I had the pleasure and honor of speaking with the one and only, Makayla Epps. I asked her about draft night, her first return back to this year’s Big Blue Madness on the fan side and she included a special message for the beloved #BBN.
Makayla graduated Kentucky last season after spending four years with the Wildcats. Her name became very well known around Kentucky Basketball and not only because of her father. Anthony Epps, her father played for the Kentucky Men’s team for four years in the 90’s. She made her name standout with her exceptional play over a four year span.
First, we asked about her name being called on draft night and what it meant to her then “Hearing my name on Draft Night was INCREDIBLE.” Epps said. “Having to wait around until the 3rd Round, 33rd Pick, made it A LONGGGGGGGGGGGG night for me. But in the end, my dreams had been accomplished & I was going to be a professional athlete.” That night proved to be a proud night to be a fan in the Big Blue Nation, having two Wildcats drafted into the WNBA. Her teammate Evelyn Akhator went 3rd.
Life away from Kentucky proved to be bigger in comparison to a smaller city like Lexington but Epps says she still enjoyed it “DIFFERENT. Chicago is VERY different then Kentucky as a whole.” She tells. “Faster Paced, Noisier, Bigger. I LOVE Chicago though. Glad I got to experience the city life.”
College is always a different atmosphere than the next level when it comes to Basketball. “WNBA Is A Totally Different League.” Epps describes. “It Is Professional for a reason. It’s bigger, faster, stronger. I went from the top of the food chain to the bottom REAL FAST. The WNBA was a learning experience for me for sure.”
Being here for Kentucky’s biggest night leading into the season, Big Blue Madness proves to be very special. Epps spent four years coming out to music, dancing, hearing her named called and on stage, this time was different though. It was her first night back where the roles were reversed. “Definitely Bittersweet, She recounts. But fun nonetheless. Was a great environment, the crowd was great, Drake was there, the Girls & Guys put on a good show. It was a fun night under one roof with BBN.”
As a fan now, sitting in the stands she still says she enjoyed it. “I enjoyed it. I think it’s good for Athlete’s too see themselves from a fans point of view and that’s kind’ve what I got the chance to experience.”
Living in Kentucky and being apart of the program for so long then leaving, there has to be some things you’d miss, Epps spills that she misses.. “E V E R Y T H I N G. My teammates, the family nature, Coaches, Fans, & etc. I just miss being around my 2nd family mainly.”
She spoke on the season that the current Women’s Basketball is about to take on. “The girls will be fine.” she states. “Their ball players. The Freshman will learn, the vets will teach & lead the way. Coach Mitchell has a great group of players who are willing to WORK! They’ll be as successful as they work to be.”
“Kentucky will forever be MY TEAM. The love for this University is REAL & Genuine & I thank EVERYONE who helped me have a great 4yr career at UK.”
We here at @Ukfansallday thank Epps, for taking the time to answer a couple questions. We are super proud of all she accomplished here and after leaving. A Kentucky legend, hands down.