© 2016 Regina L. Rickert. All rights reserved.

I'm going to try firing up the blog again for 2016, especially the nature/landscape side of things. It is in desperate need of a redesign so I will be working on that while shooting for KSTV.

Unfortunately slideshows on older posts have been disabled by flickr. You can find all of my work in my gallery.

Thursday, September 27, 2012

Rocky Flop

Kentucky Volleyball toppled the Lady Vols in three straight sets, earning the first sweep of Tennessee since 1995. The Cats were led by Whitney Billings and Alexandra Morgan. The juniors combined for 19 kills and did not commit an error. Billings also recorded team highs in digs (16) and blocks (4). The sweep marked UK's 4th of the season.

The Cats move to 8-6 overall, 2-2 in SEC play. UK takes on Auburn on Sunday at 1:30 p.m. ET at Memorial.

Almost as amazing as the match... the celebrations! =)

Monday, September 24, 2012

Kentucky vs. Kent State

Kentucky beat Kent State 47-14 to win its seventh straight home opener.  Aaron Boyd caught 11 passes for 100 yards for the Wildcats. Maxwell Smith threw for the most yards (354) for a UK quarterback since 2007. The game was also "Heroes' Day" and included a football-field sized American flag presented by the UK Air Force ROTC and UK Army ROTC, a pregame flyover, and recognition of personnel throughout the game and military VIPs in attendance.

Tuesday, September 18, 2012

John Calipari Fantasy Experience - Day 1

The John Calipari Fantasy Experience: three days, thirty+ hours of work and a lifetime of amazing memories. I'm going to try to describe a little what it was like to cover such a unique event as a UK fan and member of the media. For complete coverage of camp, please visit Kentucky Sports Radio and KSR College.
 Day 1:

It all began mundanely enough. Campers hoping to live out their wildest basketball fantasy and rub elbows with Kentucky royalty began arriving from all over the country. I was instructed to shoot some quick headshots of each participant as they arrived. Taking photos and getting a chance to talk for a moment with each camper was interesting. I couldn't help but notice these weren't a bunch of rich old fat cats. The majority of these guys appeared strong, confident and I got a sense this was not their first rodeo. Many of them greeted one another as friends and made jokes about past shared experiences. I later learned some of these guys travel the country attending various fantasy camps and their games get quite competitive. I only recognized two names and faces on the roster: Matt Jones of KSR fame and Tucker Max of well...Tucker Max fame. And to answer the question I know you must be asking, no he didn't do or say anything obnoxious. He was friendly and polite and seemed a little nervous, or anxious, or probably a combination of both.

After nearly four tedious hours of door duty, I was relieved when the last camper arrived and had been checked in. Even the mundane is extraordinary though where Kentucky basketball is concerned. While waiting around in the lobby, I was able to watch last year's Big Blue Madness highlights video on loop while standing just feet from a window of championship trophies with beautiful graphics from UK's historic past lining the walls. If you have never toured the Joe Craft Center, it is a stunning facility and an experience in itself. As I found myself repeating many times throughout the weekend, only a UK!

The campers were escorted to the actual Kentucky locker rooms where everything was set up as if they were real players. They were each given an itinerary and even a scouting report on all of the attendees. Yes, a scouting report. This is serious business.

*Photo by Tucker Max via twitter

Next campers grabbed lunch and were given a tour of the Wildcat Coal Lodge. Tryout teams were announced and the players began to stretch with the UK strength and conditioning coach just as the Wildcats would.

This was followed by a player evaluation period in which coaches and past and present Cats helped assess player skills for the upcoming Draft. It must have been part thrill and part terror for the campers with so many amazing pros on the floor doing the evaluations. lol

While the top-secret Draft was being held behind closed doors, we were treated to a  presentation by shooting instructor Dave Hopla. Mr Hopla is considered to be the top shooter in the world. I believe he made 265 of 266 shots, while he walked around and talked during his demonstration! 

In August Mr. Hopla set a World Record in Portugal:

Here he jokes with UK's Kyle Wiltjer and shares excerpts from his shooting journal.


After the Shooting Challenge, a tv screen was rolled out. Even though it lacked some of the pomp and circumstance of the NBA Draft, it was an exciting moment for the campers. Coaches and players watched intently as the six teams were announced and player names were called out one by one. 


The Draft gave us our first glimpse of what would become one of the most enduring themes of Cal Camp. Seeing the younger players interact with former players, especially from the '96 Championship team was about as good as it gets for a Kentucky fan. Watching these beloved former Cats welcomed back into the family and sharing their wisdom with the new generation of players was incredible and you couldn't help but get a deep sense of appreciation for what you were witnessing. This is part of the genius of John Calipari. I will have more thoughts on that in a later post.

A short thirty minute practice and we would be ready for the first games to begin. I entered the balmy Memorial gym to find the media surrounding Michael Kidd-Gilchrist. This produced one of the more comical moments of the day as Archie Goodwin stood mugging behind the crowd of cameras trying to distract MKG. Once he saw Goodwin, MKG broke out in laughter and apologized for losing his composure during the interview. Watching them interact throughout the day, it is a shame we won't get to see them together this season.

A little sidenote: I was shooting on a corner of the floor when I see Archie dribbling toward me. Without missing a beat, he dribbles the ball to my left, cuts to my right and and continues dribbling on the other side. Never said a word, just went around me like I was a drill. If he pulls this move in a game, I'm taking full credit.

Matt Jones receives hands-on instruction from Team Texas Coach and former UK big man Antoine Walker. 


You can find complete recaps of the games submitted by the KSR College writers and featuring some of my photos as well as the other photographers on Cats Center. These were also available in the hospitality and locker rooms for players to see.

The highlight of this first session was Paul Buxton's buzzer-beating three to give Team Texas the win over Kentucky 64-62. The team was led by the spirited coaching of Antoine Walker and John Lucas. The postgame celebration that followed is one of my favorite memories from camp.

Participants wound down with a catered dinner at WinStar Farm. I was back at Craft wrapping up the day and dumping images, but I hear it was amazing. The first day came to a close after an exhausting 12 hours, but for big blue faithful like myself, it was all worth it to witness moments like this:

While getting a first look at some of the new Cats, I couldn't help but think ahead to the season and wonder if they will be the ones to hang banner #9. Seeing a former champion everywhere you looked, the thought had to have crossed their minds, too.

Check out a gallery from camp here: John Calipari Fantasy Experience

ProCamps galleries -unedited albums from Camp. The good, bad and the ugly. ;) Most shot by myself, Eric Chamberlin and Eric O. (GreekRowPhoto.com) for ProCamps. Fired off almost as many shots as MKG. Camp Cal total just on my cards: 1695

A huge thank you to Kentucky Sports Radio for the opportunity to cover the Fantasy Experience, to everyone at ProCamps, and to Coach John Calipari for his inspiration, warmth and hospitality.