One of the most humble, kindest, and sincere human beings I’ve ever met. Every ounce of passion, fight, hustle, personality with the media he showed all season is exactly who he is. I had the honor of meeting him in Hazard, Ky at one of his “TourDeFox” signings. If you also had the chance to meet him, you saw he embodies all of those.
So I compiled a list of things we’re gonna miss about him now that he’s declared and is leaving Lexington.. they are in no particular order.
- First and foremost we’ll miss his hair. (It had to be first right? It’s what a lot of fans loved) No matter if it was his normal “perfect” look or in his “lazy” man bun so he called it, it was always perfect in our eyes. Although there was one time in particular that he told me that his hair wasn’t ready…that was on the Kroger released Kentucky Basketball posters of this seasons team. When I met him in Hazard he told me that his hair was not at all ready for the picture on that poster, of course I laughed and thought to myself “his hair has never looked bad, he’s never had a bad hair day.”
- Second, we will miss his “always perfect” interviews with the media. He is probably one of the most well-spoken kids to come through Kentucky when the camera turns on, but then you meet him in person and he’s the same guy. He’s humble. You can tell he’s very grateful for every day spent in that Kentucky uniform.
- Third, the way he lead the team and the way he impacted it. He helped them gel together. He was all about his team, not himself. They became brothers in such a short time period and he is a piece of the many reasons why they were so close. One example of this was during halftime of the UCLA game, he stated:
He walked into the Kentucky locker room at halftime feeling “like I was shooting too much”
- Fourth, his personality. This is probably one of the most significant things I’ll miss. This story (below) about Fox happened before he ever got to Lexington. He was changing other people’s lives before ever stepping onto Rupp Arena hardwood. Read it. His unquie character shined through with each passing game and interview.
- Fifth, the way he outran, outfought, outhustleed, and “swiped” by all of his competitors. Many crowned him the fastest player to ever play at Kentucky, some only saying John Wall was faster. All I know is I loved his speed and quickness that he led this team with. Statements like these were used all season to describe him:
Lightening quick, Unstoppable, Fastest guard in college basketball, Can’t keep up, How will they stop him, No one can catch him and so on.
- Sixth, the way he recruited and got Malik Monk to come to Kentucky with him. (Listen Below) They became one of the most dynamic duos Lexington had seen. They meshed together so well.
- Seventh, the way he embraced the fans as family. As he said in his commitment video above, he became family the second he committed. Here at Kentucky we’ll never forget the player and person you were, simply because you are forever a part of the “family” that Cal created. He shook every fans hand it seemed at every meet and greet. Then thanked them for coming out to see him and told them to have a great night.
- Eighth, his one handed dunks. Well, all of his dunks to be honest.
- Ninth, the day he torched UCLA. I included this one because it was probably his best game as a Cat. It seemed like he couldn’t miss. The stakes were at an all time high, as with a win the Cats would go to the Elite Eight. He finished with 39 points but that doesn’t do what he accomplished any justice.
De’Aaron Fox stood in a hallway, smiled, and said he wished he could play for Kentucky again in an hour. Lonzo Ball sat on a chair and said, in a monotone, that he will never play for UCLA again. The difference between them was just as stark as it had been during the game, when Fox and Kentucky dismantled UCLA’s Showtime Jr. attack. Michael Rosenberg of Sports illustrated said.
- Tenth, the last one on the the list but definitely not the least. The way he cared. Up until the very last seconds of his very last game as a Wildcat, he fought. He fought as he did every game, to win. As Kentucky fans all we ever ask of players when they step on the court is fight until the very end no matter the score and he did just that. He showed so much maturity from where he was at the beginning of the season. He never let up. His motor never stopped. He never quit. And if you don’t think players care, just watch the last seconds of his college career in the locker room after the loss (I won’t insert the picture here because it still stings). He and Bam sat next to each other hugged up balling their eyes out. Of course they cared, it did mean something to kids that were only freshman. If that video/picture didn’t prove to you that those kids cared and wanted to win, nothing ever will.
Of course this is only 10 of the many reasons De’Aaron Fox will be missed by me and the Big Blue Nation. (We’d be here till next season if I named them all)
So De’Aaron, I want you to go on and show out in the NBA. Be the best you can be every night, because we’ll all be watching and cheering you on. Never forget to come back home to Kentucky.
Lori Mills and the #BBN