There is a new entertaining book about UK basketball and its author, by the way, has very close ties with the tri-state area.
Former Middlesboro resident Joe Cox (along with co-author Ryan Clark) has written a newly-published paperback, titled “100 Things Wildcats Fans Should Know & Do Before They Die” (Triumph Books, $14.95).
Cox’s 272-page literary effort includes stories, critical moments and important facts about former players, coaches and teams that are part of UK basketball’s storied history.
In writing the book, the author — who now lives in Logan County with his family and practices law in Bowling Green — commented that he “split the list of topics (with co-author), and each wrote 50 of the 100 (things). It was amazingly fun.”
A 1998 graduate of J. Frank White Academy, Cox is also thankful he has a supportive wife during the book project.
“The only real challenge was meeting a fairly tight deadline, which was complicated by the real world — specifically, the birth of my son, Ryan, on April 1st. My wife, Julie, went into labor late in the first half of the second NCAA semifinal, and we watched the title game in the hospital.
“Julie was incredibly understanding about the book and as an English teacher, she could help with the technical side of things. Add that to having a good excuse to talk hoops with an old buddy (co-author). Overall, it sometimes was challenging, but mostly, writing it was a blast.”
When Cox attended Western Kentucky University, he learned more about journalism. “I went to WKU to become a broadcaster, but the curriculum for the major was really structured, and I would’ve missed a lot of other classes that interested me,” Cox explained. “I majored in English and government instead. I did spend a semester writing for the WKU Herald (campus newspaper), where my editor was Ryan Clark.
“I kind of hung around the journalism folks throughout my four years, even though my actual journalism work was irregular. There are at least five published authors out of that group of college newspaper writers now.
“As I say in the book, Ryan and I have been talking UK basketball for years since we lived across the hall from each other in our dorm as freshmen at WKU in fall of 1998.”
Even though Cox is a huge Wildcat fan, he then went to UK’s rival, U of L, where he received his law degree in 2005.
Cox’s father, Robert, by the way, is a professor at Southeast Kentucky Community and Technical College. His mother, Liz, is a retired nutritionist. His sister, Teresa, lives in Louisville and is obtaining her graduate degree in Spanish from U of L.
As noted by the publisher, if you are a Kentucky Wildcat faithful, the book certainly would be a nice addition to your Big Blue library.
Former UK star and current broadcaster Mike Pratt wrote the foreword for the book.
Both Cox and Clark are also scheduled to appear at the annual Kentucky Book Fair in Frankfort in early November.
Needless to say, it is sure awfully nice to see someone like local talent Joe Cox doing very well in writing.
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Speaking of the Kentucky Book Fair, it is a really nice event, taking place on Saturday, Nov. 10 at the Frankfort Convention Center.
As you may know, it is Kentucky’s premier literary event and one of the largest of its kind in the country. The Kentucky Book Fair is sponsored by Frankfort’s daily newspaper, The State Journal, and co-sponsored by the Kentucky Department for Libraries and Archives, and the University Press of Kentucky.
Approximately 150 authors are expected to attend the book fair to autograph copies of their latest book.
In the past, when my four books on UK basketball were published (beginning with the first one in 1991 and the last one in 2003), I was invited to participate at the fair as an author five different times and I had a blast, meeting enthusiastic Wildcat fans and purchasing autographed copies from fellow authors in a festive atmosphere.
So, if you are a book lover, here is your chance to buy signed copies from the authors, including Cox and Clark.
More information about the fair, including a list of confirmed authors, can be found on its Web site at kybookfair.org.