LOUISVILLE, Ky. (WDRB) -- They staged a players' draft at the Kentucky Legends Open golf event at Audubon Country Club Monday. Four groups that made major contributions to help bring the NBA to Louisville were allowed to pick the celebrity golfer in their five-some.
Here is a Cliff's Notes version of the draft-able celebrities:
Tim Couch, former Kentucky quarterback and overall No. 1 NFL draft pick.
Joe Jacoby, former Louisville and Redskins offensive lineman with three Super Bowl rings.
Chris McCarron, jockey with two Kentucky Derby victories.
Dan Issel, Kentucky's all-time leading basketball scorer.
Will Perdue, who won four NBA championship rings playing with Michael Jordan and Tim Duncan.
Mark Clayton and Otis Wilson, football stars at Louisville and in the NFL.
Issel went first. No surprise. He helped organize the fundraiser.
Couch went third. As expected. Couch looks like he's ready to retake the Cleveland job from Baker Mayfield.
Who split the two UK legends and was picked second?
A man who has not worked in the Bluegrass in a dozen years but is appreciated for the solid work he did while bringing the Wildcats their seventh NCAA title -- Tubby Smith.
"That's a heck of an honor because there are a lot of legends in this (event), to be picked second?" Smith said.
"I'm grateful that somebody still recognizes and appreciates us … it's good to be back where you're celebrated and not just tolerated."
It's time for the recognition and appreciation of Tubby Smith to be taken up a notch. Smith has earned a spot in the Naismith Basketball Hall of Fame.
"What is that?" Smith said.
Then he laughed.
"Just kidding," he said. "It would be an honor. But it is what it is. We're still at it and we're still doing what we love to do."
I'd argue for Smith as vigorously as electors lobbied for Bill Self, Jim Boeheim, Gary Williams, Jerry Tarkanian and several others with one NCAA title.
Smith will turn 69 next month -- and he's still grinding. It will be his 29th season, second at High Point University, his alma mater. It is a school with nearly 5,000 students in North Carolina, about 20 miles southeast of Winston-Salem.
If Smith coaches the Panthers to a championship in the Big South Conference Tournament, he will become the first man to take six programs to the NCAA Tournament. He and Lon Kruger are the only coaches who have succeeded at five places.
During his work at Tulsa, Georgia, Kentucky, Minnesota, Texas Tech, Memphis and High Point, Smith endured two losing seasons while winning 20 or more games 20 times.
Don't forget this essential piece of Smith's achievements: When he won the 1998 NCAA title at Kentucky, Smith became the third African-American coach to win the men's title.
The two coaches who preceded him -- John Thompson of Georgetown and Nolan Richardson at Arkansas -- have already been summoned to the Hall in Springfield, Mass.
Hall of Famer -- for the basketball and the impact on the culture.
Smith should not have to get High Point into the tournament to secure his trip to Springfield, not with 613 career victories and a winning percentage of nearly 66 percent.
But if he delivers at High Point, he should be a lock. His first High Point team won 16 of 31 games. It was the Panthers' first winning season since 2016.
Yes, he heard the critics chirp about his two challenging seasons at Memphis, which resulted in Smith being pushed out to make room for Penny Hardaway and his world-class recruiting machine after the 2018. He wished Hardaway well to me on Monday.
He has also heard the talk about his birth certificate, which resulted in Smith answering one of my final questions before I had an opportunity to finish it.
"The drive?" He said. "The energy? Oh, yeah, man, shoot (he has it).
"You know, they tried to portray me when I was at Minnesota, we're not sure if he has the energy. Heck, the guys who are winning are older than I am.
"Roy Williams, he's 68, You got Jim Boeheim, seventy some years old (74). Mike Krzyzewski, 72. C'mon.
"I'm doing marvelous. I'm coaching. I'm back at my alma mater."
And on his way to the Naismith Basketball Hall of Fame.
Copyright 2019 WDRB Media. All rights reserved.