After playing her freshman season at North Carolina, Rebecca "Bee" Gray has returned to her home state and is finally ready to wear the Blue and White. The 5-10 guard sat out last season due to NCAA transfer rules and is now ready to make a major impact on the UK Hoops squad. Check out "Bee's Blog" as the Georgetown, Ky., native and former Kentucky Miss Basketball (2007) gives us an inside look into her daily life as a Kentucky Wildcat.
February 24, 2010
UK Hoops fans, we went undefeated at home this year with a perfect 17-0 record! Only the second team in Kentucky history to do so and it is a pretty nice feeling to be a part of history. We sent out our two great seniors, Amani Franklin and Lydia Watkins, with a great crowd and a lot of love and support. We not only finished off our undefeated home season on Sunday, but we also had a record crowd that was the sixth-largest in UK Hoops history! It was so loud and hype in Memorial Coliseum and we really appreciate what all of our fans have done for us this season. So, thank you for all of your support throughout this year and don't relax because we are not done yet.
Senior Day was very special not only for the two seniors but for the whole team. It was the last time that this team would play together in Memorial and it really meant a lot for us to come out with fire. We got the job done and after every win we go in the locker room and blast the music while we all display our crazy cool dance skills. I would have to say Keyla and Big Red are by far the two best dancers on the team. They put 110% effort into their dancing and it just looks so graceful. If you didn't know already, I'm being very sarcastic but we love them both and they are our source of entertainment.
We leave Wednesday evening to head down to Knoxville and we are traveling by bus. This is always a good time because we play these games that involve the whole team's participation. "Zoo" is probably my favorite and it is basically a sign game where everyone picks an animal sign to imitate and you go one person at a time. When you see your sign being called from another teammate, you have to perform your sign and then call someone else's sign to keep it passing on. This is all done randomly while staying in rhythm with clapping hands of everyone else waiting for their turn. It is somewhat confusing to learn at first and it takes rhythm and coordination. It is really amusing to take part in and watch because you can almost guarantee the same people will mess up every time!
Once we get there, it is down to business and we will end the night with a film session. Thursday night is going to be a great game and the atmosphere will probably be somewhat like the NCAA tournament. We are preparing for this game just like we would for any other and we know our coaching staff will have us prepared for battle. This season has gone by so fast and I cannot believe we are so close to the SEC tournament. It feels like just yesterday when I was talking about Big Blue Madness! It has been a great ride so far and now we are really putting the hammer down to ensure we are doing everything we can to be successful. It's the little things that matter in the end and the fundamentals along with a lot of heart and passion will take us to where we want to be.
See ya Soon!
February 16, 2010
UK Hoops fans, how are you all doing? It has been a little while since I last posted a blog! I am feeling great, especially after some very good wins for us against some great SEC teams. We also have had some bumps in the road but the important thing is that we are able to come together and bounce back from any loss. Our next challenge is a home game against Florida on Thursday. We have had some really good preparation practices and I feel that our team is confident going into this part of the season. It has been a great season so far but we haven't even played our best ball yet! There is still a lot that needs to be done and we are working one day at a time to get where we need to be. We have quite a bit on our agenda each day but somehow we make it work. School has been in session for about a month now and we have been some very busy student-athletes with academics and basketball.
Since the spring semester is now in full swing, we have found a routine or rhythm that we work with each week. Mondays are now our day off for the week because we are in the conference schedule. A normal work-out and practice schedule for the week would involve:
- Monday- Off
- Tuesday- Weight-lifting - 8 a.m., Individual work-outs with a position coach - 2:30 p.m., Practice - 3:30 p.m.
- Wednesday- Practice - 3 p.m.
- Thursday- Shoot around - 2 p.m., pre-game meal - 3:30 p.m., Game-time - 7 p.m.
- Friday- Individual work-out - 2:30, Weight-lifting - 3 p.m., team academic meeting - 3:45, practice - 4 p.m.
