West Asheville. Hank Williams, Jr., David Allen Coe and Waylon Jennings.

Saturday, April 11, 2015

Auburn vs. Kentucky, 1984

It's going to be very difficult to think of Auburn basketball game that would have been better than this one - of ones I attended.  The Tigers had Charles Barkley and Chuck Person. The Cats had Sam Bowie, Melvin Turpin and Winston Bennett.  In time, I will put some details about the game.  I just know that I sat in one of the seats in the "end zone".....but way down front.  It was great for viewing the action "under the basket."

I have some more Auburn basketball stories to add in coming weeks....right here to this blog post.

* At least a couple of times after Auburn basketball games my dad took my cousin and me back to the Auburn team dressing room when the game was over.   We saw Charles Barkley and Chuck Person, sweaty, sitting around and clowning with one another.  Another time, once the team had left, my cousin and I got permission to go take a shower back in the locker room.  Guess that was an experience we wanted!

* I was always on the hunt for autographs.  Sometimes in the arena stands there would be some Auburn football players, and I would run over and ask for their autographs.  Most of the time it would take my dad or my brother to point out who someone was, and then I would take off towards them.  Once, my brother pointed out this big black guy sitting down below the basket (before the game started), and told me he was a football player.  I raced down there, asked him for his autograph and then marched back to my seat, only to then see my brother laughing hysterically.  As it turns out, the big black guy was not a football player at all!  Nonetheless, he signed the program!  I recall looking back in that direction and seeing him laughing with his buddies.

* Often the men's team would be sitting in the stands (usually in the end zone) during the women's games, which preceded their games.  They'd come out and watch at least the first half of the women's games.  Auburn's women were really good.  Once, when Auburn and Georgia's women were playing, the "Human Highlight Film" Dominique Wilkins was sitting in one of those seats, just all by himself.  Once I knew it, I walked over and asked him if I could sit next to him.  Of course, I was just ten or so, and I'm sure it would have been hard to turn me away.  Sat next to him, talked with him a bit, and of course got his autograph.

* At an Auburn-UAB game we went to in Birmingham, during the women's game, Charles Barkley was sitting up in the stands with a few of his teammates, several spaces in between them, and away from the fans who were there watching the game.  I walked over and asked if I could sit next to him.  Charles Barkley was so nice.  I remember asking him if he liked the Lakers and Magic Johnson and whether or not he'd like to play with them someday. Of course, he said yes.  I ended up getting his autograph, and then someone came over and took my photo with him. 

* One other Charles Barkley moment:  I think it was during football season when maybe there was a bit of overlap with basketball.  Maybe the basketball team was gearing up for practice.  Often the arena would be open, and you could go in and get some barbecue or see the men's team practice before heading over to the football stadium for the game.  One time, when I went to the arena, on the far end, where they had a practice court, Charles Barkley was shooting free throws. I walked over and asked if I could rebound his free throws for him.  He said yes.  I don't know how long I did, but it seemed like forever.

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