The line to see two former Wildcats was out the door and down the sidewalk outside of the Fayette Mall AllSports on Sunday.
Derek Willis and Dominique Hawkins, both from the state of Kentucky and four-year players for the Kentucky Wildcats, kicked off their autograph tour just four miles from the dorms in which they still live.
“Just the most loyal fan base in America, in college sports,” Willis said. “It feels good to be out here in public interacting with everyone. They’re the most loyal fans without a doubt...it’s great to see the support.”
Fans of all ages had lined-up long before the players took their spots. Autographs were penned on a variety of items from basketballs to hats to handmade crafts.
Many fans thanked the duo for their four years. The younger fans were starstruck, hugging and posing for photos with players towering over them. One young boy couldn’t contain his excitement and shouted “Willis!” before lurching in for a hug.
Autographs were sold for $25 a piece. The tour continues this week with a stop on Wednesday in Elizabethtown, on Thursday in Cold Springs and on Saturday in Glockner.
Kentucky women’s basketball standout Makayla Epps will begin her autograph tour at the Fayette Mall AllSports on Tuesday, April 4, signing from 6 p.m. to 7:30 p.m.