- Saturday- Practice usually has a start time of about 11 a.m. or Noon
- Sunday- Shoot around - 8 or 9 a.m., pre-game meal - 9:30 or 10:30 a.m., Game-time - 1, 2 or 3 p.m.
That is the normal agenda for us when we have home games and it will only change a little when we travel. For example, we would fly out of Lexington after practice on Wednesday for an away game on Thursday and the meal times usually stay the same on game day as well. This is just a very small part of our week and I didn't even include the academic expectations which almost double our time spent on the court. The biggest transition about college is time management and if you are only "okay" at managing your time, you will fail miserably. You have to committed to making the most out of your time. There are a lot of things that we are asked to do as elite student-athletes, but we are triumphant because of our intrinsic drive to be successful.
We are now 21-4 on the season with a lot of basketball still to play! The support for this program is overwhelming and we appreciate all you do for us as our fans. Let's keep this ball rolling!
Here We Go!
January 21, 2010
"Fall seven times, stand up eight."
UK Hoops fans it has been a long time since I last posted on here! There has been a lot that has happened and a lot of work that we have been putting in as well. So far this season we have done well but there is always room for improvement. As of now, we have lost three games and the thing about a loss is the fact that you must learn from it and move on. If you waste your time dwelling on the things that happened then you will not be prepared for the next opponent. The coaching staff has done a good job of guiding us through our mistakes and helping us prepare for the many challenges that still lie ahead.
Our next game is Thursday night (tonight) and we will be hosting Arkansas. It is another important SEC game that we need to win! We recently broke into the USA Today/ESPN Coaches Top 25 poll and it is something that you look at and simply keep moving on. Don't get me wrong, we are excited to achieve that level of success but in the end the only thing that matters is making it to the NCAA tournament. We have been working so hard this year to build a program that functions off our simple ingredients for success. Those are our winning tools and they are honesty, hard work, and discipline. When we put those all together and we are playing with enthusiasm we are a great team!
We need you to come out and support your UK Hoops team through the rest of SEC play because you all really make a difference. The atmosphere at Memorial Coliseum is a big reason why I transferred to Kentucky ! It is a very tough place for our opponents to play and it gets really loud when our team needs you the most. I love it! So, bring your family and friends and come watch the show. It's time to do work, let's go! Here we go!!!
December 8 , 2009
UK Hoops fans, your team is now 8-0! We have had some really good wins so far this season and it all comes down to our defense. Over the Thanksgiving break, we went out to Santa Barbara, Calif., for a few days and we had a really good time. The resort where we stayed was right on the beach and it was absolutely beautiful! We had a shoot around the day before we played UC-Santa Barbara and after that we ate lunch at In-n-Out Burger. It was probably the best burger I have ever had and the strawberry shake was most definitely a top five. Later that day, we were allotted some free time so I spent mine on the beach out in the lovely California sun. It was very relaxing and I got a little bit of a tan so I was looking good before we ate dinner that night.
The next day was game day. We played some solid defense and showed a lot of intensity and we battle through some adversity to come out with the win. After we showered up and ate our lunch on the bus, we headed to Los Angeles to see the sights. Our first stop was Hollywood Boulevard and it offered a pretty interesting mix of things for us to see. There were a bunch of souvenir stores, a lot of different café-type restaurants, a very nice mall, and some important places like the Kodak Theatre and the Jimmy Kimmel Live studio. It was fun seeing all the stars on the ground as we walked up and down the strip. The most memorable one was probably Michael Jackson and that seemed to be the one everyone wanted a picture with. When we were finished on Hollywood Boulevard, we then headed to the famous, Rodeo Drive .
Rodeo Drive is very nice and the word I would use to describe it for anyone who hasn't been there would be, ritzy! We could not even go in any of the stores because you had to book an appointment to gain entrance. I am sure there are some famous people who don't mind making an appointment to go in and throw some extra money around in those shops. Your UK Hoops team took the award for best window shoppers for sure! It was a great experience for us to see what it was like none-the-less.
