Every Wednesday we’ll look back at the career of a former Kentucky basketball player who might be forgotten, or even unknown, to some in Big Blue Nation. We’ll use stats, stories, and memories to reminisce on the past.
Today, we start with Bernard “Cootie” Cote.
Bernard Cote played two seasons at Kentucky under Tubby Smith from 2002 to 2004 and was only the second Canadian player to ever suit up for the Wildcats. The 6-foot-9 forward/center was recruited to Kentucky from Champlain High School in St. Lambert, Ontario where he averaged 15 points and 10 rebounds as a senior and was named to the All-Canadian team. He wore #12 for the Wildcats because of his idol, Jim LeMaster.
As a freshman at Kentucky, he played in 25 games averaging just under five minutes per contest. He scored a total of 21 points in his first season in Lexington with 22 rebounds.
Cote’s role as backup didn’t change in his second season with guys like Chuck Hayes, Erik Daniels, Bobby Perry, Sheray Thomas, Woo, and Shagari on the roster. He averaged six minutes per game as sophomore and scored a total of 39 points with 12 rebounds that season. He transferred to Northwestern University after two seasons at UK.
Despite little playing time and very little production, Cote’s time at Kentucky was not a complete loss. During his freshman season in Lexington, he fell in love with a basketball tutor who was assigned to his Communications class. She would go on to win Miss Kentucky in 2005 and finish third in the Miss USA pageant that year. She moved in with Cote in Evanston after he transferred to NU.
Cote currently lives in Montreal and serves as Marketing Manager for Advertising and Classics Business Development at Reebok. He is responsible for managing all advertising and revitalizing the Reeboks Classic brand in Canada. He also handles contractual partnerships for the CFL and Canadian universities.
But I’ll always remember him as the guy who dated this: