Former Kentucky Wildcat Cedric Jenkins Passes Away
Cedric Jenkins, a towering 6-foot-11 Kentucky center who completed a memorable buzzer-beater vs. Louisville, has died. He was 57.
Jenkins was a decorated recruit when he signed to play for Joe B. Hall in 1984. From Dawson, GA, “Swoop” Jenkins was Georgia Mr. Basketball after leading Terrell County to a 28-0 record and a AA State Championship. He averaged 25 points, 16 rebounds, and five blocked shots a game to earn Parade and McDonald’s All-American honors.
Upon arriving in Lexington he played sparingly as a freshman, appearing in 20 games at just about 5 minutes per contest. The following year, Eddie Sutton’s first as the Wildcats’ head coach, he worked his way into a regular role off the bench, highlighted by a career-high 13 points in Kentucky’s SEC Tournament Championship victory over Alabama.
An ankle injury slowed Swoop Jenkins’ progress as a junior. During his final campaign in 1987, he emerged as the Cats’ starting center, saving his best performance for Denny Crum’s Louisville Cardinals. The top-ranked Wildcats were down one point with 11 seconds remaining. The first game-winning shot attempt caromed off the rim. Cedric Jenkins was there to clean it up, grabbing his 11th rebound of the day and tipping in his first bucket, a game-winner as time expired.
Cedric Jenkins left an indelible mark on the Kentucky basketball program with one memorable, heroic play at Rupp Arena. He will be missed. Our thoughts and prayers are with his family and friends during this difficult time.