It's not like Macey Blevins had to love basketball but it certainly was easy for her to do so.
"I wouldn't say there was no choice. When I was young I was not into
sports but I always watched my brother and my dad always coached, so
I was always around basketball. Then about second grade I just fell
in love with it and have been playing ever since," said Blevins, a
junior at Wayne County High School.
Her father, Shane, scored 2,120 points at Monticello and was on the
12th Region championship team in 1987. Her brother, Trey, was the
starting point guard on Wayne County teams that won the 12th Region
in 2013 and 2014. He finished his career with 2,727 points and 760
Her mother, Angie Cox Blevins, was a two-time All-American at
Eastern Kentucky University after her all-state career at Pulaski
County. She had 170 career 3-pointers and 488 assists, both school
records at the time, along with 1,425 points. She led the Ohio Valley
Conference in steals both her junior and senior seasons and later
played professionally in Germany.
"Basketball was always the talk of the house," Macey Blevins said.
"Basketball runs through my entire family. My uncle, aunt, everybody
… I always knew it ran in my blood but I never picked it up until
She was a quick learner and has 2,215 points, 807 rebounds, 436
assists and 202 steals in 150 career games and has led her team in
scoring, rebounding, steals and assists the last three years. She
figures to be one of the leading candidates for Miss Basketball next
The 5-10 point guard had scholarship offers from Arizona State,
Northern Kentucky, Western Kentucky, Marshall, Eastern Kentucky,
Austin Peay and Chattanooga before the COVID-19 crisis hit. She's
also been in contact with both Kentucky and Louisville and most
recently Dayton. She did take an unofficial visit to UK last season
when Kentucky hosted South Carolina.
It's no surprise the Wayne junior has grown up a Kentucky fan.
"Big Blue Nation all the way. I was born into it. My entire family
is UK fans. I have watched the basketball games … even when I played
at a young age I was always watching. So I have watched Kentucky
basketball games since I was born pretty much," she said.
She has followed the careers of in-state players Maci Morris, Blair
Green and Emma King on their way to Kentucky and would love to follow
the same path.
"That has always been a dream of mine. I have kind of held it in the
back of my head. But hopefully this summer it will become a reality
but one of my biggest dreams has always been to play at Kentucky,"
She had hoped summer play with Kentucky Premier in the EYBL would
give UK, Louisville and other coaches a chance to evaluate her more.
She's still hoping EYBL play might start in July.
"I haven't talked to Kentucky or Louisville recently but I knew what
I did this summer would be very important for them to see because
when you do well in the summer you get more offers," Blevins said. "I
have been doing some virtual visits with some schools but right now I
just plan to see what happens this summer and then make my (college)
Like most players, she has no gym to work out in now. Instead, she's
shooting on the goal in her driveway and doing what weight training
and running she can as well.
"I am ready for this to be over. I have never been out of a gym this
long since I was a baby. I've always been in a gym," she said.
Blevins believes versatility is her strength. She plays point guard
on her high school team but for Kentucky Premier has played on the
wing or even in the post when another player got hurt.
"I can guard the post and play offense in the post," she said. "I
know how to rebound and know that's a big part of the game. Shooting
was actually the first part of my game that kind of stuck out. I used
to be just a 3-point shooter, especially my seventh and eighth grade
years when I played high school. They just put me in to kick out for
a 3. After I started working with Jared Parmley of Kentucky Premier I
got to be more of a driver but my shooting has kind of always been
One former Wayne County player, Jessica Hardin, has played at
Kentucky. Hardin's father is now Blevins' dentist and their families
know each other.
"I am pretty sure all of Wayne County would be behind me if I got
the opportunity and made the decision to play at Kentucky. I think
that would be really cool to play there but I also have a lot of
other great opportunities," Blevins said
"I don't think it is pressure deciding on a college because at the
end of the day I will decide where I feel the most comfortable. I am
just keeping all my options open. I want to go where I know I am
loved there and feels like home. I am trying to not really think a
lot about it and just let whatever happens happen. I just think
everything happens for a reason."
Blevins gets asked a lot about her future because she says sports
are a big deal in Wayne County.
