Louisville’s Newest 2014 Basketball Recruit

Louisville Cardinals’ coach, Rick Pitino, received a commitment Monday from a 7-foot-1 center, Anas Osama Mahmoud.  Mahmoud is a native of Egypt and has only been in the states since September of 2013.

Mahmoud is ranked No. 69 in the ESPN’s top 100 players for 2014.  He was one of only four unsigned top 100 players.

Mahmoud’s biggest weakness will be his strength as he weighs in at only 195 pounds.  He could possibly use next season as a redshirt to develop his strength as he will be one of two 7-footers for the Cardinals.  Incoming recruit, Matz Stockman, is the other 7-footer.  The Cardinals will also have Mangok Mathiang (6-foot-10) and incoming recruit Chinanu Onuaku (6-foot-10) making the Cardinals one of the tallest teams in the NCAA.

Pitino will love the versatility Mahmoud will give him.  Mahmoud has developed perimeter skills, as just a few years ago he was 6-foot-6 and playing guard.  He has range from the perimeter and can put the ball on the floor and drive to the basket.  At 7-foot-1 he will also give the Cardinals a much needed shot blocker they have been lacking since Gorgiu Dieng.

Louisville now has six commitments for the 2014 class.  The class is ranked as high as fifth.  The Cardinals’ class is a balanced one consisting of point guard Quentin Snider, small forward Shaqquan Aaron, power forward Jaylen Johnson, and centers Onuaku, Stockman, and now Mahmoud.

Ricky Len Fugate Obit

Ricky Len Fugate
Ricky Len Fugate

NAME                                                     Ricky Len Fugate

AGE                                                         47
ADDRESS                                                Jackson
DAY & DATE OF DEATH                       Tuesday,  February 25
PLACE OF DEATH                                  Pikeville Medical Center – Pikeville
WIFE                                                       Jessica Fugate – Jackson
FATHER                                                  Matthew and wife, Ann Fugate – Lost Creek
STEPFATHER                                          Mac Frazier – Noctor
SPECIAL DAUGHTER                             Ashley Nicole (Chris) Howard – Jackson
DAUGHTERS                                          Dianna Reed – Jackson
                                                                Marilee Strong – Jackson
SONS                                                      Glen Hensley – Jackson
                                                                Curtis Feltner – Jackson
                                                                Clarence Reed – Jackson
BROTHERS                                             Michael (Cassie) Fugate – Noctor
                                                                Kevin Fugate – Lost Creek
                                                                Justin Fugate – Lost Creek
SISTER                                                     Joyce (Ed) Miller – Jackson
SPECIAL CAT BROTHER                        Nub
SPECIAL NIECES                                     Crystal “Sprout” Kelly, Amber “Little B” Fugate, Angel Robinson,
                                                                Rebecca Sizemore, Hannah Bartley
SPECIAL NEPHEWS                               Michael Fugate Jr., J.T. Fugate, Hunter Sizemore, Charles Hensley,
                                                                Ethan Hensley, Zach Hensley, Trenton Sizemore, Thomas Bartley
GREAT NEPHEW                                    Bailey Kelly
GREAT NIECE                                         Taylor Kelly
SPECIAL FRIENDS                                  Maxine Back, Bridgette Kelly, Charlotte Howard, A.B. Howard,
                                                                Cecil Howard, Tommy Kilborn, Doyle Turner
MOTHER                                                Bertie Frazier
MATERNAL GRANDPARENTS              Charlie & Katie Gillum
PATERNAL GRANDPARENTS               Troy & Polly Fugate                                                                                                         
SERVICES                                                Friday, February 28, 12:00 PM
PLACE OF SERVICES                              Breathitt Funeral Home Chapel
OFFICIATING                                          Rev. Cecil Howard & Rev. James Neace                         
BURIAL                                                   Gillum Cemetery – Frozen
VISITATION                                            Thursday, February 27, 5:00PM
ADDITIONAL SERVICES Thursday, February 27, 7:00PM

UK Hoops Claim Victory on Senior Day

By: Tyrus York – On the always emotional Senior Day in Memorial Coliseum, the #12/15 UK Hoops team sent their 4 seniors off with a victory over Vanderbilt 65-63.

