A nonprofit publication of the Kentucky Center for Public Service Journalism

Former University of Kentucky basketball stars Hawkins, Willis part of TBT Bluegrass Boys Squad

By Keith Taylor Kentucky Today Kentucky will be well-represented in The Basketball Tournament next month. Former Kentucky players Derek Willis, Dominique Hawkins, Josh Harrellson, Marcus Lee, Ramon Harris, Kevin Galloway and AJ Stewart will form the Bluegrass Boys organized by former Kentucky player Mark Krebs and will be coached by Wayne Turner. The Bluegrass Boys will compete with seven more teams...

UK Notebook: Brad Calipari productive in his second foreign tour of career

Kentucky junior Brad Calipari, left, enjoyed a five-game stint during an overseas trip recently. Calipari poured in double figures in four of five games. (UK Athletics Photo) By Keith Taylor Kentucky Today Brad Calipari enjoyed another summer tour with the Global Sports Academy. The Kentucky guard and son of Wildcats coach John Calipari averaged 13.2 points and seven assists per game for Global Sports,...

Former UK guard Hawkins pondering future as NFL teams showing interest in his talents

By Keith Taylor Kentucky Today Dominique Hawkins is known for his basketball skills, but his football talents are getting a look from trams in the National Football League. Hawkins, who just concluded a four-year career at Kentucky, wasn’t selected in the NBA Draft last spring, but participated with the Sacramento Kings in the Las Vegas Summer League. Dominique Hawkins likes football, but considers...

Beyond one and done: Calipari creating a love for learning for current, former Wildcat players

By Keith Taylor KyForward Senior Sports Writer John Calipari never wants his players to stop learning. “Our job as coaches is to create a love for learning,” the Kentucky coach said on his web site, coachcal.com Thursday. “We must promote lifelong learning, encourage young people to have curious minds and to want to read.” Kentucky coach John Calipari wants his players to learn beyond the basketball...

Ex-Wildcat Derek Willis chooses agent, starts preparing for next phase of basketball career

By Keith Taylor KyForward Senior Sports Writer BEREA — Derek Willis is ready for the next phase of his career. Nearly a month after his collegiate career at the University of Kentucky ended, Willis is preparing for the next step, one he hopes leads to a successful career in the professional ranks. Former Kentucky standout Derek Willis signs a basketball for a young fan during a visit to Kingston...

Wildcat senior Hawkins visits elementary, middle school students in return to his hometown

By Keith Taylor KyForward senior sports writer BEREA — Dominique Hawkins returned to his hometown Friday. The University of Kentucky senior guard and Madison Central graduate visited four Madison County schools — Kit Carson, Kingston, Daniel Boone and Madison Middle — as part of the #KyBoysTour along with classmate Derek Willis. Derek Willis, left, and Dominique Hawkins, right, sign autographs...

UK’s Hawkins playing for his supportive hometown

Kentucky senior Dominique Hawkins is a 2013 graduate of Madison Central High School (Keith Taylor Photo) MEMPHIS — Kentucky senior Dominique Hawkins knows his career at Kentucky is winding down. He just doesn’t want it to end this weekend. “I believe we can reach the national championship game,” Hawkins said. “I haven’t been thinking about (my career coming to and end) lately. It’s been...

Hawkins, seniors will be the key for Cats in postseason

Dominique Hawkins and Mychal Mulder will be counted on to provide leadership and valuable minutes for the Wildcats during the postseason (Tammie Brown Photo)When Kentucky takes on Georgia today in the Southeastern Conference Tournament here in Nashville, it will be the beginning of the last hurrah for seniors Dominique Hawkins, Derek Willis and Mychal Mulder. Hawkins and Willis were part of two Final...

Senior night will be special for UK trio

Senior night is special. Although the tradition has somewhat taken a backseat to the one-and-done era under John Calipari, there’s just something about that last home game of the season at Rupp Arena – the singing of “My Old Kentucky Home” the tears, the parents and the seniors receiving their framed jersey. It’s an emotional and sometimes tearjerking experience. Tonight instate heroes...

Hawkins doesn’t plan to get emotional, but could be ‘in trouble’ if his mom sheds a tear on Senior Night

By Keith Taylor KyForward Senior Sports Writer Dominique Hawkins wants to remembered as a player that gave it his all during his four-year career at Kentucky. “I feel like I definitely will be remembered for my fight and my heart, always giving 100 percent in each game and diving for loose balls,” he said Tuesday. Dominique Hawkins, along with teammates Derek Willis and Mychal Mulder will be honored...