We departed from LAX at 11:55 local time which was about 3 a.m. EST. We arrived in Cincinnati at about 7:30 a.m. and then took a charter bus back to Lexington. It had been a long night but at least we got home early on Thanksgiving morning even though it was cold and not the weather we had been used to. I had a great time in California and we are very blessed here at Kentucky to be able to travel and spend money like we do. We try to give back everyday by working hard in practice and translating that hard work to the games as well. We got a great win up in Cincinnati on Friday and now, it is time to really buckle down for finals week. You have to believe in yourself before you can ever attempt to be successful in this crazy game of life!
Getting it done on and off the court, Here We Go!
November 22, 2009
"Teamwork is the fuel that allows common people to attain uncommon results."
UK Hoops fans! It is officially here and I could not be happier. We are beginning a brand new season with a team that is very excited to play for Kentucky . It's been a great start for us this season and we are 3-0! There were a lot of positives that we have taken from each game as well as plenty of things we can still improve on. I was so ready to step out on the court in Memorial Coliseum and finally get to play a game for UK . You can certainly tell a difference in the tempo that we have played with in these first couple of games. Since it has been so long since I last played a real game, I feel like I'm still somewhat "rusty." The big thing for me is to just keep working at it and I will catch the flow eventually.
The first real game of the season was against Boston University last Friday. Since our game time was at 11 in the morning, we were the first official Division I basketball game that was played this season. That was very exciting for us and we took a step in the right direction with the win. We also played Butler and Morehead State this week and that was a challenge because it was three games in five days. It was good for us to see what we still need to improve on and what we are doing well. Our next game is Sunday against UT-Chattanooga and we will leave for California on Monday. We are still working harder than ever in practices and our defense is looking better and better. Our program has a new winning attitude and that starts with the players and extends all the way up to the staff. We need you to help us out along the way! Bring your families and friends out and help support your UK Hoops team as we set out on our new journey.
One team, one goal, one championship!
October 30, 2009
Good, better, best. Never let it rest. Until your good is better and your better is best. -- Tim Duncan
UK Hoops fans, it's finally time for actual game-like action here in the Bluegrass! We have been very busy this past week with practice and we finished up our mid-term exams as well. I am very excited to get the season started and I can't wait for ya'll to see us. We look so good in practice. It may seem like I am a broken record because I keep saying we look good in practice, but I'm serious. This team is like no other UK Hoops team you have seen! We have become a very close family since this summer and my sisters and I want to bring this program to a new level. Everyday in practice and in class, we push ourselves to the limit and put our hearts on the line to show our dedication to this program.
Now, we need your help. We are on our quest to reach 5,000 season tickets and that means we need you to fill the stands for us! Our whole focus in these practices has been tempo. The pace we are going to play at this year is going to be fun to watch. There is nothing better than watching your UK Hoops team at home and this year is a new experience that you are not going to want to miss. So, bring your friends and family! Help us reach 5,000 season tickets and sit back and enjoy the show because we are going to put one on for you this year!
Our good can always get better and our best is yet to come... Here We Go!
October 23, 2009
You say, "why Kentucky?" I say, "why not Kentucky?"
UK Hoops fans Big Blue Madness was unbelievable! It was a night that was jammed full of exciting introductions, celebrity guests, and of course, basketball. I consider myself very lucky to be a part of such a great program because the fans and the tradition are the best, bar none! Friday seemed like it was taking forever to pass by and the anticipation for the evening was at an extreme high. I was so excited to finally get my chance to come out and be introduced at Big Blue Madness.
When I arrived at the locker room before we stretched and began warming up, I just sat there in a blank stare. I was just taking it all in and it was kind of overwhelming as I sat there and thought to myself, "I finally made it!" All of the hard times in the past along with all of the ups and downs I've already faced pushed me to where I wanted to be at last.
So, when I came back to reality, I got dressed and ready along with everyone else. A few minutes passed and Coach Mitchell came in and said he had someone he wanted us to meet. Eddie Montgomery, from the country music duo Montgomery Gentry, walked in and my jaw just dropped! He is probably one of my favorite country singers and there he stood right in front of me decked out in UK gear. I was shocked for a second but then I went up to him and shook his hand because I couldn't pass on that opportunity. While we were talking to him, I saw someone else walk in the locker room and that's when all my teammates went crazy. The person I saw walk in was Drake, a new professional rapper, and yet again, my jaw dropped. That was just the beginning!
