Meet five pets named for University of Kentucky sports icons because their characteristics and behaviors closely matched up with the players themselves.
Boston Celtics standout Rajon Rondo is considered one of the quickest point guards in the NBA.
"Rondo," the guinea pig, "is very fast. Hard to catch. Very elusive."
Animal owner: Margaret Chapman, 15, of Raleigh, N.C.
Reason for the animal's name: "Rajon Rondo is one of our favorite Kentucky players," said Dana Chapman, Margaret's mother. "(The guinea pig) is so fast and elusive, 'Rondo' just seemed to fit."
DeMarcus Cousins, the 6-foot-11, 270-pound Sacramento Kings center, came close (17.1 points, 9.9 rebounds) to averaging a double-double last season.
"DeMarcus," a large cat, killed "seven, eight mice" in his first week living in his current home.
Animal owner: David Pressley in Hendersonville, N.C. (but the cat is on loan to his mother, who had a mice infestation).
Reason for animal's name: "This is probably the biggest cat you've ever seen," said Pressley. "When we got him, (DeMarcus Cousins) was the biggest Kentucky Wildcat at the time."
Jarrod Polson supplied gutty play last year in a Kentucky basketball season filled with adversity.
"Polson," a black Angus calf, showed ample grit when he survived being born in freezing weather.
Animal owner: Scott and Kelli Parsons, Washington D.C. (though "Polson" lives on a family-owned farm in Woodford County).
Reason for animal's name: "The weekend the calf was born, it was incredibly cold, just a really difficult time," said Kelli Parsons. "(The actual Jarrod Polson), when he got a chance in a really difficult season, he made the most of it, really got after it. So it just seemed (the calf) showed the same kind of fight."
Now a Green Bay Packers standout, Randall Cobb leaped over a taller Louisville defender in 2009 to make the game-winning touchdown catch for Kentucky in the Governor's Cup game.
"Randall Cobb," a goldfish, "jumps high out of the water for his feed like the real Randall Cobb jumps for touchdowns."
Animal owner: Pre-schooler Jack Toy of Lexington
Reason for animal's name: "Jack is a huge Kentucky fan," said his mom, Katie, "and he is a huge Randall Cobb fan. Last year, he went as 'Randall Cobb' for Halloween. So when he got a goldfish, he wanted to name him 'Randall Cobb.'"
Chuck Hayes, the burly Sacramento Kings forward, has spent eight years in the NBA thanks to a willingness to do the "dirty work" like screening, rebounding and defending.
"Chuck Hayes Miller," the burly (70 pounds) Lexington dog, is the kind of pet that "when we'd throw the ball, he sort of played defense like a football player."
Animal owner: Jennifer Miller of Lexington
Reason for animal's name: Miller once brought home four Lexington Humane Society puppies. Thinking it would make them more likely to be adopted, she gave them all UK sports-themed names — "Tubby Smith," "Josh Carrier" and "Ashley Judd" were ultimately adopted by others. "Chuck Hayes Miller" is now 8 years old. "He's very stubborn," Miller said.
Mark Story: (859) 231-3230. Twitter: @markcstory. Blog: markstory.bloginky.com.