Kentucky hoops amped by new rap song
October, 23, 2012
By Bill Speros | Special to ESPN.com
Rap artist Henry Ogirri is from Springfield, Mass. -- aka the birthplace of basketball -- and played hoops professionally, and he just so happens to have a cousin who is an assistant coach at the University of Kentucky.
You can probably guess where this is headed.
Ogirri turned his passion for the game and Wildcats basketball into "Drive for 9," an unofficial theme song for Big Blue Nation. The YouTube video of the song has already captivated the fan base, receiving more than 21,000 views, along with coverage from several national outlets.
His cousin, Kentucky assistant coach Orlando Antigua, along with several other family members, provided input and encouragement for both his music career and this Kentucky song.
"I'm not sure If Coach [John] Calipari has seen it yet, but my cousin loves the video. He was really excited about it," said Ogirri, who played college basketball at the juco and Division III levels before a brief pro career in the Dominican Republic and Portugal. "He's been very supportive and brings all the analogies about basketball to music into real life."
Although the Wildcats are not returning any starters from their 2011-12 NCAA championship team, Ogirri said he doesn't believe his video is putting any extra pressure on them.
"I think that's the expected pressure that comes with being at Kentucky," he said. "They're an elite team. Coming off an eighth title, there's an idea to repeat. We've got eight, let's get nine."
Among the lyrics in the song, which came out Oct. 7: “We heavyweights, our competition is super-light/Super-light! Our freshmens make your seniors look Fisher-Price ... They call me Derek Anderson, how I rock my "Js" ... Every trey I make, I Antoine Walker Harlem Shake ... United we stand, divided we fall/This is a celebration, Do the John Wall."
"A lot of people have quoted me on that one. That's a popular line. There's a median where you want to represent the school but not be too corny have some fun...and it rhymes."
Several former Kentucky players, including Jamal Mashburn, retweeted the song, and others have contacted Ogirri, including Anderson.
"Drive for 9" was written in about six hours, Origgi said, following the Kentucky alumni game at Rupp Arena on Sept. 15 and a visit with his cousin and Calipari a day earlier.
"I got all my inspiration in that experience," he said.
Perhaps the Wildcats can find some inspiration in return.
”Good Morning Everyone! One last photo! With Coach Cal & my cousin O”
From Via Henry Ogirri on Facebook.