John Wall given a hero’s welcome, revels in weekend back in Kentucky

John Wall with Walter Cornett of WildcatWorld.com
with Walter Cornett of WildcatWorld.com

didn’t need an introduction to elicit an ovation. With 24,000 crammed into legendary on Friday night for the school’s annual spectacle, Big Blue Madness, Wall walked on to the floor and lifted his hand to acknowledge his adoring fans.

As the first player to go No. 1 in the draft, Wall continues to hold a special place among supporters of one of college basketball’s most storied and tradition-rich programs. Nine of Wall’s  Wizards teammates trailed behind at the school’s basketball kickoff event, staring up at the raucous crowd and wondering in disbelief how so many people — especially those who camped out for tickets several days in advance — would show up for a practice.

“They really love basketball here, and it’s big to them. It’s very rare you get that anywhere else,” Wall said of Kentucky before the Wizards’ 93-89 loss Saturday to the in the first exhibition game at Rupp since 2000.

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