The emotions of Senior Day can sway teams in a good or bad way.  For the Wildcats, they used that emotion to get off to a great start, leading the Commodores by as many as 17 points in the first half.

That emotion would wear off and Vandy would regain the lead halfway through the second half.  From that point on, the two teams battled hard until Kentucky finally came out on top after junior guard Bria Goss ended the game on 5-6 shooting from the free throw line en route to her 12 points for the game.

Senior DeNesha Stalllworth made the best of her last official home game by dominating in the paint with 18 points, 5 rebounds, and 2 blocks.  Fellow senior Samarie Walker had only 2 points, but collected 8 rebounds, 4 assists, and 1 block.

Kastine Evans, the third senior honored Sunday, had a respectable game with 5 points and 4 assists in 28 minutes of action.  Senior guard Bernisha Pinkett was in the starting lineup for the Cats and produced a rebound and an assist.

It was a rare game for the Cats to pick up the win despite being virtually even in the turnover column, 16 for Vandy and 15 for UK.  But Vandy was able to capitalize on Kentucky’s turnovers scoring 20 points from them while Kentucky only converted 14 points out of Vanderbilt’s turnovers.

The big story coming down the stretch to close out the regular season for UK Hoops was their ability to win 6 of their last 8 games and claim the coveted 4 seed in the SEC tournament which gives them a double bye.

It’s interesting how UK Hoop’s season has mirrored the men’s in that expectations were high but there have been several low points in the season.

The ladies however picked up huge conference wins as the season closed, defeating Tennessee in Knoxville and Texas A&M in College Station.

The Cats hope to carry their momentum into the SEC tournament which starts Wednesday in Duluth, Georgia.  Kentucky will play the winner of Florida and Missouri/Mississippi State on Friday at 2:30 pm.

The Power of Visualization

“Once our minds are ‘tattooed’ with negative thinking, our chances for long-term success diminish” John Maxwell 

When people talk to me about worries they have about the future, I notice they are constructing a picture in their minds of a difficult, painful or otherwise challenging situation.  The woman who is divorcing may picture herself as a bag lady forever living all alone.  Parents with preteens may dread the coming years as they visualize power struggles, attitude and worries about drugs and alcohol.  Someone facing a busy time at home or work may see themselves being stressed out, exhausted, and cranky.

When we engage in this kind of thinking we are actually programming ourselves to have negative experiences. We expect the worst, look for the worst, and sure enough, experience it as the worst, even if it is not quite that bad.

The problem here is that we make ourselves anxious or depressed long before the time we are dreading even comes. Sometimes it does not even come, and then we were all miserable and negative for nothing!  If we do this about many issues in our lives, we can make ourselves unhappy almost all the time. If we share these thoughts with others, we can drag them down into our unhappy state as well.

When we talk about visualization we usually think of it in a positive sense. For example, we may visualize the perfect golf swing, or see ourselves attracting abundance into our lives.  This can be a powerful process.

Unfortunately, negative visualization or programming often happens somewhat unconsciously. We are aware we of what we are thinking, but not conscious of the fact that we are creating a powerful visualization, but one with negative consequences.

If we tend to think this way about ourselves, we may inadvertently program others to think negatively of their futures.  A spouse or child may have an idea, and we tell them that will never work.  Just because we cannot envision a positive outcome for their idea does not mean they cannot.  Foisting our negative image onto them may cause them to begin to have doubt where before there was none.

There is that expression, “be careful what you ask for…” We need to add another one: “be careful how you picture your future.”  If you find yourself holding a negative image, stop yourself instantly and replace it with a positive one. You might just be surprised at what you create.

Gwen Randall-Young is an author and award-winning Psychotherapist.  For permission to reprint this article, or to obtain books or cds, visit www.gwen.ca

Hope Wall on display at Breathitt Co. Judicial Center

JACKSON – Drug addiction is not the first thing that comes to mind when you first glance at the dozens of smiling faces displayed in the lobby of the Breathitt County Judicial Center.

