While the basketball season doesn't start for another few weeks, a group of former Christian County hoopers came together Saturday for the annual Lady Colonel Alumni Basketball Game at CCHS.
Current Christian County coach Kiki Radford is on the court she used to play on nearly every day as she's leading the next generation of Lady Cols.
"It was a special moment," she said. "It's always special when we have these alumni games just to be able to be blessed to actually play the game again and for everybody to come to town and have a great night together."
Former CCHS coach Donald Dillard hasn't coached as the school he used to call home in 13 years so Saturday was a special moment as he coached the New School team with his wife and former assistant Michelle Dillard coaching the Old School team.
"I had a great time," he said. "I was telling some of the kids, when I left here, we used have a saying, stay together, play together, win together. We did that after every practice. I think they understand what that means now. I was able to watch some of the kids that played on my very first team and now one of my former players is coaching the Lady Colonels."
Dillard said it was great to see his former players back on the court.
"They've got a little bit older but they still have that spirit, they still play hard, they have fun," he said. "It's just amazing to me when they were calling their names, the amount of kids that went to college. I think that me and my wife, we made an impact on a lot of these kids. I'm very proud."
Throughout the game, Dillard and Radford could be seen talking smack, something the two have done plenty of times in their careers, but the respect between the two runs far beyond the basketball court.
"Coach Dillard, he's an amazing coach," she said. "He helped me so much when I was in school and I will forever be grateful for what he was able to do for me and even now, he reaches out to me and gives me pointers as a coach. Love him to death and it's a bond we're going to continue to have."
Coming into the game, Radford said she did a little prepping to get ready as several players hit the gym Friday to work on their game.
"I've been taking some shots, been working on my ball-handling because I knew they were going to pressure and double team me but it didn't work too well," she said. "I guess I've got to start a little earlier."
Radford's team could be found on the sideline watching their coach and the players they used to look up to.
The current Lady Cols coach said several alumni even shared their stories with the players before the game.
"Just to know when it's all said and done, when you graduate high school this is a family," she said is what she hopes her team to get out of Saturday. "We're going to always been connected and that's the main thing. No matter what happens while you're in school, you're going to have sisters that you can call and count on after high school, after college. For them to see us all together and have as much fun as we were able to tonight, that just let's them know to stick together."
One former Lady Colonel that still knows how to put the ball through the net is Lydia Watkins. The former Kentucky Wildcat was excited to be back at CCHS.
"It was great," she said. "The atmosphere was great. It feels just like when I played back in 2006. The fans, everything it's just a family here. No matter how long you've been gone, you still come back and it feels like family."
Watkins is now an assistant at University Heights Academy under first-year coach Derrick Hickman and she said she pulls a lot of what she learned at County to help the Lady Blazers.
"Every year when you step inside this gym, it brings back memories," she said. "We're preaching throughout the whole season playing together, playing as a team. That's basically what the Lady Colonel program was in 2006. We're preaching he same thing over there at UHA."
Bobbi Charletta James was also on hand cheering on the Old School Lady Colonels.
"Just being with all of them, having a good time," she said was the best part of the day.
James was a standout player for Christian County during her playing days but an accident in 2003 left her paralyzed. James hasn't let that stop her as she's won Miss Kentucky Wheelchair in 2014.
She said it was great seeing the current Lady Colonel coach on the court.
"It was amazing and seeing my point guard Kiki Radford was even better seeing what she's done with the program," she said.