It was finally time for our introductions and I was so hype and ready to go. When my name was called, it was the best feeling of my life and as I approached center stage, I just stood there with my arms out and eyes closed to take it all in again. It was amazing! While we were warming up and getting up and down the court, I looked over on the side line and saw a bunch of my favorite UK players. Richie Farmer, Kenny "Sky" Walker, Derek Anderson, Tayshaun Prince, Wayne Turner, Jared Prickett and there were a bunch of other famous people there as well. They were talking to us and yelling out stuff the whole time we played which made me laugh a few times. It is crazy to think that I used to be the one watching them play and now they were watching me work my magic.
Big Blue Madness was run to perfection from top to bottom. It was exciting the whole time and you never knew who was going to pop out next and make an entrance. Where else can you see Drake, Eddie Montgomery, and the best that basketball has to offer? Only at Kentucky ! It is now time to put in the real work and get ready for the season. Practices have been looking better and better every day. We're ready, are you?
A tradition of basketball excellence and a future of domination....Here We Go!!
October 12, 2009
"To dream anything that you want to dream . That's the beauty of the human mind. To do anything that you want to do. That is the strength of the human will. To trust yourself to test your limits. That is the courage to succeed." -- Bernard Edmonds
UK Hoops fans, can you feel it yet? There is so much excitement for this program this year and we are more than ready to get this party started. Big Blue Madness is next week and I feel like it is going to be very exciting to not only attend, but to actually be a part of it. I grew up in the Bluegrass state and I understand the basketball tradition that is upheld here at one of the best universities in America . The expectations I set for myself are very high and watching the UK men's teams dominate as a kid is probably the reason why I have instilled a winning attitude in my mind. The pride that I have as a Kentucky kid is something that will never be touched. Every kid growing up in Kentucky dreams of participating in Big Blue Madness and I actually get to turn the dream into a reality!
This year's team just has that special "something" that I can't explain but it is definitely there and we all see it. I do not think a lot of people understand what we have and there are probably not many people who have given us a second glance in this preseason either. It just fuels our fire more, knowing that we have a chance to do something that the women's program at UK has never done before. This is a whole new team, with a new attitude, and focus. When a team is driven to become the best and the players are motivated and believe in the system, the sky is the limit! Playing at Kentucky is an honor and winning at Kentucky will soon become tradition.
Just living the dream... Here We Go!
October 1, 2009
"Opportunity is just success looking for a place to happen." -- Greg Hickman
Hello again UK Hoops fans! This week was a great relief from the long exam-filled journey that I had last week. A Stats 291 exam was the only thing I had on my plate academically except for reading because I always have to read regardless of what's going on. We have continued to do our morning work outs and afternoon pick-up games along with practice. There are very few morning work outs remaining in the pre-season so it is important to take advantage of each one. I believe we are down to four more 6:30 a.m. conditioning sessions which means we have about two weeks left until we are actually done with the pre-season! It has gone by fast and I am not really complaining because I am so ready to play in a real game. The last time I played in an actual game was at the end of March in 2008. Trust me when I say it feels like much longer!
Although it has felt like forever, a lot of things have happened for me and a new outlook on life and my game itself has been put into place. A year ago today, I collapsed in the middle of our morning sprints and I was taken out in an ambulance. After a variety of long and detailed testing, I was told that I possibly had a heart disease called Long QT syndrome. In a short summary, that disease means that you cannot get your heart rate up because you are taking a risk that your heart might stop pumping because it cannot recover fast enough between beats. Long QT is a problem with the electrical system of the heart and if your heart rate increases above normal then you are risking your heart stopping and not restarting.