Pictured next to the UNITE Hope Wall, from left, are Commonwealth Attorney Darrell Herald, Drug Court Coordinator Drema Terry, 39th Circuit Judge Frank A. Fletcher, UNITE President/CEO Dan Smoot, Jackson Police Chief Ken Spicer, and Jackson Police Officer Shawn Howard.  Photo by UNITE
Pictured next to the UNITE Hope Wall, from left, are Commonwealth Attorney Darrell Herald, Drug Court Coordinator Drema Terry, 39th Circuit Judge Frank A. Fletcher, UNITE President/CEO Dan Smoot, Jackson Police Chief Ken Spicer, and Jackson Police Officer Shawn Howard. Photo by UNITE

“You look at these people and you’d never know the struggles they have faced and overcome,” commented Drema Terry, Drug Court coordinator for the 39th Judicial Circuit, as she watched Operation UNITE’s Hope Wall being set up on February 28.

Unveiled last August, the 20-foot long wall features about 150 individuals who are now in recovery and living clean, sober lives. It demonstrates that substance abuse addiction has no boundaries, that all walks of life are affected.

“It illustrates the success that can be achieved through determination and persistence,” said Chief Circuit Judge Frank A. Fletcher. “The wall humanizes our neighbors and friends who have merely encountered a detour in life.”

Providing inspiration and encouragement to seek help for an addiction, or for those currently in treatment or recovery, is the primary reason for the Hope Wall.

“It represents a tremendous success in the lives of these people,” said Commonwealth Attorney Darrell Herald. “They’ve rebuilt their lives and their families. They’re now contributing to society instead of being a drain on it. That’s a great benefit.”

“A majority of the folks featured on the Hope Wall have received a UNITE Treatment Voucher to help them overcome their addiction,” noted Dan Smoot, UNITE president/CEO. “These are people who may have otherwise continued down a destructive path of drugs.”

“More than 3,300 people – including 74 Breathitt County residents – have entered a substance abuse treatment program using a UNITE voucher since the initiative began in 2005,” Smoot added.

Treatment vouchers for short-term or long-term residential treatment are available to low-income residents of the 32 counties served by UNITE across southern and eastern Kentucky. For more information call UNITE’s Treatment Help-Line at 1-866-908-6483

“This wall only represents a small percentage of the successes of the recovery efforts that we’re seeing,” said Terry, adding that drug addiction continues to have a huge impact throughout the region. “But,” she said, “when I look at this wall I see hope.”

“The Jackson Police Department has been with Operation UNITE from the very start,” commented Police Chief Ken Spicer. “Overcoming prescription drug abuse issues requires a coordinated effort, and I’m proud to have this wall in our community to show the success of UNITE’s treatment initiative.”

The wall will remain on display in Breathitt County through Friday morning, March 14.

Anyone who has been in recovery for at least 18 months is eligible to be featured on the wall. For more information contact the UNITE office at 606-330-1400 or visit www.operationunite.org

Cardinals Struggle Late, Fall to Memphis 72 – 66

The Louisville Cardinals and Memphis Tigers have one of the most intense conference rivalries in all of college basketball.  They have met on the hardwood 88 times with Louisville holding a 53 to 35 advantage.  Unless they meet in the upcoming AAC conference tournament, this could be the last time they meet as conference opponents.

The 7th-ranked Cardinals were poised to get a huge road win, only their second against a ranked team this season, win Montrezl Harrell’s emphatic dunk put Louisville ahead by eight with 4:47 remaining in the game.  However, Louisville would not make a field goal for the rest of the game.  Memphis closed the game on a 15 – 1 run.

Memphis came out strong to start the game, scoring the first six points.  The Tigers led 37 – 31 halftime lead while never trailing in the first half.

Russ Smith and Montrezl Harrell did most of the scoring in the first half combining for 24 of the Cardinals’ 31 points.  The second half was much different for Smith as foul trouble limited him to four points.  Smith picked up his fourth foul with 8:36 remaining.

Harrell was dominant the entire game for the Cardinals, scoring a game-high 25 points and 12 rebounds.  He was not only dominant down low with five dunks, but also hit several jumpers including his first three of the year as the shot clock was expiring in the second half.

