VAUGHT: 16th Annual Ohio UK Convention is set

If you are a Kentucky basketball or football fan and live anywhere near Cincinnati, you want to go to the 16th annual Ohio UK Convention July 18 in Middletown, Ohio.

It's a day all about Big Blue. There's no Kentucky athletics subject that is off limits when fans of all ages and background come together simply because they love University of Kentucky sports.

Jim Porter, the self-proclaimed biggest Kentucky fan in Ohio, organizes the event now with help from a lot of friends. He does everything possible to make the day special for fans as well as guest speakers and based on the two years I've been to the gathering, no one has left thinking the $20 registration fee was not money well spent.

As usual, Porter has lined up an interesting list of guest speakers highlighted by former UK All-American Ralph Beard, who played on the Fabulous Five. If that's not enough basketball, UK's director of men's basketball operations, Leon Smith, as well as women's assistant coach Pam Stackhouse will be there.

Want more? Tony Neely, UK's media relations director for football, is also on the program. Trust me, it you want to find something positive about Kentucky football, Neely will be the one to point it out. He's Mr. Positive and has a wealth of information on the players and coaches.

Wait. There's more. The other speaker will be KSR's own Jim Tirey. Trust me, Tirey will be worth the price of admission because once you meet him, you'll never forget him. Seriously, this will be a great chance for Jim to meet a lot of UK fans as well as giving Big Blue fans a chance to tell him what they like, or don't like, about his sports talk radio show or KSR reports.

Of course, special guests often show up unannounced and Porter is still working on a couple of surprises for this year. If not, Porter always manages to have several nifty door prizes that UK fans love.

If you are interested, call Porter at 937-746-8758. You can also contact another Big Blue fanatic, Charlie Combs, at 937-746-0697 or

If it was not for my niece's wedding, I was planning to attend this year. The two conventions I've attended have both been special and resulted in friendships I cherish. For the last three years I've had dinner with Porter, Combs and other UK fans from Ohio before a UK home game, a tradition I hope we can continue this season.

And if you go, tell Porter what you like and dislike because he's always looking for ways to make this special event even better.

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