When Kentucky Sports Radio attended a game in Manhattan earlier this year, a friend of mine at the school introduced me to Kevin Laue, a former player with the Jaspers. At first glance I noticed three things about Laue: he was extremely tall; wearing an old Manhattan basketball t-shirt; and his left arm ended at the elbow. Two of the three made sense for a basketball player, but I knew there was more to Laue’s story other than “he used to play here.”
Little did I know at the time, his story includes a big role from new UK assistant Barry “Slice” Rohrssen. The Courier-Journal’s Adam Himmelsbach, who wrote a story on Laue for the New York Times, pieced it together yesterday:
I was contacted by Rohrssen (pronounced RAW-son), who was then the head coach at Manhattan University. The university’s president, Brother Thomas Scanlan, had seen the article, and he had been inspired by Laue, and he had asked Rohrssen to look into it.
Rohrssen couldn’t believe what he saw. He gave Kevin Laue the scholarship he had been working toward for so long. He gave him a chance that the other college coaches had not. And that’s admirable.
“For all the right reasons, Kevin deserves this chance,” Rohrssen told me then. “He’s someone who won’t take this for granted.”
Our man Slice gave Laue a chance to play college basketball when others would not, all because he read Himmelbach’s piece and was inspired to do so. Laue was from the mountains of Virginia and moved to the big city after accepting Slice’s offer, where he played three seasons and became an inspiration to so many others. It even led to a documentary:
So as we get to know Slice this summer, a man we know little about right now, the story of how he helped Kevin Laue reach his dream tells us we have a good guy taking up a seat on Kentucky’s bench next season.