Hawkins’ confidence-level soars to an all-time high going into sunset of his UK career

By Keith Taylor KyForward Senior Sports Writer Going into the sunset of his collegiate career, Dominique Hawkins has never felt more comfortable in a Kentucky uniform. “(My confidence level) is probably the highest it’s been since I’ve been in a Kentucky jersey,” Hawkins said Monday. Kentucky guard Dominique Hawkins has given the Wildcats a boost during the past two weeks and has gained more...

Keith Taylor: Led by Hawkins, Cats use makeshift backcourt to overcome Gamecocks

Kentucky found a way to win without its point guard. The fifth-ranked Wildcats (17-2, 7-0 Southeastern Conference) kept its perfect conference record intact without freshman standout De’Aaron Fox, who tweaked his ankle with 12 minutes remaining in the first half and didn’t return. South Carolina, the second-best team in the conference, proved to be no match for shorthanded Kentucky as the Wildcats...

Hawkins putting in extra work, wants to ‘leave it all on the floor’ as UK career winds down

By Keith Taylor KyForward senior sports writer Dominique Hawkins knows his time at Kentucky is winding down and is taking advantage of his last tour of duty with the Wildcats. “I have a few more months here and I just want to leave it all on the floor,” Hawkins said Monday ahead of Kentucky’s contest at Vanderbilt set for Tuesday. UK guard Dominique Hawkins is in his last semester with the Wildcats...

More than just another game, Kentucky-Louisville rivalry more meaningful to Hawkins, Willis

By Keith Taylor KyForward senior sports writer No one understands the Kentucky-Louisville rivalry more than Dominique Hawkins. “It means a little more to me since I’m from the state,” the Kentucky senior guard said Tuesday. “I guess guys that are new here or from different states don’t really know about the Kentucky-Louisville rivalry but it’s going to be a great game (Wednesday).” Kentucky...

Hawkins helps set tone for Cats on defense in dominating bounce-back win over Valparaiso

By Keith Taylor KyForward senior sports writer John Calipari knows he can rely on Dominique Hawkins to come through when his team needs a lift defensively. The Kentucky senior did just that Wednesday night as the sixth-ranked Wildcats rolled to an 87-63 rout of Valparaiso. “Dom was great,” Calipari said. “Dom got in and just changed the whole complexion (of the game), because of how he defended...

Keith Taylor: Veteran Hawkins stepping up his game, helps lead Cats in Briscoe’s absence

When Kentucky needed a veteran to fill the void in the absence of Isaiah Briscoe, John Calipari turned to Dominique Hawkins. Although the Madison Central graduate played a limited role because of a knee contusion in the Wildcats’ 101-70 win over Cleveland State earlier this week, the senior guard was active Friday night. UK senior Dominique Hawkins is doing the little things for the Wildcats this...

Keith Taylor: De’Aaron Fox steals show, makes good first impression in Blue-White scrimmage

De’Aaron Fox had a tough act to follow when he arrived at Kentucky. He made it look easy Friday night. Following in the footsteps of Tyler Ulis, Fox made a good first impression in Kentucky’s annual Blue-White game. Fox scored 31 points and grabbed 12 rebounds to lead the Blue team to a 110-94 victory over the White squad. De’Aaron Fox scored 31 points in a scrimmage Friday night at Rupp...

UK guard Hawkins ‘attacking the basket and shooting shots’ as he gears up for senior season

By Keith Taylor KyForward senior sports writer Dominique Hawkins spent the first three years of his career at Kentucky competing against Andrew and Aaron Harrison, Tyler Ulis and Devin Booker. The senior guard simply hopes the experience translates into more playing time this season. Looking back on his first three seasons, Hawkins said the experience has been “pretty unbelievable.” “I’ve...

Keith Taylor: Father-son combos not a new trend at UK; Game times set for first three football games

Brad Calipari won’t be the first player to play for his father at Kentucky. Three others — Herky Rupp, Sean Sutton and Saul Smith — also played for the Wildcats, with Smith enjoying a successful career from 1997-2001. Smith was a part of the Wildcats’ 1998 national championship team. Smith finished his career with 364 assists (10th in school history) and played in 143 games in his career. Saul...

Hawkins enjoys playing with high school teammate Bosley again in Far East exchange trip

Kentucky senior Dominique Hawkins successfully completed his second trip to the Far East in conjunction with Reach USA for a cultural exchange trip. Hawkins joined eight other students for the cultural exchange basketball trip in order to learn more about the Far Eastern culture, while sharing the United States’ culture. Dominique Hawkins made his second trip to the Far East with Reach USA last...