The Rupp rafters are coming to High Point, North Carolina, on December 31st to honor the great Tubby Smith. High Point has won the national championship seven times and will bring the team to Rupp Arena to participate in the Tubby Smith Tribute. This year’s team features an all-star lineup with a strong young core. With so much talent on display, this is sure to be an incredible night.
The Rupp Arena was one of the first basketball arenas to feature a rafter. It is where players like Tony Delk hang their jerseys. As a former Tennessee guard, Delk was a high-scoring guard. He led his state in scoring two years in a row. However, he needed a little work to improve his ball handling, understanding of the game, and defense. Fortunately, Rupp was willing to make that happen.
During his college career, Delk averaged 17.9 points against ranked opponents. Only twice in his career did he fail to hit double digits. That said, he was a money shot even in the most difficult games, such as a thirty-pointer against Louisville in his senior year. But his numbers speak for themselves. Few players can match those career numbers if you are a basketball fan.
While the Rupp rafters have a lot of other Kentucky basketball legends, few players can match the legendary star of the 1996 national championship. Delk, a 6-foot-1 guard from Brownsville, Tenn., led any college team in scoring three straight seasons and was named the SEC Player of the Year in his senior season. Despite his legendary status, Delk has since become a college assistant coach.
The university’s basketball program has a tradition of honoring players by hanging their jerseys in the rafters of Rupp Arena. Since 1922, 42 individuals have been honored for their contributions to the Kentucky basketball program. From Basil Hayden, who graduated in 1922, to Rick Pitino, who left the school after the 1997 season, to Jamal Mashburn, who was named Final Four MVP in 1993, Kentucky has honored many great players with this honor.
The UK basketball team recently hung Tubby Smith’s jersey on the Rupp rafters to honor his legendary career. The jersey featured Smith’s name and the years he coached for the Wildcats. At the ceremony, Smith expressed gratitude for the honor and spoke about his Kentucky connection with pride. After coaching in the UK for two seasons, Smith returned as Pitino’s successor in 1997.
In honor of the former Kentucky coach, the Wildcats unveiled a special jersey that was retired before Tuesday’s game against High Point. Smith left the Wildcats in 2007 and was a fixture on Kentucky’s campus for nearly three decades. During his tenure, his teams won the national championship in their first season under Smith. His teams also won the SEC championship and five SEC tournaments and never missed the NCAA Tournament.
Tubby Smith attended a ceremony in Rupp Arena on Thursday before the Kentucky Wildcats took the floor. His family, sons, former players, and fans joined him during the event. During the ceremony, he shook hands with fans and signed autographs. He filled the rafters of Rupp Arena with these amazing fans who came to see their longtime legend one last time. Now is the time to bring Tubby Smith’s name up for Hall of Fame consideration by reaching out to Calipari, Dick Vitale, or Rick Pitino.
The Rupp Arena is home to some legendary coaches. Coach Smith spent several years on the Texas Tech coaching staff before becoming the head coach at Kentucky. He later was hired as the head coach of Memphis, where he coached for two seasons in total before he resigned from High Point University in 2017 and the University of Louisville in 2018, albeit for just one season that ended with a rousing ovation.
Basketball superstar Oscar Tshiebwe has managed to turn heads as he continues his stellar year with the Kentucky Wildcats. His stats are comparable to any player in the program’s history, not just from a critical standpoint but also from a fan and even competitor’s, who’s become increasingly envious of Tshiebwe. But how did he become a Kentucky Wildcat?
In the season opener against Western Kentucky, Tshiebwe grabbed a game-high 28 rebounds. That is a Rupp Arena record. The previous mark was twenty, set by Shaquille O’Neal against Kentucky in 1990. Tshiebwe also outscored Western Kentucky by more than 20 points. He also made six 3-pointers. The record will remain until the last game in Rupp Arena so that Tshiebwe will be remembered for the rest of his life.
Oscar Tshiebwe’s reach is uncanny. He rebounds the ball like it’s magnetic. He doesn’t have the size or the leap to be a star, but his play provides Kentucky with an edge in a key category, and his dazzling athleticism leaves his teammates speechless. Coach John Calipari wants fans to hold up their Rs when they see Tshiebwe’s incredible stat line.
The people of Lexington love Oscar Tshiebwe. He’s spent his entire life here, has a place in the Rupp rafters, and is greatly respected among his teammates. There is no better way to show appreciation for a true legend than wearing his jersey any time you get the chance!
A movie clip from “The Flying Circus” has the famous “Fabulous Five” flying through the rafters of Rupp Arena. The team, comprised of Alex Groza, Cliff Hagan, Lou Tsioropoulous, Gayle Rose, and Bill Evans, won two national championships and Olympic Gold in 1948. The film is a staple in Rupp Arena and a must-see for fans.
The Rupp rafters of Rupp Arena are adorned with the jersey of Kentucky basketball great Jerry Bird. The legendary basketball player was inducted into the UK Athletics Hall of Fame in 2005, and his jersey hangs in the rafters. A member of the Kentucky basketball team from 1954 to 1957, Bird averaged 17.5 points per game and racked up 589 rebounds per game. He was named All-SEC Second Team in 1955 and 1956 and an SEC All-Star in 1954.
In a game featuring nearly 22,000 Wildcat fans, the visiting Panthers’ coach Tubby Smith was met with a standing ovation by Kentucky fans. You could hear the roar from floor level to the rafters, and Smith joined 43 other UK legends in the hall. A special place in Rupp Arena is reserved for the rafters. It is hoops heaven. But what happens when a legendary basketball player or coach is honored?
The Blue and White banner in Rupp Arena’s rafters is an unforgettable symbol for Kentucky. The collegiate basketball team was crowned NCAA champions in 2012 and is immortalized for all time in Lexington. The rafters will honor a new class of Wildcats in 2017. The next two players in line for the rafters should be Tayshaun Prince and Anthony Davis. The blue and white banner is a relic of the legendary 2012 team.
Former basketball players who impacted the program were honored at the University of Kentucky. Several Wildcats-oriented Web sites questioned whether the UK should retire Davis’ jersey. While the Chicago native played only one season for the Wildcats, he carved a name for himself as the team’s difference-maker. He became the first modern UK player to sweep the major national college hoops player of the year honors.
After graduating from Kentucky, Anthony Davis has already impacted the basketball world. He dominated the shot-blocking record in a single season, won the NCAA’s Most Outstanding Player award, and was named Final Four Most Valuable Player. His achievements have landed him in the NBA draft and the nation’s top drafts. While it’s impossible to know if his NBA career will end before he’s inducted into the UK Athletics Hall of Fame, there are many reasons for new jersey to honor him.
While Kentucky basketball rules have tightened since 2005, the era of a one-year wonder is well served by the school’s fans. The team, led by Self, is loaded with NBA prospects, mostly first- and second-year students. However, the six-foot-10 freshman is the most prominent one. After his first season, he compiled 18 points, 14 rebounds, and five blocks and broke several blocked shots records. Those statistics guarantee that Anthony Davis will one day be retired in Kentucky’s rafters.