramel is with the media. I shot this frame only to show the setting. Former Kernel photo adviser Dave LaBelle always told me not to just get caught up in the subject, but to take a step back and look at the media madness your subject draws. I think that’s good advice.

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The only problem with some of the photos you pull from one of these shoots is that they’re basically completely staged for the media. I doubt Ramel would have been in this situation if it weren’t for the half a dozen media outlets who were covering this one song recording. But that’s part of what our audience wants to see with this story, Ramel off the court. I just try to keep in mind what my goals are. To show the audience a true representation of a scenario they can’t get to themselves.

Please check out the mixed media piece to get the full experience.

While the opinions on this blog are the best, they do not represent that of the Kentucky Kernel. All photos are property of the Kentucky Kernel. If you’re interested in purchasing photos comment and let me know.

Tyler takes it

Posted in Kernel, lexington, photography, photojournalism, University of Kentucky on March 28, 2008 by lenscapremoved

In Keith’s case, he got a portfolio, award-winning photograph out of an SG election.

My first trip my freshman year failed me, as I think it was the first time I had ever used a flash. I got a crash course from Keith during the three minute walk to the presidential announcement. This year, when I’m comfortable with my gear and completely prepared, there wasn’t much of a celebration. Tyler was the only candidate running, so the photo below was about as much celebration as I could ask for.

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The photo below has more emotion. This girl has tears in her eyes, but I’m not sure if she lost a senate position, won it or is just happy. I have her information and could look it up but I really don’t think this picture is worth the caption info.

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Hire me, I’ll work hard

Posted in Kernel, University of Kentucky on March 7, 2008 by lenscapremoved

I just had an early wake up call.

The semester is over halfway over and that means my college career is almost over. Holy crap, mom did you hear me? I’m almost educated! That’s hard for me to take in. I’m sure my friends who are seniors are thinking I should shut up. So I will.

This semester has been my best at UK. I am proud to say that I have the best grades I have ever had (3 A’s, 1 B and 1 C), but that’s not where I am learning. I have learned through trial and error in building a Web site. David Stephenson and Jim Winn  have been a part of that in what is almost a communal effort to figure out the best way for production with our sites.

I have been working hard to promote this site. If anyone has any tips on how I should go about that, I am open. We’re going to launch a facebook campaign which I am pretty sure will not only familiarize our readers with our site, but get them there and keep them there.

It’s a fun place to be. You have videos to watch, embed and comment on. All of our visual stories make it there. I just want to know how to get people checking it as a part of routine. I know it will just take time.

Until that time, I will keep spending hours trying to get people there through word of mouth on facebook, because as Sean Blanda says, facebook is the new beer for our generation.

So click here to join us.

Gym Cats from forever ago

Posted in sports, University of Kentucky on February 24, 2008 by lenscapremoved

Whoops. Britney and I were talking about this event and I asked her if she saw my take. Turns out no one else did either. I can’t let pictures go unseen.

Enjoy.

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I don’t care to look lame

Posted in basketball, Photo lesson, photography, photojournalism, University of Kentucky on February 19, 2008 by lenscapremoved

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Tonight was the first night that I actually used my G9 for my job.

We covered the UK vs. Georgia mens basketball game. Long before tip off (as in weeks before) I knew I wanted to use this camera. I snapped it on a monopod to steady my video.

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Warning: If you purchase a camera go ahead and prepare for the ridicule you’re going to get from not only your friends but every other photographer at any event you’re covering. I had 6 photographers make comments and about half of those were negative.

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Dear old timers, times are a changin’. While video is a bit shaky because I’m still new at this, it will get better. Just because I’m using something that fits in my palm and didn’t cost $7,000 doesn’t mean it sucks. Technology is always growing. So keep snickering. I will eventually out pace your fancy camera-mixed media pieces. Partly because this camera has a lot of quality in a little body, but mostly because I am determined to.

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From UU

Posted in Kernel, travel, University of Kentucky on February 8, 2008 by lenscapremoved

This is as we turned it in to the Kernel.

By Britney McIntosh and Brad Luttrell

Jackson, Tn- Cars lean sideways against the residence halls and broken glass, pajama pants and muddy teddy bears litter the lawn outside of the dormitory that he used to call home.

Chima Abakwue, a doctorial student at Union University , said he couldn’t believe what had happened to the dorm he used to live in a few years ago.

“Wow. Just looking at the damages,” Abakwue said. “This is something you see on TV.”

Crystal Kinser Bruno, an employee in the Eureka office and a 2007 graduate of Union University, said that it was terribly upsetting for her to watch her alma mater on the news in such a state of disarray.

“I can still pick out things on campus even though everything is a mess,” Bruno said. “I feel so helpless being here, and not knowing what to do. I just want to help out.”

Serious tornadic activity hit Union around 7p.m. yesterday, said David S. Dockery, the president of the University, in a post on the campus emergency blog.

“It was like organized chaos,” said Amanda Brown, an education junior. “We knew what we had to do and did it as calmly as we could, but it was really hard to stay calm.”

“Following a nearly five-hour emergency effort, all students — including the 13 who were trapped in the fallen rubble — were rescued,” Dockery said. “Fifty-one students were taken to the hospital, nine of whom suffered serious injury. By God’s providence, no lives were lost.”

According to Rick Lasher of the National Weather Service, the storm that hit Jackson was a super -cell that began in Tupelo, Mississippi and was also the same super-cell that came across southern Kentucky.

“Super-cells are individual storms that are extremely strong and can have a tornado with them,” Lasher said. “They are the most damaging thunderstorms where the most death and destruction occurs.”

The structural damage turned out to be more severe than it was initially estimated to be last night after the storm passed, said Mark Kahler, associate vice president of university communications.

“The damage was even greater than we thought last night,” Kahler said. “The morning has shed light on things we couldn’t see last night.”

 “About 40 percent of our dorms are beyond repair,” Kahler said.  “About 40 percent are heavily damaged, the other 20 percent have minor damage like broken windows.”

Volunteers from the school and the Jackson community have already begun making serious efforts to help out Union.

“Union has a great repor with the community,” Bruno said. “Local businesses and churches would do absolutely anything to help out.”

Bruno plans to head down to Jackson to join other volunteers in helping clean up the school, which is not expected to reopen until after February 18, 2008.

“Right now they have bigger things to worry about than school,” Bruno said. “They need to focus on rebuilding their lives.”

Abakwue said that he feels for the students who lost their homes and possessions.

“You’re heart goes out to these students, he said. “Your life is most valuable, but when you’re a kid coming a long way from home this is all you have.”

Sarah Stinson, a junior music major, said that she has no idea what will become of her old dorm or her school.

“At this point we’ve heard so many different stories,” Stinson said. “I guess we’re just waiting.”