Two years ago I went to heaven. It was big, blue and beautiful. It was Rupp Arena.

Rupp, for those of you who don’t know, is the basketball arena for the University of Kentucky Wildcats.

Yes, I am very passionate about my Kentucky basketball.

We sat up in the nosebleed seats, but it didn’t matter. The environment there is magical.

I went back last year for my second game there. It just so happened to be the day after the Lexington area received a foot of snow and I-75 was shut down for hours the night before. I was bound and determined to make it to the game though, despite my boyfriend’s unsure mind.

We went and the roads were fine. And my boyfriend who wasn’t a Kentucky fan, or basketball fan even, loved it, too.

So this weekend I decided we needed to go back. My dad was sent to work in Kentucky about 20 minutes from Lexington and is going to be there over the weekend, so I figured he needed company!

I am so excited to make it back to my heaven. The people, the excitement, the sounds, the atmosphere - everything just comes together to make it perfect.

Many of you may also be excited for visiting a basketball arena for similar reasons this Saturday as Van Wert High School hosts two basketball games at the Cougar Den at the old high school, or what is now known as the Goedde Building.

I remember that gym fondly. I was there for the last game played there and I remember the excitement, the packed seats and the sadness knowing that was it.

I played volleyball there for my first two years of high school - those memories are varied from good to bad.

I can’t forget how hot the gym was practicing there in the summer and how some of those early morning conditioning days left me hating that gym, but overall the memories are good.

I remember how cool I felt when I played in my first game in that gym. It was so much bigger than the old middle school gym. You actually had room to step back and serve the ball in the high school gym.

The crowd was so close to the action and you always felt like you were a part of the game even if you were just watching.

I think this throwback to the old Cougar Den will be a great time for some of the current students to hear about the memories of the old high school and how, even though it wasn’t as fancy as the new one or as big, it was home. It was where our family, friends and community came together and squeezed together to support our Cougars.

It was the home of Cougar Pride.