Number nine would be divine

UK Championship Banners - Photo by Tammie Brown
UK Championship Banners – Photo by Tammie Brown

By Ricky Blair – It is that time of year. The temperature has dropped and the leaves have turned colors and are now falling to the ground. It is autumn in the Bluegrass. But more importantly for folks in Kentucky…it’s the dawn of another basketball season.

Last season was a wild ride. First, we saw the greatest recruiting class of all times along with a possible undefeated season. It turned to be a rough run through both the pre-conference and conference regular season. And just when it looked like all was lost with a late season defeat to a bad South Carolina team, this young team responded with a strong SEC tournament and offered a glimmer of hope. But it was the magical NCAA tournament run that landed the Wildcats in the national championship game. Last season also brought the team back into a positive perspective. With a number of returning players, they have once again sent expectations out the roof.

So, here are five questions to consider as we break down the Cats’ chances of securing a ninth national championship:

Q1: Will the two-team platoon system work?

Well, it’s highly unlikely that UK Coach John Calipari will stick with this approach. It was a fun way to get all the players time on the court in the Bahamas, but it is not a practical system. Calipari has already given hints that he will adjust the group of players according to the game situation. So, yes, look for more players to get into the games during crucial times. But also look for the platoon system to be an earlier season experiment, not something that will last up through tournament time.

Q2: Will playing time become an issue?

Not if the team is winning… and especially if the team is winning by a large margin. Sure, every player wants his minutes, but it is usually not as much a factor when the team is winning. A few losses could make it more of an issue. The platoon system will help early on, but look for the veteran players to log more minutes – especially during crunch time.

Q3: Will juniors Alex Poythress and Willie Cauley-Stein live up to lofty expectations?

For Poythress, it has been a tough road. He came in two years ago as a top ten recruit and a McDonalds All-American. He showed signs of what he could be early on by scoring 20 or more points in four of the first five games his freshman season. But as the season wore on, he became less and less of a factor, only scoring in double figures in two of the last 13 games during that freshman campaign. Now a junior, Poythress will need to get the most out of his incredible talent if the Wildcats are to become a truly special team. Cauley-Stein, unlike Poythress, came to Lexington two years ago as more of a ‘project-type’ player. His athletic ability has certainly lifted him up high in the minds of the NBA scouts. But Cauley-Stein is still learning the game of basketball and has yet to understand the intense energy level necessary to consistently deliver results. If he can play high-energy basketball, then the sky is the limit for him and his defensive skills could help the Wildcats to a championship in some of the same ways Anthony Davis did in 2012.

Q4: Will the twins be improved?

Most definitely! Andrew and Aaron were both a little out of shape last year and it hindered their ability to get to the basket strongly. Aaron had one of the most incredible runs of last-second heroics in NCAA tournament history last year. That in of itself should give him confidence for a strong run into his sophomore season. For Andrew, it was learning to pass first that turned him around during tournament time. Now with a leaner, stronger body, he will use that knowledge gained along with his new and improved physique to become the player everyone was expecting last season. Both players will play fewer minutes this season because of the depth of the team, but look for each to excel in their own way.

Q5: The Freshmen…will they contribute:

As with every team since John Calipari’s tenure started here at Kentucky, the freshmen have been a huge part of the Cats’ success. This year will be no different.   Even with all the returning players for the Wildcats, it will be important for the freshmen to step up and play significant roles in order for this team to win a championship. Karl-Anthony Towns looks to be the best of the group. At 6-foot-11, his size and versatility will make him hard to defend as the season plays on. Trey Lyles is another versatile freshman who has shown more athletic ability than most people first thought possible. He has a good outside shot and handles the ball well. Slowed by an injury when he first arrived on campus, he is now starting to really show the talent that made him a top ten player coming out of high school. Freshman shooting guard Devin Booker has the ability to be a zone buster for the Wildcats and they will need him to be consistent with his outside shot. And least, but not last, is tiny point guard Tyler Ulis. Ulis, who is small in stature at 5-foot-9, has shown a quickness at the guard position that has been missing over the last two seasons. If he can continue to make his outside shot like he did during the games in the Bahamas, he will give the Wildcats an added dimension that will make them tough to beat this season.

Cards Struggle in Pitino’s 700th Win

Article by Jason Sheehan – Louisville coach Rick Pitino has coached in 945 games in his college career. He has had enough experience to

Article by Jason Sheehan
Article by Jason Sheehan

know and understand that not every game is going to be a pretty one. Tonight’s game was not one of Louisville’s best, but the Cardinals did just enough to pull out a win over visiting Cleveland State, 45 – 33.

