Jen Smith on Basketball

The tale of Makayla Epps, Boom Williams and the beloved belt


Makayla Epps saw the belt sitting there and couldn’t take her eyes off of it.

“He just had this belt sitting on the couch like a trophy,” the Kentucky star said of the WWE replica championship belt sitting on the couch of UK running back Boom Williams.

Epps was hanging out with Williams, whom she calls “Stanley just because nobody else does,” and some other UK football players playing video games one day recently.

The senior guard couldn’t stop thinking about his belt.

Epps, who had missed out on Big Blue Madness a season before as part of a violation of team rules, wanted to do something memorable and special for the event as a senior.

The two UK standouts share a mutual adoration of professional wrestling and watch it regularly on Monday nights, Epps said during her time at Southeastern Conference Media Days on Thursday in Nashville.

“I’m a big WWE fan; I’m a big kid,” Williams said this week. “She asked me and I thought it was a great idea and it was great to see her be able to go out there and be able to have fun at Big Blue Madness.”

Before the big event, Epps’ grandfather noticed the belt was missing a few screws, so he went to Lowe’s and fixed it up for her to wear as part of her Madness entrance along with a custom “Straight Outta Lebanon” T-shirt.

“It was a good moment to see her go out and enjoy her last moment,” Williams said, probably about Epps, but maybe about his belt.

Speaking of that massive, shiny waist jewelry, has Epps returned it to her friend Stanley?

“I’m going to wait for him to ask for it back because I really like it,” she smiled. “I ride around with the belt in my car. I keep it very close.”