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Monday, March 23, 2009

Basketball in the Bluegrass - Best in the World

Coaches from all over the world want to live and work in a place that loves the sport of basketball. Along with that passion for the game comes high expectations and pressure that drive some coaches out of the sport. Others that have been able to maintain the course over the years have proven to be some of the most successful basketball coaches in the country. In Kentucky, basketball is not just a sport, it is more of a religion and the holy grail is playing in the state tournament at Rupp Arena. Kentucky is the last great basketball state that still competes without a class system. In almost every state, at the end of the basketball season, there are multiple state champions in basketball to be crowned. Kentucky is special because it is a winner take all event where schools like Elliot County - enrollment 167 can compete with the bigger enrollment schools for a chance at the trophy. Kentucky high school basketball is the best. While the talent pool might not be as good as many other states, the following, the tradition, the expectations, and the fan support make it a much better state to coach basketball than say Florida which has some of the most talented athletes to ever play - see Vince Carter or Amare Stoudamire - there are only about 3000 fans at the state championship. That is a generous number.

These are some pictures from the most recent state tournament in Kentucky where we had over 22,000 fans for a FIRST round game. If you have the opportunity to come to see the "Greatest Show in Hoops," it is well worth your time.

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