Louisville came in to this game with a seven game streak with fewer than 10 turnovers per game.  They were uncharacteristically turnover-prone as they finished with 14.

Chris Jones, in his return to his hometown, had one of his worst performances of the season.  Jones finished with three points on 1 of 10 shooting from the field.  He tallied only one assist, one game after passing for a season-high eight.

Memphis was led by Michael Dixon Jr.’s 18 points.  Dixon Jr. was a perfect 9 of 9 from the free throw line.  He was 5 for 5 from the line in the decisive 15 to 1 run to close the game.

Memphis’ senior guard, Chris Crawford, scored 12 points for the Tigers.  His perimeter shooting was instrumental in the win.  Crawford was 4 of 5 on his 3-pointers.  His last three, the biggest of the game, came after Louisville tied the game at 65.  Crawford hit a three from the top of the key to give Memphis the lead for good.

Louisville missed a golden opportunity to get another signature win on the road against a ranked team.  They defeated then No. 7 Cincinnati last Saturday.  The Cardinals travel to Texas to take on No. 23 SMU.  Louisville can play themselves into a much higher NCAA tournament seed by closing out the season on a strong note.

Disappointing Loss for the Cats

By: Tyrus York – Facing overtime for the second game in a row and for the second time against Arkansas (19-9, 8-7) this season, the #17/15 Kentucky Wildcats (21-7, 11-4) came up on the losing end, falling to the Razorbacks again, 71-67.

Julius Randle goes up for shot against Arkansas - Photo by Tammie Brown - East KY Media
Julius Randle goes up for shot against Arkansas – Photo by Tammie Brown – East KY Media

To be quite honest, Arkansas more than deserved to win the game.  Kentucky trailed for most of the contest before rallying on defense to turn a 14 point deficit into a 5 point lead late in the second half.

But Arkansas steadied and Kentucky went back to their old habits to fall short in the overtime.

When Kentucky loses, there seems to be one thing in common: disjointed or inconsistent guard play.  The majority of the Kentucky offense on Thursday seemed to consist of a guard driving the lane for a contested layup.  We’ve seen this work well in the past, but Arkansas was clearly expecting it and guarded it to near perfection for most of the game.

The obvious advantage for Kentucky was in the paint.  The Razorbacks had no answer for Willie Cauley-Stein who went for a double-double with 16 points and 13 rebounds.  Julius Randle was also a presence in the paint, gathering his own double-double with 14 points and 10 rebounds.

Kentucky outscored the Razorbacks 42-20 in the paint and out-rebounded the Hogs 47-38.  So what went wrong?

The rest of the team is what went wrong.  Andrew Harrison ended up with 14 points, but that was on 5-15 shooting from the field.  He would also record 3 assists, but they were negated by three turnovers.

Aaron Harrison had 8 points, but that was on 2-12 shooting.  His only makes from the field were a pair of threes.  Aaron coughed the ball up 4 times and recorded 0 assists.

James Young wasn’t much better although he did contribute 11 points he also turned the ball over 4 times to 3 assists.  His 4-12 shooting from the floor was the best of bunch.

The Wildcats as a team shot the ball at a 34.2% clip while Arkansas was slightly warmer at 41.4%.

The defense of Kentucky through a stretch late in the second half was the only bright spot for the Cats.  It gave incredible life to a Rupp Arena crowd that was desperately trying to will their team to victory, but it simply wasn’t enough.

Coach Cal contributed fatigue down the stretch as a main factor, which was maybe obvious when the team put up one of their worst performances of the season on the free throw line shooting 54.5% going 12-22.  Arkansas meanwhile was perfect from the line shooting 16-16.  Coincidentally that was the difference of game.

The win by Arkansas puts them back in the conversation for the NCAA Tournament, while the loss will likely knock Kentucky farther down the line in seeding.

It’s a short turnaround for Kentucky as they travel to Columbia, South Carolina to take on a pesky Gamecocks squad that is all but out of any post season consideration.  It will be a tough mental test Saturday for the Cats to see if they can get it back together before the final week of the regular season.

