Adolph Rupp: Kentucky's Basketball Baron by Russell Rice

By Russell Rice

Adolph Rupp: Kentucky's Basketball Baron is the licensed boigraphy of the nation's winningest basketball trainer. Written by way of longtime buddy and affiliate Russell Rice, the publication strains Rupp's own existence and a profession that spanned forty two years on the college of Kentucky.

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His favorite sign of good luck was finding a pin, especially a bobby pin, and particularly on the afternoon of a game. His players began dropping pins where he would be sure to find them. " Asked once if he was superstitious, Rupp said he had learned long ago that it was bad luck to be superstitious. '" Lexington's social life revolved around the big horse farms in the area, but Rupp wasn't interested in hobnobbing with that group. He didn't even read the society pages. The only date he had was the time Esther Schmidt and some friends came to see his team play.

Adolph knew little English when he enrolled in District 33 School, which had one room and one teacher. At the beginning of the year, Anna outfitted each boy with a pair of overalls, two or three gingham shirts, plow shoes, and a heavy jacket. The Rupp children walked a mile to and from school, avoiding fence rows during heavy snowfalls. Apart from school, the church dominated all social activities. By the age of six, the children were reciting in church. On Christmas Eve, they performed a play that took weeks to prepare.

That night the Wildcats won 23-18. Rupp's first loss as a college coach was to Georgia, 25-16 at Athens. The game was played in Woodruff Hall, which Rupp called a museum piece. Ellis Johnson did not make the trip, and Georgia's Bill Strickland hit three straight shots late in the game. To make matters worse, Georgia football coach Harry Mehre sat in for Horace Stegeman, the Bulldog basketball coach. "Harry tells the story about as well as anyone," Rupp said. " Actually, the UK scorebook lists only one officialO'Sullivanfor that game; next to O'Sullivan's name, in Rupp's handwriting, is the word terrible, underlined twice.

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