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Former Cat, radio pioneer Ernest Sparkman dies

Ernest Sparkman - photo from

- photo from .com

Ernest Sparkman, a pioneering Eastern Kentucky broadcaster, died Friday at his home in Hazard. He was 84.  Mr. Sparkman was one of the original owners of WSGS-FM 101.1, the first FM radio station in the Eastern Kentucky mountains. It holds distinctions such as being the only station in the commonwealth to broadcast every game of the Boys Sweet 16 High School Basketball Tournament for the past 61 years. For 40 years, Mr. Sparkman called the games himself.

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On This Day In UK Basketball History

On March 2, 1970, Dan Issel scored 42 points against Auburn.


On March 2, 1991, before a crowd of 24,310, the then-largest crowd in Rupp arena history, the Wildcats closed out the 1990-91 season with a 22-6 overall record. Although UK was ineligible for the SEC title because of probation, the Wildcats secured the best record in the league (14-4) with a 114-93 win over Auburn to end its two-year probation. A ceremony and parade followed.


On March 2, 1996, with a 101-63 victory over Vanderbilt in Rupp Arena on Senior Day, UK became the first team in 40 years to finish with a perfect record in the SEC, a 16-0 sweep. It was the Wildcats’ 25th win in a row, tying the school record for consecutive wins in a season. Two games later, they set the new record at 27 games.


On March 2, 2012, Darius Miller, in his final performance at Rupp Arena, led Kentucky in scoring with 17 points on Senior Night in a 30-point win over Georgia.


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