Kentucky players sign a pickup truck (and other notes from the La Familia Autograph Tour)

On3 imageby:Jack Pilgrim07/29/23

Kentucky basketball‘s La Familia Autograph Tour is well underway, two days and four Kroger stops now knocked out with one day and two stops to go. The Wildcats got started in Somerset and Morehead on Friday, followed by Shelbyville and Louisville on Saturday. Aaron BradshawReed SheppardJordan BurksJustin EdwardsAdou ThieroTre Mitchell, Grant Darbyshire and Walker Horn make up participating players on the signing tour — Kareem Watkins brought along as an alternate.

KSR was in attendance for both Saturday stops, which ran from 10 a.m. to noon ET. Edwards, Thiero, Mitchell and Horn were in Louisville, while Sheppard, Burks, Darbyshire and Watkins were in Shelbyville — Bradshaw unable to attend due to a scheduling conflict. ProCamps says the 7-foot-1 freshman is expected to be at the Versailles stop on Sunday.

But how did things go with those in attendance for day two?

Sign a pickup truck?

Big Blue Nation has never been shy about making fascinating autograph and picture requests with their beloved Wildcats. Basketballs to babies to — well, remember when fans would lick Devin Booker’s car? That’s all you really need to know.

Today marked another interesting request at the Shelbyville stop, this time involving another vehicle. No licks this time around, thank goodness, but a fan did want the players to sign his Kentucky-themed pickup truck out in the parking lot. White with blue trim highlighted by UK logos and KENTUCKY written at the bottom of the doors.

One by one, the Wildcats in attendance each signed the inside of the door, followed by a group picture with the owner.

Pretty neat, honestly.

Jordan Burks is Reed (and Jeff) Sheppard’s biggest fan

You don’t have to question who Burks’ favorite all-time Kentucky player is — he made that abundantly clear from start to finish. Any time a young fan asked who his favorite player was growing up, he told them it was Reed Sheppard. If they didn’t ask, he told them anyway. At minimum, he’d ask fans if they knew who Sheppard’s dad was, stressing that Jeff Sheppard was an all-timer in his own right.

He asked one teenager for his thoughts on the former Final Four Most Outstanding Player’s game. Reed’s response? “He wasn’t even born yet.”

Burks asked KSR for a photo with Reed Sheppard, adding that he was going to tell his kids one day the picture was actually with Jeff Sheppard. Then he actually got the chance to meet Jeff to close out the event — and yes, he got a picture.

Jeff Sheppard was a popular topic with fans talking to the players, Reed reminded by many that his dad was a big reason for their fandom. One fan said he attended Jeff’s youth camp when he was just seven years old. Now a few decades later, he was getting the Kentucky legend’s son’s autograph ahead of his freshman season in Lexington.

“This is a big full-circle moment for me,” he said.

Tyler Ulis comes up big with Bojangles

Sitting in a chair signing autographs for two hours takes a lot out of you. That’s why current UK student assistant and former Wildcat standout Tyler Ulis came to save the day with Bojangles.

Ulis brought the current Wildcats lunch to get them through the home stretch, where he was immediately met by Kentucky fans wanting pictures. One Kroger employee came up to confirm her suspicions that the “shorter gentleman” was, in fact, one of her favorite players of all time.

It certainly was — one of several fans to snag pics with Ulis before he left.

Ulis was among the special guests invited to participate in The Homies’ 4th Annual Celebrity Kickball Tournament, scheduled for Saturday afternoon at Jim Patterson Baseball Stadium in Louisville. He took the Wildcats with him to play in the charity event — explains why he brought them Bojangles to fuel up.

La Familia Autograph Tour Highlights

Miss day two of the tour? Check out KSR’s footage from the event.

Sunday’s tour schedule

Looking to meet the Wildcats on the third and final day? Edwards, Mitchell and Horn will be in Lexington at the Beaumont Centre location from 2-4 PM ET, while Bradshaw, Sheppard, Burks and Darbyshire will be at the Versailles Kroger, also from 2-4 PM.

What should you expect when you arrive? Tickets are available at the door for $60 each, which will get each person one item to be signed by all present players, one ticket per person.

And remember: A portion of net proceeds and all sponsor proceeds will benefit the Mayfield Flood Relief Mission.


3175 Beaumont Centre Cir.
Lexington, Kentucky

Sunday, 7/30
2-4 PM ET

Justin Edwards, Tre Mitchell, Walker Horn


212 Kroger Way
Versailles, Kentucky

Aaron Bradshaw, Reed Sheppard, Jordan Burks, Grant Darbyshire

We’ll see you there, BBN.

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