The Hunger Games' Josh Hutcherson Greeted by Mockingjay Salute During Basketball Game

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By Jesselle Maminta | January 3, 2014 1:35 PM EST

Josh Hutcherson returns to his hometown in Kentucky to watch a basketball game, and the audience recognizes him with a familiar salutation. 

"The Hunger Games" star showed up at Lexington's Rupp Arena to cheer on his hometown basketball team, the University of Kentucky Wildcats, as they play against Louisville Cardinals last Dec. 28. 

Reuters
Josh Hutcherson talks about his role as Peeta Mellark in the film: The Hunger Games

During the half-time break, Josh stepped into the court to greet his fellow Wildcats fans, wearing a blue cap and a blue shirt that says 'Keep Calm and Strive For Nine.' The thousands of fans who were at the stadium then stood up and raised three fingers in the sky, just like Josh and fellow Kentucky native Jennifer Lawrence's characters Peeta Mellark and Katniss Everdeen did in the "Hunger Games" movie. 

E! Online reports that Josh 'appeared to be touched by the warm homecoming reception, and the smiling star looked right at home amongst all the Wildcats fans,' judging from the photos of him taken during the basketball game. 

Back in the game, the Wildcats eventually beat the Cardinals, with the final score of 77 to 66. Perhaps Josh's presence during the game brought some luck to the Wildcats.

It appears that Josh is a huge basketball fan, and he's got ball skills to boot. For the past two years, he has hosted a celebrity basketball game to support his charity Straight but Not Narrow. He also showed off his ball-spinning and shooting skills during his appearance in Late Night with Jimmy Fallon. 

As previously mentioned, Jennifer is also from Kentucky just like Josh, though she hails from Louisville, which might have made her cheer for the opposing team. However, she was in England at the time, spending the holidays with her boyfriend Nicholas Hoult. But before that trip, she dropped by a local children's hospital in Louisville to bring cheer to the young patients and the hospital staff.  

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(Photo: Reuters / )
Josh Hutcherson talks about his role as Peeta Mellark in the film: The Hunger Games
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