It’s April 21 and that means it’s time to look at three of the greatest Kentucky Wildcats to dawn the No. 21 on their uniform.

Here we find so much talent that it was hard to choose three. Legends such as Calvin Bird and Cameron Mills missed the cut but  three UK Athletics Hall of Famers get their shout out.

Jack Givens (Men’s Basketball 1974-1978)

The legendary Jack Givens is one of the best players ever to put on a UK Basketball uniform. Givens scored 2,038 career points in four seasons as a Wildcat.

As both a sophomore in 1976 and Junior in 1978, he was named an All-American and All-SEC honor. In 1977 he was named to the All- NCAA Regional Team after guiding Kentucky to the Elite Eight. 

He saved his best for last as he took home the National Player of the Year Award in 1978 after averaging 18 points per game with 6.7 rebounds and 2.5 assists. Givens also won the NCAA Final Four Most Outstanding Player Award after guiding Kentucky to a victory over Duke in the 1978 National Championship game.

Givens was drafted 16th overall in the 1978 NBA Draft by the Atlanta Hawks. He was enshrined in the UK Athletics Hall of Fame in 2005 and had his No. 21 hung in the Rupp Arena rafters in 1992. 

Tayshaun Prince (Men’s Basketball 1998-2002)

Twenty years after Givens left Lexington, a new No. 21 that went onto have an hall of fame career arrived. Tayshaun Prince scored 1,775 points in four years as a Wildcat.

After earning All-SEC in 2000, Prince put together a remarkable Junior Year. He averaged 16.9 points per game with three assists to earn SEC Player of the Year Honors, and spots on the All-SEC First Team and the All-American second team. Prince also earned SEC Tournament MVP Honors after leading Kentucky passed Ole Miss in the 2001 tournament.

He finished his career earning First-Team SEC Honors in 2002 and was selected by the Detroit Pistons 23rd overall in the 2002 Draft. In the NBA Prince helped lead Detroit to the 2004 NBA Championship. He was also a member of the 2008 gold-medal Olympic team.

He was enshrined in the UK Athletics Hall of Fame in 2010.

Rodger Bird (Football 1962-1965)

We had to leave fellow UK Athletic Hall of Famer and No. 21 Calvin Bird off this list, but his brother Rodger makes the cut.

In four seasons on the gridiron for the Wildcats, Rodger Bird was named to the All-SEC First Team in both 1964 and 1965. The running back finished his career with 1,699 yards and 21 touchdowns, including a career-best 646 yards rushing and 12 touchdowns in 1965.

He was drafted in the seventh round of the 1966 NFL Draft by the Raiders and played in the NFL’s first Super Bowl. Bird was enshrined in the UK Hall of Fame alongside his brother in 2005.

Photo: Big Blue

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