It's been a long time since Reggie Hanson was running up and down the court at Rupp Arena as a member of the Kentucky Wildcats, but now he's getting to know his fans in a different way with the release of his new book.
'10 Life Lessons: Learned as a Student-Athlete' dives into what Hanson learned as a member of Big Blue Nation when he played for Rick Pitino.
Hanson spoke about his book Tuesday at the Christian County UK Alumni Annual Dinner.
"It's about all the things that we went through as a team, whether it was the conditioning, whether it's when he was getting on us, whether its team meetings and scouting reports, all the different situations that we went through translates to real life," he said. "A lot of student-athletes leave college today and the connection is not there. The book is to help them make a connection of every experience and situation they have with their coaches (and how that) translates to real life. It's also a teaching tool for coaches to help them connect with their players to show them how what they're teaching them translates to real life."
Hanson said it's been a long time since he was back in the Bluegrass.
"I'm glad to be back in Kentucky," he said. "It's great to be back amongst BBN and all the Kentucky fans."
When asked what Hanson remembers most about his time at Kentucky, one thing immediately came to mind.
"The fans," he said. "I tell everyone, the fans are what make Kentucky basketball, Kentucky basketball. Everyone you go, there's fans."
After graduating from Kentucky, Hanson was an assistant under Tubby Smith.
See Hanson/Page B3
He said he learned a lot from the former Wildcat coach.
"It was great," he said. "The biggest thing I learned from Tubby is how to manage games. He related to players very well, but he manages game very well. Things that happen on the fly, making adjustments, he's very good at that. Everybody knows he's a great defensive coach, but he's a great coach overall. His record speaks for itself."
After that, Hanson spent some time at South Florida and then in Japan until hanging up his clipboard in 2014.
Hanson is now a sales manager at Dillard's in Tampa, Florida, but his passion goes back to his time as a Wildcat.
"I do life coaching with student-athletes, kids and adults," he said. "That's my biggest thing right now outside of my regular job is to really promote my book and help people understand what life lessons are about and how to get through them."
Hanson said being a student-athlete is much different now than it was when he was playing in college. He said the age of social media hasn't made it easy.
"It's very difficult," he said. "The hardest thing to get kids to understand is it doesn't matter how many likes you get on your photo, (and it) doesn't matter how many likes you get on your videos. Those people that are liking you or even disliking you has nothing to do with the outcome of your career or your life."