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A Celebration of UK’s Left-Handers

In celebration of International Left-Handers Day, let’s take a look back at some of the best lefties to wear the Blue and White at Kentucky.

We’ll start with the best left-hander in UK basketball history…

Jack “Goose” Givens

An NCAA champion and the Final Four’s Most Outstanding Player in 1978, the Goose is a legend in Kentucky lore with over 2,000 points scored in his career. He is one of only three players to hit the 2,000-point mark in the program’s history, and 41 of those points came against Duke in the championship game:

Kevin Grevey

Four spots down from Givens on the all-time scoring list with 1,801 career points scored, is Kevin Grevey, a two-time All-American and two-time SEC Player of the Year. Grevey and his 1974-75 teammates fell just shy of winning a title for the program, dropping the 1975 championship game to John Wooden’s UCLA Bruins. But his #35 jersey hangs in the Rupp Arena rafters among all the other UK basketball legends.

Tayshaun Prince

One place beneath Grevey on UK’s career scoring list, you’ll find Tayshaun Prince, another great lefty. Of all the great things Prince did in his four seasons at Kentucky from 1998-2002, nothing will top his five three-pointers to open the game against North Carolina in Rupp Arena:

Cliff Hawkins

Prince played with another great lefty, Cliff Hawkins, his point guard. Hawkins’ crossover against Louisville was filthy:

Erik Daniels

Hawkins played four years with another good lefty in Erik Daniels. Daniels scored 1,000 points with over 500 rebounds for UK, plus this dramatic game-winner in Starkville:

James Lee

When I shared this post last year, I left off James Lee. Inexcusable mistake on my part. My bad. But he’s here now, Henry Clay’s own, the Freight Train, an All-SEC forward and an irreplaceable member of the 1978 national champion Kentucky Wildcats… James Lee.

Tom Parker

Another omission from last year, left-handed Tom Parker was a two-time All-SEC selection and the 1972 SEC Player of the Year. For his career, Parker averaged 15.5 points and 8.5 rebounds per game over three seasons for the Wildcats. He’s currently ranked 36th all-time in scoring and 27th in rebounding and he’s from the era when freshman couldn’t play.

Heshimu Evans

You can’t make a list of left-handers without including Heshimu Evans, a key contributor off the bench in UK’s 1998 championship season. A transfer from Manhattan, Evans only played two seasons in Lexington, but he was a fan favorite for doing things like this:

Terrence Jones

Another left-handed, NCAA champion forward at Kentucky is Terrence Jones. He also liked to dunk:

James Young

When we’re talking about left-handed dunkers at Kentucky, it’ll be tough to top James Young’s slam on the entire UConn team in the 2014 championship game in Dallas. But Young’s best play in his one season at Kentucky was the three-pointer that helped end Wichita State’s undefeated season and sparked the improbable run through the 2014 tournament:

Julius Randle

As good as Young was for that 2013-14 team, he wasn’t the best lefty in UK’s starting rotation. Julius Randle was also a lefty and one of the 10 semifinalists for the Naismith College Player of the Year. In one standout year for the Wildcats, Randle had 24 double-doubles, the second most double-doubles in school history, behind only Dan Issel’s 25, and the most double-doubles by a UK freshman, more than previous record-holders DeMarcus Cousins and Anthony Davis.

Randle’s left hand beat LSU in the final seconds:

De’Aaron Fox

Lonzo Ball is right-handed, but his dad, De’Aaron Fox, is a lefty. Fox provided plenty of fun moments in his one season as Kentucky’s point guard in 2016-17, including the school’s first triple-double in almost 30 years and the time he dropped 39 on Ball in the Sweet 16:


And our favorite lefty to ever suit up for Kentucky did it on the football field…


Jared Lorenzen

We’ll never see another one like him.


Article written by Drew Franklin

I can recite every line from Forrest Gump, blindfolded. Follow me on Twitter: @DrewFranklinKSR

22 Comments for A Celebration of UK’s Left-Handers

  1. sincitycat
    12:11 pm August 13, 2019 Permalink

    James Lee and Tom Parker need to be on this list.

  2. Bluehender
    12:17 pm August 13, 2019 Permalink

    “Lonzo Ball is right handed, but his dad DeAaron Fox is left handed.” That’s funny Drew..