No. 6 ranked Louisvlle had trouble the entire night putting the ball in the basket in all phases of the game. The Cardinals finished 15 for 47 for 31.9 percent from the field. They shot only 15 percent from the three-point line making only 3 of 20. They were not very good from the free throw line either, making only 12 of their 26 free throws.

Defense was the key to their win tonight. As poor as Louisville shot, the Vikings shot that much worse. Louisville’s hard-nosed defense held Cleveland State to 25 percent from the field and 23.8 percent from three-point range.

Cleveland State’s Trey Lewis was the only Viking player to score more than four points. He finished with 24 of his team’s 33 points.

Pitino was displeased with the offensive effort, but was very pleased with the defensive effort saying, “It’s going to be all about defense and our guys, as bad as we were offensively tonight and most phases of the game, we were very good on defense.”

Montrezl Harrell led the way for the Cardinals with 15 points, 13 rebounds, and 3 blocked shots.

Chinanu Onuaku continued his impressive freshman season. Onuaku presence was felt on the defensive side as he controlled the paint with 7 blocked shots and 9 rebounds. His 7 blocks gave him 13 in the past two games. He played a season-high 35 minutes as backup center Mangok Mathiang was out with a sprained ankle.

Pitino loves Onuaku’s play, but did discuss his conditioning saying, “He’s playing well. He’s got to get to where he doesn’t get tired and has to come out of the game. But he’s good, he’s agile, he knows how to play.”

Louisville’s bench was not effective. Anton Gill was the only reserve to play more than four minutes. Gill played 15 minutes, but failed to score missing all 3 of his three-point attempts. Louisville’s bench contributed 0 points, 2 rebounds, and 3 assists.

Pitino discussed the shooting woes by saying, “If you’ll notice, one of the reasons why we’re not as good as we should be from the foul line is we’re playing too many minutes. Guys are just tired. There’s not a whole lot of what I can do about it because guys aren’t ready to play. We’re winning with focus on scouting and doing little things. Our bench is just not ready right now.”

Louisville will look to go 6 – 0 on the young season when the No. 16 ranked Ohio State Buckeyes come in to the KFC Yum Center Tuesday night at 9:30.

Louisville Rolls 87 – 26 over Savannah State

Rick Pitino’s Louisville teams have always prided themselves on strong defense. Whether it is man-to-man, zone, or the press their goal is to make it a nightmare for the opponent to put the ball in the basket. Tonight their defense was a nightmare for Savannah State. The No. 6 ranked Cardinals nearly pitched a shutout in the first half holding the visiting Tigers to seven points.

The first basket made by the Tigers came on a free throw by Saadiq Muhammad with 4:02 remaining. Their first field goal came with 1:23 left. They finished the half shooting an anemic 2 for 26 while falling behind 41 – 7.

Savannah State came in to the game on a two game winning streak, but ran into a buzz saw. The Louisville defense dominated the first half by blocking six shots and forcing 15 turnovers.

In describing what he felt about the blowout Pitino said, “Well, if you coach long enough you see a lot of different things. That was a very unusual game tonight, to say the least. I thought our pressure was good. I thought our zone-man was very good, and the other team just had one of those nights where they could not hit a shot. They are not as bad as they played tonight. It was just one of those unfortunate things for them.”

Montrezl Harrell led the way for the Cardinals with 15 points and 9 rebounds. He continued his solid free throw shooting with a 7 for 8 performance.

Chinanu Onuaku continued his strong early season performance finishing with 10 points, 9 rebounds, and 6 blocks.

Pitino was asked what he would take away from this game and about watching the film. He said, “I always love watching film and breaking it up. This will be the first time since I’ve been at Louisville that I will not watch the game film. I will not watch it. I want them to concentrate to Cleveland State. We always do edits every game, this will be the first time… we will not watch that game. It will be false security. You get really nothing out of this and you feel bad for the other team more than anything else.”

Cleveland State is the Cardinals’ next opponent in the Global Sports Showcase Wednesday at the KFC Yum Center. The Vikings are 2 – 2 and were defeated by Savannah State in overtime 87 – 83 last week.

Stifling Defense Helps Cards Take down Marshall 85 – 67

Shots were not falling for the No. 7 ranked Louisville Cardinals against the Thundering Herd of Marshall. Louisville shot 39.5 percent from the field including an abysmal 3 of 22 from three point range. They struggled at the line as well finishing at 63 percent for the evening. When shots aren’t falling the defense better step up. Tonight the game was one at the defensive end.