"Football, basketball, pretty much anything. It is kind of cool
after when everybody that sees me out in the community always asks,
‘How are you doing? How is basketball going?' This year we really had
some good crowds," Blevins said. "That just helps motivate you to
work harder to do even more."
Maxeys disappointed season ended quickly
Denyse and Tyrone Maxey were disappointed when their son, Tyrese,
could not complete his freshman season at Kentucky due to COVID-19.
However, their disappointment was nothing compared to his.
"He was the one who put in the work. He was devastated with the way
the season ended," Denyse Maxey said. "I don't know how to put into
words that he was not able to fulfill that part of his dream (at
Kentucky). He was so disappointed (over not playing in the SEC or
He's been back in Texas since UK called off campus classes and is on
the verge now of finishing his second semester classes.
"He does pretty good academically. We do not have to necessarily
really get on him about that," she said. "He has done a pretty good
job and he can contact his academic advisor if he has any issues. He
will get his work done.
"It's harder for me to keep my 13-year-old (daughter) on schedule.
She's only an eighth-grader. College age kids get it and how to
manage time and academics better. Plus, he graduated high school in
the top five percent of his class."
Maxey won't be back at UK as he has put his name into the NBA draft.
He's projected as a consensus first-round draft pick with some mock
drafts having him going into the lottery. However, he's already made
one promise to his parents.
"He has also promised us he will come back to UK and finish his
degree. He knows that's what we want him to do and he will do that,"
Denyse Maxey said.
Having Tyrese Maxey back at home since late March has been a bit
different for his parents.
"He is driving me crazy at times," his mother said. "I told KP (UK
assistant coach Kenny Payne) and others that they owed us money. We
anticipated him being there (UK) and us not feeding him," Denyse
Maxey said. "I had let my Sam's (Club) card go. I had to renew that
"He eats breakfast and then before long is back eating again. He
needs all kind of different snacks, dinner, midnight meals. It's like
he never stops eating."
Bowden will have big impact on Raiders
Even though the Los Angeles Raiders indicated they planned to use
recent third-round draft pick Lynn Bowden at running back initially,
NFL Network analyst Steve Smith Sr. says Bowden will have the biggest
impact of any receiver in what most consider the best wide receiver
class in years.
"What I really love about him, when he was drafted, it said running
back. He played quarterback, he played wide receiver, he played
running back, plays punt return, Mr. Everything," Smith said on NFL
Smith should know. He played 16 years with the Carolina Panthers and
Baltimore Ravens and was a five-time pro bowler, two-time First Team
All-Pro, and NFL Comeback Player of the Year after leading the league
in receptions, receiving yards and receiving touchdowns in 2005.
Smith compares Bowden to a former Indiana quarterback who had a
terrific NFL career.
"He reminds me of a guy that was drafted by the Pittsburgh Steelers
and threw a touchdown pass to Hines Ward in the Super Bowl in 2005
which is Antwaan Randle El," Smith said. "I love Lynn Bowden Jr.
because he's going to do everything and you know Jon Gruden is going
to get in his plays and design a lot of creative things for this
After catching 30 passes for 348 yards and five scores in UK's first
five games in 2019, Bowden moved to quarterback and led the nation in
yards per carry (7.9). He also led the SEC in rushing yards (1,468)
and had 13 touchdowns.
Only former Auburn quarterback Cam Newton, a Heisman Trophy winner,
had more rushing yards at quarterback in a SEC season than Bowden.
The UK star also broke the SEC single-game record for rushing yards
by a quarterback in the regular season finale against Louisville with
284 yards and four touchdowns. He ran for 233 yards—the most-ever by
a quarterback in a bowl game — against Virginia Tech in the Belk Bowl.
Kentucky coach Mark Stoops likes the idea of Bowden playing for
"I think the fan base will be energized by him, and I think he will
feed off that. I know Coach (Gruden), and I think the way he can
relate to Lynn and get things out of him, and continue to help Lynn
grow, I think that's really important. I think it's a really good
fit, and hopefully things will work out for both sides," Stoops said.
Anselem interested in Kentucky
Just how interested is 6-11 Frank Anselem in being part of
Kentucky's 2020 recruiting class?
"It is Kentucky," said Anselem. "Anybody would have 100 percent
interest in Kentucky. You can't mess around with them. It's a great
school with great history."
