Dan Issel: An Exclusive Interview with a Kentucky Basketball Legend
Written by: Dylan Ballard
Edited by: Samuel Stallard
Dylan and I had the opportunity to sit down and interview UK basketball & Naismith Hall of Famer Dan Issel. He talked about playing for coach Rupp, going against rival Tennessee, playing in the NBA, and much more.
First of all, Mr.Issel mentioned his current role in trying to bring a professional team to the city of Louisville. His passion began when he played for the Kentucky Colonels in the ABA straight out of college. I think we would love to see a professional basketball program in Kentucky. It would be something all fan bases in the state could get behind. Sadly, he said, “...we are at least 2-5 years away from that even being a possibility.”
Dan Issel talked about his time at the University of Kentucky. As most of us know Mr. Issel is the all-time leading scorer at Kentucky and even played for legendary coach Adolph Rupp. Issel credits Rupp’s leadership as the catalyst for his professional hall of fame career. Issel also expanded on some of the great teams he played for and even mentioned some great teammates. He spoke about playing against legends like Kareem Abdul-Jabbar and Julius Erving “Dr. J” during his career.
Issel added some comments about the present Cats program and his involvement. (He even was at practice today. As it is pictured below in a coach Cal tweet). He also talks about the Tennessee rivalry, the one-and-done rule, and other hot topics.
Mr.Issel is the all-time leading scorer at the University of Kentucky, a 7-time professional all-star, all-pro in the ABA & NBA, an All-Star game MVP, ABA champion, 3 time SEC champion, NCAA All-American, and boasts awards in multiple Hall of Fames. It is an understatement to say he is a legend. I’m thankful for what he has done for the game of basketball, the state of Kentucky, and The University of Kentucky.