Led by all-over-the-court pressure defense by starting guards Chris Jones and Terry Rozier and the solid interior defense by Chinanu Onuaku and Mangok Mathiang, the Cardinals were able to dismantle Marshall 85 – 67.

Jones and Rozier struggled from the field shooting a combined 10 for 34. Rick Pitino was not happy with his guards saying, “Our guards tonight didn’t play like veterans because they were affected too much by their missed shots and they lost focus of what’s most important – and that’s winning the game.”

Pitino was extremely pleased with the interior play of both Chinanu Onuaku and Mangok Mathiang. Onuaku finished with his second consecutive double-double. He scored 10 points on 5 of 5 shooting and grabbed 11 rebounds.

Mathiang was certain to be a starter at the beginning of the year. However, he has embraced the role of being an energy guy coming off of the bench. He played his best game of the early season corralling 11 rebounds and blocking a season-high 3 shots. Mathiang provided the interior defense the Cardinals will need as the season progresses.

Pitino offered his praise of both big men, “I thought Mangok and Nanu were both terrific. They understood the game plan very well and that’s why we didn’t lose the lead. That’s why we enhanced the lead. They understood it. They weren’t interested in shooting jump shots. They knew who they were. They knew that rebounding was crucial and they did their job.”

Junior forward, Montrezl Harrell, played only 24 minutes due to foul trouble. Harrell was sent to the bench after picking up his fourth foul early in the second half. He did finish with a respectable 12 points and 8 rebounds.

Pitino was not as concerned as most coaches would be with Harrell’s foul trouble saying, “It was good to play without Montrezl [Harrell] to see if we could be in a situation where we didn’t lose the lead. That was good.”

For the second straight game Senior Wayne Blackshear played with an incredible amount of energy. He was all over the floor in the first half. Just like Rozier and Jones his shot was not falling, but he stuffed the box score in other areas. Blackshear finished with 16 points, grabbed 6 rebounds, blocked 2 shots, and had 4 steals.

Ryan Taylor had a near triple-double for Marshall finishing with 15 points, 18 rebounds, and 8 assists. However, he made only 2 of his 14 shot attempts.

Louisville is now 3 – 0 on the regular season. Marshall lost for the first time this season.

Louisville continues it 6 game home stand Monday night against Savannah State.

UK Men's Basketball Photos

Championship Banners - Photo by Tammie Brown
Championship Banners – Photo by Tammie Brown

Click on Link Below for Exclusive Uk Photos

UK vs BOSTON 11-21-14

CHAMPIONS CLASSIC

UK vs KANSAS 11-18-14

DUKE vs MICHIGAN ST 11-18-14

UK vs BUFFALO 11-16-14

UK vs GRAND CANYON 11-14-14

UK vs GEORGETOWN 11-9-14

UK vs PIKEVILLE 11-2-14

UK BLUE vs WHITE 10-27-14

All Photos except for Champions Classic taken by Tammie Brown – Camen Media

Champions Classic Photos by Dr. Michael Huang – Camen Media

 

 

 

 

INCREDIBLE DEFENSIVE AND BALANCED OFFENSIVE DISPLAY BY THE CATS SENDS KANSAS TO HISTORIC LOSS.

UK vs Kansas 11-18-14 (20)Brendon D. Miller, – Camen Media

INDIANAPOLIS – The Wildcats lit up the Champions Classic and a bitterly cold 15 degree night on the plains of Indiana by sending the fifth-ranked Kansas Jayhawks to a 72 to 40, 32 point demolition, the fourth-worst loss in the program’s storied history. For clarity, this is University of Kansas, the second most winningest program in college basketball history, not Fort Valley State. This was John Calipari’s milestone 600th win, and it will be remembered by the Big Blue Nation as an epic performance and bell weather that this edition of the Cats can be truly and historically special. Calipari entered the post-game press conference and spontaneously began, “No, we’re not that good”, before taking his seat. Thing is, this performance may have been the best defensive display seen by the BBN, in many a moon, if not ever.

No one in Banker’s Life Field House was left questioning the feasibility of Cal’s platoon system on this night as the continuous rotation of long, tall and talented Wildcats constantly turned up the defensive pressure on the Jayhawks. “We kind of bum-rushed them a little bit”, Calipari said. “And every time they looked, there were more tanks coming over the hill.” Tanks? More like bulldozers.