    • Bluehender
      11:11 pm August 13, 2020 Permalink

      You stole my handle. Who are you??

    • Bluehender
      11:13 pm August 13, 2020 Permalink

      Omg…it’s me..from last year…lol..

    • runningunnin.454
      8:20 am August 14, 2020 Permalink

      Ha ha ha ha, good one Bh.

  3. Not Dan Issel
    12:46 pm August 13, 2019 Permalink

    I’ve had the pleasure and privilege of watching all of these play, as well as Parker and Lee. Those two definitely need to be included. As for who is the best in history, Grevey played only three seasons, not four as Jack did. Also, Grevey scored 34 in that championship final game against UCLA (which was unwinnable under any circumstance inasmuch as Wooden had just announced his retirement prior to the game).

    Grevey had a better pro career than Givens, had more range, and never played with the benefit of the 3 pt field goal. Sorry, Jack was great, but Grevey was better.

  4. jboy3403
    12:53 pm August 13, 2019 Permalink

    Tom Parker played three seasons and scored over 1200 points and had a ton of rebounds. He could shoot it well. There’s a lot of recent history guys that don’t stack up.

    • Not Dan Issel
      1:13 pm August 13, 2019 Permalink

      Tom Parker was definitely an outstanding player for UK. He should be high on this list.

    • J-Dub421
      4:00 pm August 13, 2019 Permalink

      1200 points in three years averages out to 400 points per season. We’ve had multiple one-and-done freshman who scored way more than 400 points in a season. (Wall knight, Murray, and Monk, just off the top of my head.) Anthony Davis is 6th all-time career blocks at UK in only one season. The recency bias is there for a reason.

  5. sincitycat
    2:17 pm August 13, 2019 Permalink

    I am sitting here smiling thinking of what would have happened to Grayson Allen if he had tripped James Lee.

  6. bigbluejon
    2:35 pm August 13, 2019 Permalink

    Jared shouldve been at the top Drew. He was the Hefty Lefty for Pete’s sake…

  7. TOMCATS1990
    4:04 pm August 13, 2019 Permalink

    Still get goosebumps watching Princes 5-3’s against Carolina and listening to how loud RUPP used to be!!!

  8. joeky
    5:28 pm August 13, 2019 Permalink

    Agree with not Dan Issel , Grevey is the best left hander to play at UK.

  9. Bob_DeFoor
    2:12 pm August 15, 2019 Permalink

    Great article, Drew. I don’t remember the Givens/Grevey ones but probably saw all the rest live or in person. Will never forget the Tayshaun UNC game

  10. BG Cat
    10:19 pm August 13, 2020 Permalink

    Lorenzen!!! Miss that dude

  11. serdi
    12:25 am August 14, 2020 Permalink

    Thad Jaracz.

    Are you kidding?

    What real UK fan would leave him out?


    • Not Dan Issel
      7:43 am August 14, 2020 Permalink

      Thad Jaracz: third leading scorer on the 1966 Rupp’s Runts at 13.2 ppg. Third Team All-America 1966 (AP). Career scoring avg. of 12 ppg. Played center at 6-5, 230 lbs. Drafted by the Boston Celtics, Jaracz choose a career in the us Army, retiring as a high ranking officer. I hate to keep repeating myself, but to you younger folks, UK has been playing some really good basketball, with some really good players, for a long, long time.

  12. KellyInClearwater
    7:17 am August 14, 2020 Permalink

    Don’t forget about “The Master Blaster” Richard Madison.

  13. Jpcat15
    7:49 am August 14, 2020 Permalink

    Madison was right handed

  14. michaelb
    9:41 am August 14, 2020 Permalink

    Leftie awareness !!!! Let’s spread mindfulness of these folks’ & my disability Box a lefty or guard a lefty in basketball you’ll be thrown off. Lefties are better at baseball : they’re ones step closer to first base for 1 . 62% of presidents are left handed . I could keep going but you get the picture

    • runningunnin.454
      10:11 am August 14, 2020 Permalink

      Do you remember when first grade teachers would whack the left hand with a ruler to make kids change to their right hand?

  15. Dr. Tom
    3:11 pm August 14, 2020 Permalink

    Single game moment….Tayshaun’s five 3’s in a row against UNC was the best, hands down!!