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Jamie Vaught: UK women’s hoopster a cookie addict, loves scary movies — and excels academically


Blair Green has been a very productive member of the University of Kentucky women’s basketball program for the past two years.

A versatile athlete with a high basketball IQ, Green enters her junior year with lots of promise after an outstanding sophomore year. The 6-foot guard averaged 19.2 minutes and 5.8 points while starting seven games last season with UK finishing at No. 16 in the final Associated Press poll before the COVID-19 pandemic shut down the postseason tournaments.

In her first year as a Wildcat, Green was named to the Southeastern Conference All-Freshman team by the league coaches.

Blair Green

And the kinesiology major from Harlan County High School is staying pretty busy with off-the-court school activities. Green was recently chosen to SEC’s newly-created Council of Racial Equity and Social Justice as one of UK’s five student-athlete representatives. In addition to student-athletes, the council will also include a diverse group of administrators, coaches and SEC staff.

The personable Green also represents UK as a member of the 2020-21 SEC Women’s Basketball Leadership Council. She and Keion Brooks Jr., who represented the men’s team, attended the SEC leadership council meetings this past summer. She also serves as My Kentucky Home Ambassador, advising or mentoring freshmen athletes.

Besides basketball and other activities, Green excels in the classroom as she was named to the 2020 SEC Winter Sports Academic Honor Roll with an overall grade-point-average of 3.6.

“(I’m) proud of Blair Green,” said her mother and former UK player Debbie Hoskins Green on Facebook. “She is a perfectionist and is so humble. No way I could manage all she does. (She) always has a smile on her face through her crazy schedule.”

As you may recall, the elder Green also coached her daughter at Harlan County High School, where they guided the 28-3 Black Bears to the state tournament in 2018. A four-star prospect, Blair was a three-time all-state performer and a finalist for Kentucky Miss Basketball honors. The younger Green, by the way, also had another important family member on the bench in high school. Her father, Elgie Green, coached her as well, serving as an assistant coach.

Blair Green was recently asked about her best or favorite game at UK so far. She said it was the matchup between the nationally ranked teams back in January when the No. 11 Wildcats were impressive in defeating No. 12 Texas A&M 76-54 before an enthusiastic crowd of about 4,000 fans at Memorial Coliseum. And Green helped UK to a key victory with her downtown jumpers, hitting 3 of 5 three-pointers and finishing with 13 points in nearly 32 minutes of action.

“One of my favorite games at UK was when we beat Texas A&M at home,” commented Green. “It was a big conference game. I just remember it being a really fun game, the crowd was into it, we were in sync with each other, and everyone made big plays.”

Former Kentucky star teammate Maci Morris (left) and Blair Green. (Photo by Jamie Vaught)

During the pandemic summer, Green managed to work out and stay in shape, and spent some time with her friend and former Kentucky star teammate Maci Morris in southeast Kentucky. Morris is from Bell County and Green has family in the Middlesboro area as well.

“Maci and I had quite a few of workouts together this past summer. Maci is the big sister I’ve never had, so we are always competitive and I always enjoy getting to learn from her,” said Green, who has an older brother, Blaine.

Like many folks, the current COVID-19 pandemic has affected Green personally and in basketball.

“COVID-19 disrupted many things in my life along with many other athletes,” said Green. “It disrupted the NCAA tournament, school, summer workouts, and how we move through our daily life. This pandemic is something that I cannot control, so instead of getting down about the circumstances, I decided to focus on the positives. I am a big family girl so I was happy to get to spend some quality time with my family that I usually don’t get much of in the summer.

“I got a ‘quarantine’ puppy, he really kept me busy and taught me patience. I was able to reflect, and refresh my mind and body. The coaches also did a great job of staying connected and keeping us determined, resilient, and creative throughout our circumstances. They provided us with ‘hard at home’ workouts and all the tools we need to succeed. These times have allowed myself to become stronger not only physically but mentally, and learn new things about myself.

“Sometimes we get caught up in life and worldly things, and COVID-19 comes in and disrupted all of it. But it also reminds us of all of our blessings that we take for granted daily. This pandemic has caused and is still causing a lot of tragedy that I would wish on no one, but through these times I have been able to be still, reflect, and allow time to slow down. I think after this pandemic, we will have a new outlook on life. We will be grateful for the small things and learn to cherish those around us.” 

By the way, her puppy’s name is Rupp – named after Rupp Arena.

And Green, with two years of valuable experience under her belt, is now looking forward to the 2020-21 campaign which is scheduled to begin in late November. The Wildcats, who posted a 22-8 mark last season, are returning a significant portion of their 2019-20 production – including SEC Player of the Year and first-team All-American Rhyne Howard, who will be a junior – along with a talented group of newcomers.

In the preseason polls, Lindy’s Sports college basketball yearbook has Kentucky at No. 11, while NCAA.com has the Wildcats at No. 10.

Green, who has a bubbly personality, was asked to reveal something about her that not many people know.

“I’m a cookie addict and I love scary movies,” she smiled.

Well, it sounds like she’s definitely ready for Halloween.

Don’t you agree?

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Jamie H. Vaught, a longtime sports columnist in Kentucky, is the author of five books about UK basketball, including “Chasing the Cats: A Kentucky Basketball Journey.” He is the editor and founder of KySportsStyle.com Magazine, and a professor at Southeast Kentucky Community and Technical College.


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