The defensive numbers tell the dominant story. 11 blocks and numerous other altered shots around the rim led by Karl-Anthony Towns and Marcus Lee with four each. This is tempered by at least four more blocks that were taken away by questionable foul calls. When the Jayhawks did get a shot up at the rim, very few were converted. Kansas shot 8 for 33 (24.2%) in the first and 3 for 23 (13.0%) in the second half for a total of 11 for 56 (19.6%) for the game. That is THREE field goals in the second half. THREE! Inclusive of going 0 for 7 from three point land. As great as those numbers are, the most telling stat of the night was Kansas going 3 for 21 (14.2%) from inside three feet. That is 14.2% on layups and shots at the rim, by major college, 5 star talents. No shot went uncontested by the Cats. Kansas had to earn 15 of its 40 points (37.5%) from the foul line due on those contested shots. The pressure was withering, and it was evident in the Kansas players. Those of us in the arena could see and feel the intimidation. Interestingly enough, Cal noted that he did intend to play some zone in the game, but “when I saw the way we defended, I said Nope, not playing any zone today.” No need.

The result could have been so much more lop sided if the Cats would have played better offensively. A major detractor of the platoon system is that it does not allow the players to get in an offensive flow during the game and affects consistent shooting. Kentucky, by no means, played their best offensive game, shooting 25 for 58 (43.1%) and only 6 for 18 (33.3%) from three point land, with most of those 12 missed threes in the first half being open looks. A few of those go down and the game was done by the 4:00 time out of the first half. Despite the shooting numbers, the offensive effort was impressive in the balance of the contribution of each of the players. All 10 of the platooners played between 17 and 21 minutes, each scored in both the first and second half, each scored between 11 and four points, led by Dakari Johnson’s 11, and each had at least 1 rebound, let by Willie Cauley-Stein’s 10. That is Balance.

 

Are Cal’s Cats as good as they looked on Tuesday Night? The hype this is now going to escalate to astronomic levels. The talk of an undefeated season will only mushroom and there is now evidence that it is entirely possible. The Cats will likely lose a game, or maybe two, somewhere during the grueling and pressure packed season to come. However, if they put on such a dominant defensive display and balanced offensive performance as they did here Tuesday night, they will not lose their last game of the season on April 6th, just down the street at Lucas Oil Stadium, back here in the plains of Indiana.

No. 7 Louisville overpowers Jacksonville State 88 – 39

In No. 7 Louisville’s first two games we have seen Montrezl Harrell play like the preseason All-American he was projected to be. We have seen Terry Rozier live up to the preseason hype as the man who will pick up as the next great Louisville guard. However, according to Rick Pitino, neither of these two have been the best

Photo by Jason Sheehan
Photo by Jason Sheehan

player on the court so far this season. That honor would go to senior guard, Chris Jones. Jones has struggled with his shot going 8 for 26 in the first two games. Howerver, it is his passing and his defense that has Pitino so pleased with him. He finished tonight’s game with 10 points, 6 rebounds, 5 assists, and 5 steals. Pitino said, “I think Chris was brilliant the other night. I think Chris was great tonight. I think everything you see happening is Chris Jones making it happen. He’s playing like a true point guard. I thought his play in the first half was outstanding. Sometimes statistics don’t (tell the story) then you wake up tomorrow morning and if you weren’t at the game [you wouldn’t know] without question that he was the best player on the floor tonight.”

Photo by Jason Sheehan
Photo by Jason Sheehan

Jones’ in-your-face full court defense is reminiscent of former Louisville guards Andre McGee, Preston Knowles, and Peyton Siva. He has that bulldog mentality frustrates the opponents and he does it without fouling. The biggest difference with Jones this year is the extra weight he has cut. Whether it is around ten pounds as Pitino has said or close to twenty as Jones has said, the fact of the matter is that he is a much quicker player than last season. When asked about what makes Jones so good at getting steals, Pitino had this to say, “Well, I really think the quickness factor really helped him this year. He got so much quicker with his hands, quicker with his feet.”

Photo by Jason Sheehan
Photo by Jason Sheehan

All five starters scored in double figures for the Cardinals as they cruised to an 88 – 39 victory in the Global Sports Showcase. Harrell once again led the Cardinals with 15 points to go along with his 7 rebounds. The one thing missing from his game tonight was his newfound outside shot. He missed all three of his three point attempts after making 3 of 4 in the first game against Minnesota.

