Wildcats Tour Supreme Court on Trip to D.C.
The Kentucky women’s basketball team was treated to a special tour of the United States Supreme Court Tuesday night in Washington, D.C., by former UK men’s basketball player Jim Duff. The Wildcats are in the nation’s capital to prepare for a matchup with No. 14/12 George Washington tonight at 5:15 p.m. EST.
Duff, a former walk-on under Coach Adolph Rupp (1971-72) and 1975 graduate of UK, is the current . He and his staff welcomed the Wildcats to the Supreme Court for a private tour where he gave a brief history of the court and spoke about his career path to his current position. He then stunned the UK group of approximately 30, which included Athletics Director Mitch Barnhart, when he introduced surprise guest-speaker Chief Justice of the United States John Roberts. Chief Justice Roberts, one of the newest members of the nine-member Supreme Court, is just the 17th Chief Justice in U.S. history. He joined the Supreme Court on Sept. 29, 2005. Chief Justic Roberts spoke to the Wildcats for approximately 15 minutes before taking questions from the team.
“What an extremely special opportunity for the UK women’s basketball team,” Barnhart said. “It was an honor to meet Chief Justice Roberts through a member of the Big Blue family in Jim Duff. Director Duff spoke highly of his experiences as a student-athlete at Kentucky and he has gone on to serve our country at its highest judiciary level.”
“The whole experience was overwhelming,” UK Coach Matthew Mitchell said. “To just be in that court room was truly special to me. Jim Duff is a fantastic alumnus for UK and being able to meet Chief Justice Roberts was truly amazing.”
“I’ve received many honors working with three Chief Justices throughout my career,” Duff, whose parents were natives of Owsley Co., Ky., said. “But one of the greatest honors in my life was putting on that Kentucky uniform. I know what playing Kentucky Basketball is all about and I was thrilled that the Kentucky women’s basketball team came to visit us.”
“Wow. The night was awesome,” freshman guard Carly Morrow of Chattanooga, Tenn., said. “Seeing the architecture, the history of the building and then meeting Chief Justice Roberts was so amazing. This is a day I will never forget.”
The Wildcats get back to business tonight when they face No. 14/12 George Washington Colonials at 5:15 p.m. EST in the Charles E. Smith Center. Tickets are available by calling the GW ticket office at 202-994-6050.
The Wildcats pose with former men's basketball player Jim Duff.
(Left) The Cats in front of the Supreme Court. (Right) Coach Matthew Mitchell and Athletics Director Mitch Barnhart with Jim Duff.