UK Men's Basketball

No easy wins — but lots of smiles — as UK players visit Lexington school kids

The Cats come calling for an afternoon of fun at elementary school

Nine players from the University of Kentucky men's basketball team on Friday delivered packages of food to Picadome Elementary for the kids to take home on the weekend. The players stuck around to play games like duck, duck, goose with the students.
Up Next
Nine players from the University of Kentucky men's basketball team on Friday delivered packages of food to Picadome Elementary for the kids to take home on the weekend. The players stuck around to play games like duck, duck, goose with the students.

These Kentucky Wildcats are a competitive bunch.

The basketball team made its annual trip to Picadome Elementary on Friday afternoon, delivering packed lunches as a part of UK Athletics’ God’s Pantry program and sticking around for a little fun and games in the school gym.

Senior guard Jonny David started things off — by not letting one of the kids win in the opening game of duck-duck-goose. That theme continued with sophomore guard Quade Green, who clearly didn’t want to take any early season losses. Green picked up a couple of duck-duck-goose victories, both of them against children.

One boy did manage a win over 6-foot-11 freshman EJ Montgomery, and the game ended with a disputed result when a girl ran down freshman guard Immanuel Quickley from behind. Quickley lunged to the floor and declared himself safe. UK director of basketball operations Will Barton ruled him out. The crowd laughed, including all of the Wildcats.

180914UKMencb277
UK’s Keldon Johnson dunked over principal Jennifer Hutchison as nine members of the Kentucky men’s basketball team visited Picadome Elementary School Friday afternoon. The Wildcats delivered packed lunches to the school as a part of UK Athletics’ God’s Pantry program and then participated in physical education activities with the students. Charles Bertram cbertram@herald-leader.com

“I think we had just as much fun as the kids did, as you all could tell,” said freshman Keldon Johnson. “It was just a great experience.”

Up next: the relay races, where Green’s competitive streak continued. He jumped out to a head start before the official beginning of the race, getting about a half-court’s distance on the competition. Later on, he was eliminated from the game of knockout. He jumped back in after a few cycles, hoping no one would notice. At one point, he tried to sneak up on a boy and block his shot. The jumper was good, however, and the crowd squealed with delight again.

“That’s just Quade,” Johnson said with a grin. “If you all hang around Quade like we do, you all know that he’s going to find a way to win, regardless. And if that means cheating, he’s going to do it.”

Johnson did a little cheating toward the end of the relay race, for the record.

He also ultimately won the game of knockout, defeating fellow freshman Tyler Herro in the finals. By that time, both players were gassed — “I feel like I got my conditioning in for the day,” Herro quipped — and the contest was decided when Johnson sank a shot from half court.

180914UKMencb168
The Cats deliver for elementary students Addie Holcomb, a 6-year-old first-grader, high-fived player Tyler Herro after playing duck, duck, goose as nine members of the Kentucky men’s basketball team visited Picadome Elementary School Friday afternoon. The Wildcats delivered packed lunches to the school as a part of UK Athletics’ God’s Pantry program and then participated in physical education activities with the students. On the left is player Immanuel Quickley. Visit Kentucky.com to view additional photos and video. Charles Bertram cbertram@herald-leader.com

The Cats then capped off the assembly with some freestyle dunking. Johnson went between the legs for a jam, much to the delight of the young crowd. He wanted one more though. On his final attempt, Johnson rose high, went in for the flush, and came up a little short, the ball rocketing back off the rim and hitting a girl in the crowd several feet away.

A Picadome teacher immediately checked to see if she was OK. The girl was already laughing.

“We love putting a smile on people’s faces,” Herro said. “When I was a little kid, if there was someone like a Kentucky basketball player that came to my school, that would be just a dream come true.”

LEXINGTON HERALD-LEADER SPORTS PASS

The Herald-Leader is now offering a digital sports-only one-year subscription for $30. You'll get unlimited access to all Herald-Leader sports stories.

  Comments