KENNY WALKER: Former players want to help UK

I think I have a very good relationship with Mitch Barnhart because I am around so much with the media in the work I do. I am very grateful because they have been very good to me at Kentucky.

I think what has happened since Mitch and his new administration has been here is that maybe that connection has not been there with former players like it was when we had somebody like C.M. Newton or Cliff Hagan, both former UK players, as the athletics director. They were part of the Kentucky family.

I think Mitch and those guys are doing a pretty good job of reaching out to former players, but I think times have changed from the way things were 15 to 20 years ago. The connection is probably not as close as it should be with former players, but I am hoping that is something that we can bridge the gap on in the next couple of years. There are some good guys around here in town that I think would love to be part of the program any way they possibly can.

Former players have to understand, too, that it is a two-way street. They have to trust that if they reach out, he will be there. Obviously, Kentucky has great tradition. A lot of guys I know here in town would be more than glad to get involved with the program again. But Mitch has his hands full with the guys over there right now and a lot of other things going on with UK. But we all need to make that effort to make it work a little better. We all want to see it do well, but we don't want to hog the spotlight. It is not about us as former players any more. We respect what coach Smith does. If they ask us for help, we will be part of it. If not, we wll just lay back and check it out.

I have talked to Tubby a couple of times. I have always had a good relationship with him. Again, Tubby has said to me on several occasions that he would like to get the guys more involved. But it is the same thing with Mitch. He has his hands full with his current players. He knows we are only a phone call away. If Tubby wants me to work with forwards, big guys or do whatever I can to help mentor the guys, I am here. But if I need to stand in the background, I respect him and his coaches and what they are trying to do because he knows what he is doing.

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