It’s April 23 and that means it’s time to look at three of the greatest Kentucky Wildcats to dawn the No. 23 on their uniform.
Here we find two recent but historic basketball Wildcats and the man to break the SEC’s color barrier.
Anthony Davis (Men’s Basketball 2011-2012)
It’s hard to find a more accomplished college basketball player than Anthony Davis. In his lone season with Kentucky Davis led UK to a 35-3 season that saw them take home the programs’ eighth national championship.
Davis averaged 14.2. points per game with 10.4. rebounds and a remarkable 4.7 blocks. In Wildcats’ six NCAA Tournament games, he averaged 15.2 points, 11.2 rebounds, and 4.6 blocks per game.
He took home several accolades for his record-breaking season, including: NCAA Final Four Most Outstanding Player. Consensus national player of the year, Consensus first-team All-American, NABC Defensive Player of the Year, USBWA National Freshman of the Year (2012), SEC Player of the Year, NCAA blocks leader, SEC Defensive Player of the Year and SEC Rookie of the Year (2012)
Davis was selected first overall in the 2012 NBA Draft by the New Orleans Pelicans. As a pro, he has been named an NBA all-star seven times and was traded to the Los Angeles Lakers in 2019.
He was inducted into the UK Athletics Hall of Fame in 2018.
Jamal Murray (Men’s Basketball 2015-2016)
Like Davis, Jamal Murray spent just one year in Lexington but left an impression no UK fan will soon forget. In 36 games, Murray scored an incredible 720 points for the Wildcats.
He averaged 20 points per game with 5.2 rebounds and 2.2 assists. Murray did his best work from behind the three point line as he shot 40.8% from downtown, hitting 113 of 277 attempts. Before a disappointing second round exist in the NCAA Tournament, Murray did lead UK to an SEC Tournament championship.
The sharpshooter earned First-team All-SEC honors, Third-team All-American honors and was named to the SEC All-Freshman Team.
Murray was drafted seventh overall in the 2016 NBA Draft by the Denver Nuggets. He signed a 5-year, $170 million maximum extension with the team in 2019.
Nate Northington (Football 1967)
Nate Northington did not see much time on the field for the Football Wildcats, but the time he did will go down as one of the most important moments in sports history.
Along with Greg Page, Northington was one of the pioneers of the integration of SEC football, deciding to play for their home-state team during the height of the Civil Rights Movement. Northington made his debut in an SEC game on Sept. 30, 1967, vs. Ole Miss
Encouraged UK’s African-American freshmen, Wilbur Hackett and Houston Hogg to stay on the team, which they did.
Northington was inducted into the UK Athletics Hall of Fame in 2015.