Pitino was not completely pleased with Harrell’s performance and his reliance on his outside shot saying, “You know, I think after movement, it’s good. I just want to see him get some post-up plays on the break. I think he’s taking away a little bit too much of the strength of his game but I think after movement, going from inside to outside is fine. Going from outside to inside is no good. I think he’s got to work inside to out. Like tonight, he didn’t get any post-ups tonight on the break and I think that’s a strength of his. And I’d like

Jason Sheehan
Jason Sheehan

to see him get six to eight points a game just on easy baskets.” Terry Rozier once again played a solid game finishing with 13 points and 4 rebounds. Rozier also made the most electrifying play of the night early in the second half. He had the ball stolen from him in the lane and then hustled back to block the layup attempt by Gamecock guard Avery Moore. Wayne Blackshear bounced back after a disappointing performance in the first game. Blackshear had a nice all-around game finishing with 12 points, 9 rebounds, and 5 assists. His 9 rebounds are a career- high. Pitino praised Blackshear’s performance tonight saying, “The best part was his passing. You know I was joking around in the walk-through today. I said, ‘Get to the corner. Wayne will get his first assist. And he took it personally tonight. He made four or five terrific passes. I though Wayne was great tonight.

I really did. I though he played a total game. He rebounded, he passed, he shot, he made a big-time dunk. That’s about as high as I’ve seen him jump. So I think Wayne was great tonight.” Chinanu Onuaku got his second straight start and used his size to his advantage against the overmatched Gamecocks. He finished with 10 points and 12 rebounds. Louisville led 13 – 10 with 14:39 remaining in the first half. They took control and closed out the half on by outscoring the Gamecocks 37 to 10. Jacksonville State would score the first basket in the second half, but would not score again for nearly 11 minutes as Louisville pushed its lead to 51. Darion Rackley was the only Gamecock player in double figures finishing with 11 points. Louisville held the Gamecocks to 28 percent shooting from the field and destroyed them on the boards 60 to 26.

Louisville continues the Global Sports Showcase against Marshall Thundering Herd this Friday at 9:00 in the KFC Yum Center.

Montrezl Harrell leads No. 8 Louisville to victory over Minnesota

Let the games begin! The No. 8 Louisville Cardinals opened the 2014-15 season in the annual Armed Forces Classic in steamy Puerto Rico. The main story of going into the game was all about the father- son matchup between the Pitinos. This was the second matchup between Rick and Richard with the Cardinals easily winning the first one when Richard was with Florida International 2 years ago.

The main story quickly shifted from the father-son coaching matchup to the much improved play of Louisville preseason All-American, Montrezl Harrell. Harrell surprised everyone when he decided to return for his junior season. Scouts loved his energy and his athleticism, but told him he needed to diversify his game to be a consistent player in the professional ranks.

During his first two seasons with the Cardinals he was a one-dimensional player, scoring most of his baskets inside. He was a highlight-reel dunker whose game did not include a mid-range jumper. His inability to hit free throws made him a liability. He made only 47.7 percent of his free throws through his sophomore season. Harrell took the criticism to heart as he lead UofL to an 81-68 victory over the Minnesota Golden Gophers. Harrell showed off his new all-around game by scoring a career-high 30 points. He made 3 of 4 three-pointers and also made several mid-range jumpers. He was 9 of 10 from the free throw line. Just for good measure, he also slammed home two alley-oop dunks just to show he hasn’t forgotten that part of his game.

Harrell wasn’t the only star for the Cardinals. The backcourt tandem of Chris Jones and Terry Rozier both played solid all-around games. Fans were waiting to see Rozier take on a more significant role after the loss of Russ Smith. He did not disappoint, finishing with 18 points, 6 rebounds, 4 assists, and 4 steals. Jones shooting was off, hitting only 4 of his 13 shots, but his bulldog-type defense was on full display. He hounded the Minnesota guards the entire game. He finished with 3 steals and his aggressive defense wore out the Golden Gopher guards. Senior forward, Wayne Blackshear, showed a more aggressive game in the exhibition season. Pitino has said he wants to see the Wayne Blackshear that was an aggressive high school All-American. He showed more offensive aggressiveness early, but foul trouble hampered him for most of the game. Blackshear scored only 7 points.

Defending NIT champion, Minnesota, fought to stay in the game, but could never get closer than 8 points in the second half. The Louisville defense was just too much for the Golden Gophers. Minnesota shot only 40 percent from the field and made 4 of its 18 three point attempts. They also committed 19 turnovers. Louisville will play its first game at the KFC Yum Center this Monday against the Gamecocks of Jacksonville State. The Gamecocks were lost to Marshall tonight 74-55.