I sat out for eight months thinking that the game I love was taken away forever. All I could do was watch my team play and practice without me. Long story to be told, but in the end, I went to the Mayo Clinic in Rochester, Minn., because they have the highest level of specialization in Long QT syndrome. After a four-day stay in Minnesota, my dad and I left with the greatest news of my life. I was cleared to play and they had no reason to believe that I had the disease. My teammates, family, and coaching staff were my saving grace throughout the process, and I feel like I owe them much more than I can ever give them in return. All I can promise is that I will give it my all this year, and you will never see another player work harder than I will for this team. We must take full advantage of the opportunities that present themselves in our lives because you never know when it could all be taken away.
A second chance for The Bee to fly..... Here We Go!
September 25, 2009
"Responsibility is the price of greatness." -- Winston Churchill
Rebecca Gray and her UK teammates with UK men's basketball freshman DeMarcus Cousins
UK Hoops is doing work! This was by far one of the busiest weeks I have encountered as a college student at Kentucky. It seems like all of my professors got together and decided that this week would be a great week to have the first exam each course. I had an exam or a quiz in every class this week! It is always good to get the first one out of the way so you can get a feel for the setup and how that professor will grade the material. When you are in college as a student-athlete, it is always important to remember that you are a student first and foremost because you can't play without the grades.
This week was just as busy on the court as it was off the court. Monday morning was our usual weight-lifting routine and I can now back squat my own weight plus some. We are throwing up some serious weight and everyone looks big, mean and strong! Tuesday morning was our agility and conditioning day which always involves foot work and change of direction drills along with sprinting at the end. We played pick up Tuesday afternoon as well with our practice players for about an hour and a half. Wednesday morning was another weight-lifting day. We played pick up again Wednesday and this time it was just with our team and no practice players. Although, we did have one player come join our pick up game and if we put a wig on him he might pass for a female. Freshmen center DeMarcus Cousins came and decided he would help us out in the post because we needed some extra height in the paint. It was a lot of fun and we ended up getting plenty of work done as well.
Thursday and Friday were a little different from our usual schedule because we had a few sessions with Jared Lawrence from Performance Training out of Knoxville, Tenn. He comes to Lexington every year for a couple of days and helps us with some advanced foot work and change of direction drills. We do a lot of small hurdle drills, plyometrics, and he points out where our potential weaknesses are on defense by looking at our foot positioning. It is very beneficial and he has a really good sense of humor so we can enjoy ourselves while putting in our work.
Everyday is a step closer to the season and that means we are another step closer to greatness! UK Hoops, Here We Go!
September 17, 2009
Ladies and gentlemen, it's been another great week for UK Hoops! This week was a very exciting week because we got to start team work outs with the coaching staff. The past few weeks have strictly been individuals consisting of smaller groups. We have been split up by point guards, shooting guards and post players. In those groups, we were working on our specified needs for that position. Point guards were working on slashing the court on the break, ball handling, driving to the paint and finishing. My group, the shooting guards, were doing ball-handling drills, shooting off stagger screens involving our offensive plays and transition scoring. The forwards and centers have been working on their ball handling as well along with their mid-range game, three-pointers, and block-to-block scoring. Anna, our freshman center, has been doing a lot to improve her quickness under the basket. She has been working on getting low on her post-ups and finishing while being hit with the pad on the block.
Our first team work out was basically an introduction for the freshmen so they could get a hang of what a real practice will be like. The main idea of this session was to keep the tempo up even if you make mistakes. We started off with our stretch routine and then moved into some mid-range shooting to get warmed up. After we warmed up we did a drill where the guards worked on post entry passing while the post players position themselves on the block. We then progressed into some boxing-out drills because rebounding will play a crucial role for our team this year. Our practice team consists of guys who used to play in high school and they are actually pretty good. They work hard and make us work even harder to beat them. Boxing them out is a challenge but it will help us out in the long run.
September 10, 2009
UK Hoops is on the way to the top! This year is all about coming out and working harder than ever and we are proving ourselves everyday. Individuals and weight lifting have gone very well this week and I'm pleased with the way our whole attitude has changed from last year. A winning attitude and a focused mentality are very contagious. I can honestly say that this is the first time in my career where everyone on the team is on the same page. We are willing to do what it takes to become the best and we have a great staff that keeps us concentrated on the task at hand.