The athletic Anselem, a one-time LSU commit, is a top 100 player in
the 2020 class after reclassifying from the 2021 class. He spent last
season in California playing for Prolific Prep against a difficult
national schedule and has emerged as priority for coach John Calipari
to help fill a void on next season's roster.
Anselem talked to Kentucky coach John Calipari and Kentucky
assistant coach Joel Justus both last week again.
The potential perfect fit for Anselem at Kentucky comes because UK
lost Nick Richards and EJ Montgomery to the NBA draft and needs a rim
protector who can also guard multiple positions and run the court at
the fast pace UK will probably play at next season. Anselem checks
all those boxes.
"I talked to coach Calipari about the same thing," Anselem said. "He
said, ‘How often will a Kentucky team have nobody of my physical make
up? But stuff happens and that is the situation we are in right now.'
He really likes how I fit with his system. If I sign there, the
transition would go real smooth."
Anselem played in Kentucky twice last season at the Marshall County
Hoopfest and McCracken County Mustang Madness. He's not been on
Kentucky's campus and with the COVID-19 will not be able to visit any
time soon. He also won't be able to have face-to-face meetings with
any UK coach.
"Recruiting is harder definitely but all you can do is go by word of
mouth since you can't be at the physical place or meet with coaches,"
Anselem said. "Not being in the town or seeing the facilities is not
ideal but hopefully I can still make the right decision."
Peyton was enjoying banner junior season
First baseman Mallory Peyton of Madisonville was having a banner
junior year when Kentucky's season was cancelled. She had a team-high
11 home runs in 24 games and had driven in 35 runs with a .379
batting average. She had even been hit by a pitch a team-high 10 times.
Before Autumn Humes decided to take advantage of a NCAA wavier to
return for another senior season, Peyton was just one of three
seniors scheduled to be on the team next year along with Lauren
Johnson and Grace Baalman.
"I love this senior class, but there's only three of them and all
three of them are pretty quiet. The thing though is that Mallory
Peyton is a great leader, and she's developed into that," Kentucky
coach Rachel Lawson said.
"We do this 360-degree assessment and your peers assess each other,
the coaches assess the players and the players assess the coaches,
support staff, etc. One of the questions that was asked was who do
you want in your foxhole and so a bunch of numbers came out and
Mallory Peyton was actually the top vote-getter for who they would
want in their foxhole.
"You don't see her as the vocal, outgoing leader. You don't see
those things out of her, but she is definitely a tremendous leader,
developed into it, somebody you can trust and someone you trust to do
the right thing."
Lawson especially likes one other trait Peyton has.
"She is incredibly honest. If you ask her something, you better be
prepared," the UK coach said. "She doesn't sugarcoat anything. She
doesn't give you what you want to hear, she gives you what you need
to hear, and so she has been a tremendous leader for us."
What about Johnson, who is from Owensboro? She hit .323 i 24 games
and knocked in 17 runs, scored 16 runs and walked 13 times. She also
moved from the outfield to shortstop.
"Everyone really gets along with LJ and she is a very quiet leader,
more one-on-one. When you walk into the lounge, LJ is always there
and there are always players talking to LJ and so she's got a really
subtle way about her," the UK coach said.
Quote of the Week: "You couldn't ask for nothing better. If it
wasn't for me being the No. 1 pick, I wanted to go back to school
just to win a national championship and get that atmosphere,
excitement and how fun that was," John Wall on his year at Kentucky
during a podcast with NBA veterans Matt Barnes and Stephen Jackson.
Quote of the Week 2: "During this incredibly unsettling time, our
focus as a community must remain on supporting each other in every
way we possibly can,. Jenna and I are extremely grateful for the
support we've received over the past 15 years from this incredible
community. It is time for us and all who are able to support our
community with actions that create certainty where uncertainty
exists," Kentucky women's coach Matthew Mitchell on the $35,000
matching opportunity his family did with the Coronavirus Relief Fund
of the Bluegrass.
Quote of the Week 3: "It's a godsend. She can walk into an arena
with 3,000 people and she's going to light up the arena or the room.
We were kind of lacking that in our older classes and she can fill
that," UK softball coach Rachel Lawson on the importance of Autumn Humes returning for another senior season.
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