I sat down to write this with all intentions of constructing a final post-mortem on the season, and just. Couldn't. Do it. As delighted as I am for our beloved Cats playing in their sixteenth Final Four this weekend, there is a small sad hole in my Big Blue heart as I think of how the season ended for UK Hoops.
I loved this squad for so many reasons. I loved Jennifer O'Neill's fiery style, and Janee Thompson's fearlessness. I adored the joy in Anthony Epps' eyes when he watched his daughter Makayla play. I remain absolutely blown away by the inner strength of Kastine Evans, and her selfless determination to make this world a better place. My heart broke when I read about DeNesha Stallworth's tears after the SEC Championship game, when the Cats lost by 1. It was shattered last Saturday when I heard how hard the team and the staff were taking the Baylor loss.
And this entire story has way too many "I's" in it.
So rather than wallow, I am reaching out to you, my ASoB brothers and sisters. A lot of you fell in love with this squad, and their fight. To help us say goodbye, and hopefully heal some tender hearts, I'm asking you to share your favorite moment of this season. There are a lot to choose from - whether it was beating Baylor on a snowy December night in North Texas, or the victory over Louisville and those pesky Schimmel sisters. It could be beating Tennessee on the road for the first time ever at Thompson-Boling Arena, or getting that win over South Carolina in a ferocious battle in Duluth.
Mine was the Baylor game, that almost ridiculous quadruple overtime battle in December. I don't remember which overtime it was. All I remember is Kastine Evans drawing a charge and popping up off the court like she'd just been awarded a million dollars and world peace. Her smile was amazing, as was the joy of her teammates. Sadly, I can't find it anywhere on video, but every time I think of it I smile.
Whatever it is, please share it with us so we can celebrate this squad one last time, before we turn the page on the season and wish the 2014 squad a fond - and proud - farewell.