Vaught's Views: 'Elite Eighth' championship book is full of memories from Kentucky's NCAA title run
Elite Eighth contains stories by Larry Vaught and Keith Taylor, and photos by Clay Jackson and Victoria Graff. (submitted / April 9, 2012)
If you are looking for a way to cherish those memories, get a copy of “Elite Eighth.” It’s the 128-page, full color book by Advocate Communications published by Triumph Books LLC being sold at Wal-Mart, Sam’s Club, Barnes & Noble and Dick’s Sporting Goods outlets across the state for $14.99 as well as online at http://www.triumphbooks.com/ for $14.99 plus $6 shipping and handling. Or come by The Advocate-Messenger and get your copy and you can let me know immediately how you like it.
The book has terrific photos by award-winning Clay Jackson — who has a full page photo of Anthony Davis in the Sports Illustrated commemorative section about UK’s title — and Victoria Graff. There are stories by myself and Winchester Sun sports editor Keith Taylor reliving the big games during the season and all the tournament action so you will be able to remember the best and brightest spots.
This book is aimed for the Kentucky fans who live and breathe UK basketball every day of the year and love everything about the Wildcats. It’s for those folks Graff described seeing on her way to the Rupp Arena celebration after the team returned home.
“While I was driving to Rupp Arena from my office at St. Joe Office Park, I saw people lined up for a glimpse of the UK bus. Women with their little children. Even some nursing home folks in wheel chairs, an amazing sight. I had a tear in my eye. (Kentucky coach John) Calipari said it really hit him even more today how important UK basketball is to Kentucky. Glad I can be a part of it all in a small way. We are blessed. Just wish my mother could have seen this championship,” Graff said.
Her mother passed during the season, but I shared her heartache thinking how much my father would have enjoyed watching this unselfish team play and how he would have loved everything about Darius Miller and Michael Kidd-Gilchrist.
But obviously I’m biased about the book and the work it took for Gary Moyers of our staff to help put together. That’s why I wanted to share comments from some UK¿fans who have already purchased the book to give you a feel for what fans just like you thought about it.
From Tony Williams: “You and the staff have done an excellent job in putting together this book. So many great pictures of such important moments of the season. I really enjoyed how you included post-game write ups of important games throughout the season. This is truly a yearbook of one of great seasons in Big Blue Nation history. It is something that I will continue to look at throughout the off season and through the future to remember the great moments/games of this incredible season. Thanks for putting together such a great keepsake.”
That’s exactly what we wanted this book to me — a great keepsake.
From Brad Wireman: “My wife went out to run some errands and while she was out I told her to pick up the two copies of Sports Illustrated that had just came out. When she came in she said I also picked up this book for you. I had looked at it on your website (vaughtsviews.com) and just hadn't pulled the trigger on buying it yet, and let me say I'm glad the people at Hastings (Richmond, Ky.) had it displayed when she walked in. The book is amazing, from the grade A photos to the in-depth look into the star players of this historic team. The layout of the book is great too. Game breakdown and then a player breakdown, has a good flow to it. Very, very satisfied with this book. It is incredible that you have such a telling book with such quality and information out this soon after the championship, the game was four days ago. I just want to personally thank you for such a special item. I will never forget this team but maybe in my older days I can open this book and smile like this young men have made me do the last six months. I will recommend this be purchased to all my UK friends.”
Again, we want fans to be able to open the book three months, six months or two years from now and relive those great moments just as Wireman described.
From Karen Sprinkle: “This is an awesome keepsake, with lots of great articles and terrific photographs by two of the better sport photographers in the state. Joseph Beth in Lexington has it as well.”
Other outlets will also have the book. If you find one somewhere other than Sam’s Club, Wal-Mart, Dick’s Sporting Goods or Barnes & Noble, let me know.
And please do like Williams, Wireman and Sprinkle and tell what you think about the book for two reasons.¿One, we want to know if we gave you what you wanted. Two, with Calipari at Kentucky, we’re thinking this won’t be our last chance to publish a national championship book and we want the next one to be even better.