Kentucky Takes Narrow Big Blue Slam Lead on Day 1 Jan. 23, 2023

Kentucky Blood Center, LifeSouth start strong in five-day competition


LEXINGTON, Ky. – If the start is any indication, Big Blue Slam 2023 could come down to the buzzer.

Kentucky took the slimmest of leads on day one of the annual competition vs. Florida. With 247 donors giving blood Monday, Kentucky Blood Center has a four-donor advantage over LifeSouth Community Blood Center in Florida in the five-day competition.

Powered by two passionate fan bases, the 15th annual competition is a rivalry between Kentucky and Florida to see who can collect the most blood for local hospitals. Although one center will be crowned a champion at week’s end, both states hope to win this week by stocking the blood shelves during a key juncture on the collection calendar when wintry weather and winter illnesses can hinder collections.

“The first day is likely a sign of how close this battle is going to be this year,” said Mandy Brajuha, vice president of external relations for KBC. “Every drop counts when it comes to donating blood and saving lives, and that’s going to be no different for this competition vs. Florida. In a contest this tight, we are going to need all of Big Blue Nation to beat our rivals from the south.”

Kentucky leads the friendly rivalry with Florida 8-6 after winning the last two competitions. KBC is seeking the first three-year winning streak in the series.

Donors in Kentucky can achieve a Big Blue Slam first by giving at any of KBC’s eight donor centers or any mobile drive throughout the week. KBC donor centers, listed below, are open from 9 a.m. to 6 p.m. during the competition. Mobile drives can be found at

All donors will receive a 'Basketball School' shirt and be entered to win two tickets to the UK-Florida game on Feb. 4 at Big Blue Slam.

All donors who give blood this week. will receive a special-edition “Basketball School” long-sleeve shirt and be entered to win two lower-level tickets to the UK-Florida men’s basketball game in Rupp Arena on Feb. 4. A “Football School” long-sleeve shirt was provided to donors for Big Blue Crush in November.

KBC provides lifesaving blood to more than 70 hospitals in Kentucky. Blood given by donors helps patients battling cancer, provides life support for traumas, aids in surgeries and so much more.

Blood donors must be at least 17 years old (16 with parental consent), weigh at least 110 pounds, be in general good health, show a photo I.D. and meet additional requirements. Sixteen-year-old donors must have a signed parental permission slip, which can be found at

Donors can schedule an appointment at or call 800.775.2522. Appointments are highly encouraged during Big Blue Slam. Walk-ins will be accepted as space allows.

About Kentucky Blood Center

Celebrating 55 years of saving lives in Kentucky, KBC is the largest independent, full-service, nonprofit blood center in Kentucky. Licensed by the FDA, KBC’s sole purpose is to collect, process and distribute blood for patients in Kentucky. KBC provides services in 90 Kentucky counties and has donor centers in Lexington, Louisville, Frankfort, Pikeville, Somerset and the Tri-County area.