Photo slideshow: 2019 CATSPY Awards ceremony and Blue Carpet
The University of Kentucky unveiled its 2019 UK Hall of Fame class Monday night at its annual CATSPYs Awards at Memorial Coliseum.
The night also featured an emotional tribute to Joshua Paschal, the football player who continues his battle against cancer even after his return to the field.
Basketball standout DeMarcus Cousins, the second member of Coach John Calipari’s first recruiting class at UK to enter UK’s hall, is among this year’s six honorees. John Wall preceded Cousins.
UK will also induct football’s Andre Woodson, women’s basketball’s A’dia Mathies, rifle’s Henry Junghanel and track and field’s Vic Nelson and coach Don Weber.
While in the past couple of years the CATSPYs have offered some light-hearted, humorous videos, this year’s show opened with a UK Sports Video production of some serious accomplishments and an homage to Paschal, who dealt with a malignant skin cancer diagnosis and recovery during most of the football season.
ESPN’s Holly Rowe, herself a cancer survivor, presented Paschal with the Heart of a Wildcat award and delivered his remarks that they wrote together.
“Cancer is a battle that none of us want to fight, but it’s a battle that most of us are too familiar with,” Rowe said in her introduction, apologizing for occasional tears. She said she sat in on Paschal’s chemo treatment Monday afternoon as his battle continues even though he was able to make it back on the field at the end of the season. “... It’s hard to see him going through that at the hospital. It’s hard to see you hurting ... But Josh, you amaze us. And we are so proud of you.”
Kentucky athletics’ accomplishments in the past year included a 10-win season and Citrus Bowl victory for the football team, an Elite Eight for men’s basketball, a second consecutive SEC title and 14th straight NCAA tourney for volleyball, a return to the NCAA Tournament for women’s basketball and the greatest UK men’s soccer’s season in program history with its own trip to the Elite Eight.
This year, UK added another honor, the Legacy Award, to student-athletes who have made significant contributions to their team and the athletics department over the course of their careers. This year’s list included such names as Josh Allen, Maci Morris and Taylor Murray, Leah Edmond and Katie Reed (see full list below).
In the hall of fame class, Cousins was a 2010 NCAA Consensus Second Team All-American and averaged 15.1 points and 9.9 rebounds He was the fifth overall pick in the 2010 NBA Draft.
Junghanel was a four-time All-American and the leading shooter on UK’s 2011 national champion rifle team. He won the gold medal at the 2016 Summer Olympics in the 50-meter prone event.
Mathies was SEC Player of the Year as a junior and senior and a two-time All-America honoree. She was the first player in UK history (men or women) to accumulate over 2,000 points, 600 rebounds, 300 assists and 300 steals in a career.
Nelson won seven SEC individual championships, at least one in each cross country, indoor track, and outdoor track.
Weber was track and field head coach from 1984-2012 and was an assistant and athlete himself prior. In all, he spent 34 years on UK’s staff, including earning National Coach of the Year honors in 1988 when women’s cross country won the national championship. Athletes he coached earned 10 individual NCAA championships, 225 All-America honors and 92 SEC individual titles
Woodson was Kentucky football’s MVP and bowl MVP in 2006 and ’07, leading the Wildcats to a pair of eight-win seasons and victories in two Music City Bowls. He set two NCAA records, four SEC records and three UK records.
UK has honored athletes with its Hall of Fame since 2005.
Hosted by “SEC Nation’s” Laura Rutledge and Marcus Spears, the CATSPYs are a spinoff of the annual ESPY Awards by ESPN and feature individual and team honors for UK’s 22 sports at a gala event.
CATSPY award winners
Elite Team: Football, Volleyball, Men’s Soccer, Women’s Track and Field
Mr. Wildcat: C.J. Conrad (football)
Miss Wildcat: Katie Reed (softball) and Asia Seidt (swim/dive)
Heart of a Wildcat: Josh Paschal (football)
Blue Heart Award: Ogechi Anyagaligbo (women’s basketball), Aimé Mabika (men’s soccer)
Male Rookie of the Year: Jason Reyes (soccer), Terry Wilson (football), Will Shaner (rifle), Danny Zhang (swim/dive), Keldon Johnson (basketball), Tyler Herro (basketball), and Dwight St. Hillaire (track).
Female Rookie of the Year: Rhyne Howard (basketball)
Supporting Role: Merideth Jewell (volleyball), Katie Stuart (gymnastics), David Bouvier (football), and Reid Travis (men’s basketball).
Academic Team of the Year: Women’s Swimming and Diving
Scholar-Athletes of the Year: Katie Reed (softball), Marshall Gei (baseball), Blake Best (football), and Miles Butler (football)
Scratch Award: Cole Guindon (men’s soccer), McKenzie Watson (volleyball)
Community Service: Morgan Duerr (rifle), C.J. Conrad (football)
Bill Keightley Assist: Randy Gregory (men’s basketball)
Legacy: Katie Reed, Abbey Cheek, (softball); Maci Morris, Taylor Murray (women’s basketball); Josh Allen, Benny Snell Jr. (football); Sidney Dukes, Alex Hyland, Katrina Coca, Danaea Davis, Aubree Rosa, Katie Stuart (gymnastics); Asia Seidt (women’s swimming and diving); Sydney McLaughlin, Jasmine Camacho-Quinn, Marie-Josée Ebwea-Bile Excel (women’s track and field; Tim Duckworth, Daniel Roberts (men’s track and field); JJ Williams (men’s soccer); Leah Edmond, Madison Lilley (volleyball); Leonie Bettel (women’s golf).