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Web Wednesday: Secure softball future edition

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Each Wednesday here at Cat Scratches, we're going to take a look back at the latest week's news in UK Athletics from around the web.

Best on the 'net

Softball: Lawson rewarded with new contract (Jerry Tipton, Lexington Herald-Leader)
"The team is a model," he said. "(The players) are consummate student-athletes. She's an educator. She's a teacher of the game. When they take the field, they do it with class."

Barnhart saluted Lawson for raising the softball program's profile from local afterthought to national contender in four years as coach.

"When I came here nine years ago, there were people who had invested time," Barnhart said, "but, unfortunately, the results didn't come close to what Rachel has done."
Football: A trip the Wildcats won't soon forget (Chris Low, ESPN)
Hines and Trevathan said they will have a hard time getting the kids out of their minds. Several of the kids they came into contact with were HIV-infected, but the Wildcats' players never blinked, whether it came to showing them how to throw a football or simply hugging them.

"Being here, we have never really been around kids that you have no idea when the last time they bathed or something like that was," Hines said. "You had no idea if they had some type of disease of whatever. There were definitely some issues that might come up in your head.

"But, the thing was, that we were there for them, and we didn't let that get in our way."
Men's basketball: Jones aiming for all-around impact (Andy Katz, ESPN)
Jones said he wants the players to lean on him. He said he needs to become an all-around player -- a better rebounder, a better defender and a better leader. Jones will attend the Kevin Durant camp in Chicago later this month, but took a pass on USA Basketball. He wants to stay in Lexington to ensure there is cohesion with the freshmen and the returnees.

"I'm enjoying the experience," Jones said. "I want to gain maturity. I want to learn how to be a better leader. I want to try and win a national championship with the new guys coming in."
Women's basketball: Kentucky the right choice for Ukari Figgs this time around (Tipton, Herald-Leader)
On Friday, Figgs was introduced as the University of Kentucky's new assistant athletic director for women's basketball.

"It's a great opportunity for me both professionally and personally," said Figgs, who spent the past two seasons as an assistant coach at Purdue after leaving Toyota. "... I grew up watching the University of Kentucky (teams). A lot of the players I tried to emulate."

Former Wildcats making headlines

Astros sign Neiko Johnson (Herald-Leader)
University of Kentucky senior infielder/outfielder Neiko Johnson signed a free-agent contract with the Houston Astros on Sunday night.

A native of Redan, Ga., Johnson will report to the ­Tri-City Valley Cats in the New-York Penn League, the rookie-level affiliate of the Astros that starts their season on Friday.

Mom appreciates Harrellson's concern for her daughter (Larry Vaught, Danville Advocate-Messenger)
When Harrellson came to Mercer County in late May for a charity fundraising game, he asked if he could bring Alex Otte with him.

"If I had said no, she would have never spoken to me again," her mother said.

The family met Harrellson at the Kentucky Basketball Academy in Lexington, and there were former Wildcats Patrick Patterson, Perry Stevenson and Jared Prickett along with Harrellson.
Wizards, Wall ready for jump (Dan Steinberg, Washington Post)
Saunders said John Wall has been working out in Verizon Center for three or fours a day over the last several weeks.

"His shot is almost 100 percent better than what it was about a year ago," Saunders said. "I think he's gonna made a huge stride from where he was last year to this coming year."
Brandon Webb progressing toward big league return (Gerry Fraley, Dallas Morning-News)
The rehabilitation of Rangers right-hander Brandon Webb enters a new and more challenging phase Monday.

Webb will begin a 30-day injury-rehabilitation assignment with Double-A Frisco by starting against Tulsa, of the Colorado organization, in a 4:05 p.m. game at Dr Pepper Ballpark. It will be Webb's first true game appearance since April 6, 2009, when he worked four innings in an opening day start for Arizona.

News from UKathletics.com

Track and field: UK concludes NCAA Outdoor Championships

Softball: Lawson signs contract extension

Men's basketball: Harrow enrolls at UK

Men's golf: Trainor named head coach at Akron

Football: UK needs your (the fans') help


Video of the week

With Enes Kanter and Brandon Knight set to be high lottery picks, Josh Harrellson and DeAndre Liggins haven't gotten quite the level of attention that the aforementioned two have seen. However, Harrellson and Liggins are on a workout tour with teams throughout the NBA. Eric showed you some video of Harrellson being interviewed after a workout with the DeMarcus Cousins' Sacramento Kings, but here he is showcasing his skills on the court alongside a few other prospects.

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