1958 National Champion Johnny Cox was Kentucky's 'Y'

On3 imageby:Jack Pilgrim12/02/23

Johnny Cox is just one of four players in Kentucky basketball history to score over 1,000 points and record over 1,000 rebounds. The 6-4 forward was a two-time All-American, three-time All-SEC member and a standout on the 1958 National Championship team — one of the “Fiddlin’ Five.”

Tonight vs. UNC Wilmington, Cox was brought out as the honorary ‘Y’ inside Rupp Arena.

The Wildcat legend was rolled out to midcourt in a wheelchair and was helped to his feet to lift his arms in the air and soak in a deserved ovation from Big Blue Nation.

Cox’s No. 24 jersey hangs inside Rupp Arena, the venue named after his old head coach. The Hazard native still ranks 19th in scoring and fourth in rebounding.

Turning 87 years old on Nov. 1, his celebration was actually a birthday wish come true. Like many of us, he wanted to “go see Jeff Sheppard’s boy play” for the Wildcats. It was a social media post that went viral, which UK Athletics helped turn into a reality.

Jack “Goose” Givens was the main catalyst in making it happen.

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2024-03-02