Chairman Rogers on Executive Amnesty and Funding the Government

Hal Rogers logo

WASHINGTON, D.C. — U.S. Rep. Harold “Hal” Rogers (KY-05) continues to stand firm against amnesty, while working diligently as Chairman of the House Appropriations Committee on federal discretionary funding for the rest of the year.

“There’s no one stronger than me against unilateral action by the President on” immigration. (CNN, 11/13/14) 

If President Obama acts on immigration before the spending bill is done, there will be an “explosion.” (Fox News, 11/13/14)

I don’t want a shutdown and I don’t want the threat of a shutdown. Because that doesn’t serve our purposes.” (Associated Press, 11/13/14)

House Appropriations Chairman Harold Rogers said Wednesday that he and House leaders are committed to passing an omnibus spending bill by the end of the year. (CQ, 11/12/14)

Read more about the state of play in Congress: GOP debates its immigration strategy as Obama prepares executive action. (The Washington Post, 11/13/14)
Rogers has served Kentucky’s 5th Congressional District since 1981. With a focus on economic development, job creation, fighting illegal drugs and preserving Appalachia’s natural treasures, he has a reputation for listening to his constituents and fighting for the region he represents. For more information, visit http://halrogers.house.gov/ or follow Rogers on Twitter @RepHalRogers or on Facebook @CongressmanHalRogers.   

HCTC Work and Learn assists student’s future (Lee County News)

Chasity Whitaker
Chasity Whitaker

High school wasn’t a priority to Chasity Whitaker of Beattyville but now she realizes that a college education is very important and so she’s enrolled at Hazard Community and Technical College. “First and foremost, my 7-year-old, Troy Dennis, is why I wanted to further my education. I want him to know that education is very important. I also want to better myself so I can better our family and our lives,” she said.

While in high school, Chasity’s husband’s grandmother had a stroke and became paralyzed and there was no one to take care of her and the family wanted her cared for at home. So Chasity dropped out of high school and moved to Lexington to provide assistance.

Four years later, she moved back to Beattyville where she met Cheryl Botner, instructor at Lee County Adult Education, who got her to change her life’s course and become committed to her education. “I would never have made it as far as I have today; she has helped me far beyond what any teacher has done. She is a wonderful instructor,” Chasity said.

Chasity is enrolled in online college classes at HCTC and has a goal of becoming a preschool teacher or work at a daycare or even be a children’s nurse. HCTC’s Work and Learn coordinator, Mavis Poe Clemons, has assisted Chasity in her educational pursuit.  “I’m thankful to Mavis Clemons and the college for this wonderful opportunity they have given me.  I look forward to starting my future with them,” she said.

Chasity joined the Work and Learn Program in February 2014 to begin working toward earning her GED.  “After Chasity began working on her GED she gained confidence in herself and you could literally see that confidence grow during each meeting. Chasity became more and more engaged in her education,” noted Mrs. Clemons.  As the Work and Learn Coordinator, Mrs. Clemons aided Chasity with exploring different career options and offered career counseling.

Workshops are completed with all students that focus mainly on learning soft skills. Mrs. Clemons has linked her to resources that provided her with important college information. She also provided her with materials regarding programs of studies that are offered through HCTC and also assisted her with completing her enrollment application for college.

The HCTC Work and Learn Program assists students from the very beginning of their educational journey until they are settled into college. Chasity is the first HCTC Work and Learn student to receive her GED since the new test has begun. “I am very proud of the diligence she put forth toward earning her GED; it is such a great accomplishment and I look forward to her future achievements because I know great things will happen in her life,” Mrs. Clemons said.  Chasity is currently employed at the Lee County Board of Education and plans to transfer to the Ready to Work Program to complete an Associate’s Degree with Hazard Community and Technical College.

The HCTC Work and Learn Program includes the counties of Perry, Knott, Leslie, Breathitt, Owsley, Lee, and Wolfe. The GED test changed at the beginning of 2014 and some students say that it is quite more challenging than the past exam. “The Work and Learn Program helps students realize that education will open many doors and create multiple opportunities for them and their families,” Mrs. Clemons said. All students have the potential of earning a GED; they just must have the determination to follow through with their plan. When students participate in the Work and Learn Program, they work on specific goals tailored to their needs, whether it be increasing Math or Reading scores. The program also emphasizes employability skills and places students in work-study positions to increase their marketable skills.

For more information about the Work and Learn Program, contact Mrs. Clemons at (606) 487-3284.