By Jessica Camerato
CSNNE.com Follow @JCameratoNBA
This week Rajon Rondo returned to Kentucky to put on a show in front of his hometown and college crowds. The Louisville native and former University of Kentucky player participated in the highly anticipated UK Pros - Dominican Republic basketball games organized by Wildcats head coach John Calipari.
Rondo was joined by fellow NBA players John Wall, Eric Bledsoe, DeMarcus Cousins, Keith Bogans, and Nazr Mohammed, among others on the Kentucky squad. The Dominican Republic team included Al Horford, Francisco Garcia, and Edgar Sosa.
A look back at Rondos week . . .
Getting Hyped on Twitter
With seats in high demand, Rondo held a contest to win a pair of tickets to the first game: Send me your best photo wearing your Kentucky blue to win the 2 UK tix to mondays game. Ill announce the winner tmrrw Noon ET Wildcats.
The winner impressed him with a room full of Wildcats gear and memorabilia and a splash of Celtics attire. (The fan later tweeted, @RajonRondo Thanks Rajon for the tickets! Best pg in the league! Wildcats BBN.)
Rondo later tweeted several messages expressing excitement, and even asked fans for their opinion on which sneakers to wear:
"Which Shoe should I play in tonight? Uniform color doesn't matter http:yfrog.comh2nfagnj"
Thanks for the support tonight. Had a lot of Fun. Rematch tomorrow
Can't wait to do it again tonight taps.lapvOnv9"
In Monday's game in Lexington, a 106-88 victory by the Dominican Republic, Rondo scored three points (1-5 FG, 0-1 3PG, 1-2 FT), dished seven assists, and grabbed seven rebounds in 33 minutes. He led the team in assists (Wall and Bogans had two apiece) while finishing second in boards behind only Cousins (14).
The Dominican Republic earned another victory, 91-86, on Tuesday in Louisville. Rondo scored 14 points (7-18 FG, 0-4 3PG, 0-2 FT), pulled down five rebounds, and had four of Kentucky's six assists in 35 minutes.
Addressing the Media
Following Tuesday's game, Rondo sat down with Mohammed to address the media. And the interview wasn't without a classic Rondo one-liner either. After Mohammed offered a lengthy response to a question about the NBA lockout, Rondo concisely replied, "Correct. A few excerpts from his postgame interview:
On the NBA lockout:
"Right now we're just preparing as if it is a regular season. We've been working out together a little bit, just trying to stay ready, stay in shape, and get better each year. So it hasn't officially started as far as checks coming in stop coming in, but it's a dead period right now."
"Really just go with the flow, really. There's nothing we can do really right now, it's just a matter of waiting til both sides come to an agreement. It's just what it is right now."
On fan support at the games:
"I haven't even played here before but I had a good time. I had a great reception. Obviously it's a lot of Kentucky fans here, so I just tried to come out and give the guys a show and play hard."
"They come out back-to-back nights and support us. Great ovations, great fan participation, so we can't thank the fans enough and we tried to come out there and put on a show for them."
On camaraderie among Kentucky alumni:
"It's just a matter of respect. We all went to the same university and we're all in the league right now. We just have a lot of respect for each other. We all know what we've been through and the journey we took to get to where we are, and that's just what it's about."
Kentucky Camaraderie Continues
The camaraderie mentioned by Rondo was expressed by many of the players on Twitter before, during, and after the games, including:
Wall re-tweeted Lexington-nativeWashington Wizards rookie Shelvin Mack: Headed to Rupp later to support my teammate @jimmywa11 and big homie @RajonRondo......
Mohammed tweeted: We have a lot of great talent from UK in the NBA. It was fun to play with @jimmywa11 @boogiecousins @EBled24 @RajonRondo Jodie, Tay & Keith
Jessica Camerato is on Twitter at http:twitter.com!JCameratoNBA