Kentucky and South Carolina tip off at 6 pm Saturday on ESPN.

Jones and Rozier Key Cardinals’ Win Over Temple

The seventh-ranked Louisville Cardinals were one of six ranked teams playing unranked teams Thursday night. Unlike the other five ranked teams, Louisville made sure they would not fall victim to the upset bug. They dominated Temple just as they have done to every unranked opponent this season. The Cardinals lead the nation in scoring margin at 20.6. They outdid that number with an easy 88 – 66 win over the Owls.

Chris Jones and Terry Rozier were key players in the win. Rick Pitino was extremely impressed with their play saying, “I like both guys very much and I thought they were outstanding tonight.” Jones keyed an opening 12 – 2 run with 4 assists. He played one of his best all-around games of the season finishing with 9 points, 8 assists, and 4 steals. “I just thought he was really active,” Pitino said. Rozier continues to show the entire country that he should be mentioned with the other top freshman. He has improved as the season has gone on. Rozier had 19 points on 8 – 10 shooting. He was 3 of 4 on 3-pointers.

Russ Smith led the Cardinals with 24 points. He was 8 of 12 from the field and 7 – 8 from the free throw line. Smith scored 11 of the Cardinals’ first 17 points including a miraculous over the head shot. Despite his strong early scoring, Pitino was not too please with Smith as he sat him on the bench for 11 minutes of the first half. When asked about Smith’s crazy plays and if he has learned that Pitino will take him out of the game, Pitino said, “He didn’t, because I told him that three times before. Look, you have to give him his latitude, but the thing about it is Russ is having a great season. I know Doug McDermott will win Player of the Year. I might get upset with him, but Russ is one of the top three players in the nation. It’s just that he is playing so great I just don’t want him to revert back.” Montrezl Harrell was a force once again in the paint. Harrell finished with points on 9 of 12 shooting from the field. His 9 field goals included 4 highlight-reel dunks and a rather unusual 19 foot jumper from the top of the key. Of course he banked the jumper in.

Pitino spoke of the unselfish play and the team chemistry saying, “Guys have totally bought in to unselfish play and think of each other. I think they really put winning above everything else.” “I think they like each other and they have a good time when they are out there. We have been very blessed. We have had great chemistry for three years. Not every team has that. Some teams have good chemistry, but we have had great chemistry. They guys like each other a lot and are joking around. We have a lot of laughs together and I think that helps create a very good locker room. It shows on the court and off the court. They have a great time together.” Temple was led by Will Cummings and Quenton Decosey. Cummings scored 18 points and Decosey 17. The Owls’ leading scorer on the season, Dalton Pepper, was held to 10 points on 4 of 12 shooting from the field.

Louisville has only one day to prepare for their next game on Saturday in Memphis. The Tigers were upset against Houston 77 – 68. The Cardinals will be trying to break even with the Tigers as Memphis came in to the KFC Yum Center on January 9 and beat the Cardinals 73 – 67.

Former Mayor of Martin and Her Daughter Convicted on Fraud Charges

Arrested - Photo courtesy of Internet
Arrested – Photo courtesy of Internet

LONDON — A former mayor of Martin, Ky., and her daughter, have been convicted by a federal jury of charges related to a scheme to defraud the Social Security Administration (SSA) and to misapply federal funds. On Tuesday night, the jury convicted former Martin Mayor Ruth Thomasine Robinson, 69, and her daughter, Rita Christine Whicker, 42, former director of the Martin Community Center. The verdict was handed down after approximately two hours of deliberation following two days of trial. Specifically, the jury convicted the defendants on all eight counts, including counts of conspiracy, federal program fraud, theft of social security disability benefits and aggravated identity theft. Ginger Michelle Halbert, 42, a volunteer city employee who worked closely with Robinson, pled guilty last week to a charge of theft of government money.