Labor Day weekend was a wonderful break for my body. The first couple weeks of intense work outs definitely leave your body feeling like you have been hit by a car. Resting, hydrating, and eating the right foods are crucial parts of getting into game shape and staying healthy. My alarm clock wakes me up at 5:45 a.m. or 6:50 in the morning depending on what day it happens to be. We have a team curfew of 11 p.m. Sunday through Thursday and you will not hear us complain at all! The majority of us have been thinking about our comfy beds for most of the day and that means we will not stay up late and break curfew. I am usually ready to go to bed by then and most of the time I'm laying in my bed studying. College is all about time management and I think I have become a pro at figuring out what works for me.
One of my favorite things about college is the fact that there is always something going on during the day around campus. On Tuesday, I happened to get lucky and find free food being given away at the student center. A nice juicy hot dog and a bag of chips might seem so simple but when you're in college you appreciate the little things and everything tastes better when it's free. If you didn't already know, "free" is my favorite number, too bad it can't be a number on a jersey. Wednesday afternoon was lucky as well because the fire department was giving out free t-shirts in front of New North Hall. I love to joke around with the guys on the department because my dad was a former Lieutenant here in Lexington and those guys have watched me grow up. They all claim they are better shooters than me and they are quick to talk a whole lot of game. Needless to say, I continue to remind them that I was shooting better than they were at the age of 5.
I would say this was one of the best weeks we've had as a team. It just feels right and it's one of those unexplained feelings that you just have to go with your intuition. I feel like we are on the brink of an unbelievable season and I will be the first to tell you!
A season to remember... Here We Go!
September 3, 2009
"I play to win, whether during practice or a real game. And I will not let anything get in the way of me and my competitive enthusiasm to win." -- Michael Jordan
Hello UK Hoops fans! It is finally that time of the year. The campus is alive with plenty of students and our team is working out in full force getting ready for this season. We have been on campus since August 23 and it seems like we have been very busy every day since then. There is a lot to be done here in Lexington and there is a lot more happening that most people will never get to hear about. I am very excited to give you a behind the scenes look at what UK Hoops does on a weekly basis.
August 24 was our welcome back day and it was jam-packed with all types of meetings. We met with Coach Mitchell, our strength and conditioning coach (her name is Coach Tracey) and last but not least, compliance. Coach Mitchell discussed a lot of team rules and concepts. He made sure we realized how lucky we are to be here at the University of Kentucky and how hard we must work everyday to take advantage of our opportunity. Coach Tracey came in and told us we needed to build off of our summer performances and continue to get stronger and faster. Finally, compliance came in and gave us all of our paper work that ensures we are still amateurs. They showed us some examples of illegal supplements that can get us in trouble with drug testing. That was a very important point that they covered and I'm glad they were able to give examples because it showed us you can never be too careful.
August 25 was our team photo shoot and I had so much fun! Our team is full of people who like to crack jokes and we all have a sense of humor. We have a professional make-up artist who comes in and she does a really good job of keeping the shine off our faces. Any woman will tell you that keeping a shine off your face is a big priority when it comes to picture day. The pictures turned out great and there is even a short video that gives a sneak peak of how we act as a team, or better yet, how we act as sisters. Both the pictures and video are up on the website for you to enjoy. I laugh every time I watch the video!
We officially started classes on the 26 th and we have been going hard. We began our morning workouts which include our lifting and conditioning days. Lifting is at 8 a.m. on Mondays, Wednesdays, and Fridays. Conditioning is at 6:30 a.m. on Tuesdays and Thursdays. In the afternoon, we either have individual workouts or pick-up games just depending on what day it happens to be. It's a brand new team and I promise we are working harder than ever! We are all here because we want to compete and we compete because we want to win. Nothing is going to get in our way of becoming better every day and the flame under our competitive enthusiasm is growing with each passing minute.
It's going to be a great year for UK Hoops.... Here We Go!