There are just a few athletes that transcend the world of sports and Muhammad Ali may be the greatest example of one who does just that.
Ali was a fixture in his hometown of Louisville and in the Commonwealth of Kentucky. He was proud of his Louisville roots and even went by the nickname "The Louisville Lip."
He met with many Kentucky Wildcats players and coaches during his time, even though his heart was with the Louisville Cardinals. The athletes he met viewed him as more than a man. He was a mythical figure that stood for more than just boxing, especially to young African Americans.
And even if they never had the chance to meet him, he still held a special place in their hearts as is evident in the outpouring of support. If one has any connection to the Commonwealth, Ali is as inescapable and revered as Abraham Lincoln.
Kentucky Wildcats players and coaches took to social media to share their memories and mourn the loss of The Greatest.
RIP to a legend. Glad I was blessed with an opportunity to meet an all-time great. pic.twitter.com/rZJUHGjHTF— Alex Poythress (@AlexTheGreat22) June 4, 2016
Was one of the most special moments of my life. R.I.P to the one and only @muhammadali #GOAT… https://t.co/KSBsGjBzrl— Karl-Anthony Towns (@KarlTowns) June 4, 2016
R.I.P CHAMP pic.twitter.com/ZJEXfVisS4— Devin Booker (@DevinBook) June 4, 2016
He who is not courageous enough to take risks will accomplish nothing in life-— John Wall (@JohnWall) June 4, 2016
Muhammad Ali… https://t.co/kKDUiDobHR
Muhammad Ali's passing is a sad day for our world. THE CHAMP! Thoughts and prayers to Lonnie and the Ali family.— John Calipari (@UKCoachCalipari) June 4, 2016
Much more about what he did outside the ring then what he did inside of it... He was bigger then boxing. #MuhammadAli #RIPChamp— Brandon Knight (@Goodknight11) June 4, 2016
You taught me a lot about life but most of all, you taught me HOW to LIVE! #Love&Peace to #MyChamp pic.twitter.com/YHxGCK2AvK— Derek L. Anderson (@DerekLAnderson) June 4, 2016
I would like to thank the city of Louisville for giving us one of the most iconic sports figure in world. #MuhammadAli you were the greatest— Tony Delk (@tldelk00) June 4, 2016
My earliest memories of sports & television are of him. 5-6 yrs old - & completely mesmerized. #AliBomaye #KyProud pic.twitter.com/b0l0YDvuzc— Rex Chapman (@rexchapman) June 4, 2016
If you come across any more throughout the day, please post them in the comments section.