Evidence at trial established that, from 2006 until January 2013, Halbert was purportedly working on a volunteer basis, but was secretly being paid with federal funds. The funds used to pay Halbert were intended for the Martin Community Center and the Martin Housing Authority. Some of the misdirected money was supposed to fund an after school program for city children. To conceal the scheme, the defendants allegedly arranged for the checks to be made payable to Halbert’s son. Evidence further established that Halbert, who was receiving social security disability benefits, intentionally failed to notify SSA of her earned income from the city of Martin. Under federal law, anyone who receives disability benefits is limited in the amount of money that they can receive from another source and all income must be reported to the SSA, so it can properly determine eligibility for benefits.

Kerry B. Harvey, U.S. Attorney for the Eastern District of Kentucky, Perrye Turner, Special Agent in Charge of the Federal Bureau of Investigation, Guy Fallen, Special Agent in Charge, Social Security Administration, Office of the Investigator General, Office of Investigations, and Jack Conway, Attorney General of Kentucky, jointly made the announcement today.  The investigation was conducted by the Federal Bureau of Investigation, Social Security Administration, and the Attorney General’s Office. Assistant U.S. Attorney Ken Taylor is prosecuting this case for the U.S. Attorney’s Office on behalf of the federal government. Sentencing for Robinson and Whicker is scheduled for July 9, 2014. Halbert is scheduled for sentencing on June 6, 2014. The conspiracy offense carries a maximum of 5 years in prison; misappropriating money from a federal program carries a maximum penalty of 10 years in prison; and aggravated identity theft has a mandatory minimum penalty of two years in prison.

Randle Named Oscar Robertson National Player of the Week

Also tabbed the Wayman Tisdale National Freshman of the Week

ST. LOUIS – Kentucky freshman Julius Randle has been honored by the U.S. Basketball Writers Association (USBWA) as its Oscar Robertson National Player of the Week and its Wayman Tisdale National Freshman of the Week it was announced on Tuesday. It is the first time this season one player has been honored with both awards by the association during the same week.

Randle was named the Southeastern Conference’s Player of the Week after he led the Wildcats to a pair of victories this week. Randle averaged 16.5 points and 14.0 rebounds in wins over Ole Miss and LSU.

As the SEC’s Player of the Week, Randle was nominated for the weekly award, which was chosen by a representative of the USBWA board of directors from a list of Division I conference players of the week.

Randle is the second Wildcat freshman to earn Wayman Tisdale weekly honors this season. James Young also captured the honor on Dec. 31 following his 18-point, 10-rebound performance in helping UK down then ranked No. 6 Louisville.

This is the fifth season that the USBWA has selected a national player of the week. The weekly Oscar Robertson National Player of the Week will be considered for the Oscar Robertson Trophy watch list.

Randle began the week by notching his 14th double-double of the season with 25 points and 13 rebounds at Ole Miss. He now ranks 13th in program history with 14 double-doubles in a single year. The 6-9 forward ranks third among freshmen for double-doubles in a single season as both DeMarcus Cousins and Anthony Davis tallied 20 during their freshman campaigns. It marked the seventh 20-10 game of his career.

Randle shot 13-14 from the free throw line against the Rebels and scored six of UK’s final 11 points to help preserve the victory. The 13 made free throws matches a career best tally for the freshman and is the most in a single game by any player in the John Calipari era. For the season he has totaled 148 made free throws which are a mark that ranks fourth among all UK freshmen in program history.

UK’s starting forward helped lead the Cats in dramatic fashion at home against LSU. He hit the game-winning put back with 3.9 second remaining in overtime en route to an eight-point, 15-rebound performance against the Tigers. The 15 boards was just one shy of matching a career high.

For the season, Randle has hauled in 278 rebounds which stand as the fourth most in UK freshman history. He has also poured in a team-high 425 points on the year. The 425 tallies are 12th among UK freshman in the record books.

Since the 1958-59 season, the USBWA has named a National Player of the Year. In 1998, the award was named in honor of the University of Cincinnati Hall of Famer and two-time USBWA Player of the Year Oscar Robertson. It is the nation’s oldest award and the only one named after a former player.

Kentucky returns to action on Thursday, Feb. 27 at home as UK welcomes Arkansas to Rupp Arena. Tipoff is slated for 7 p.m. ET and the game will air live on ESPN.

Sports Coverage for the Bluegrass