The awesome Gregg Doyel is at it again today with an outstanding piece about Pikeville University head coach Kelly Wells. While most know Wells as the man who’s led UPike to its only NAIA national title and two 30-win seasons over his eight-year reign, Doyel writes about how Wells’ medical struggles, particularly the two kidney transplants he’s had over the past ten years, have given him a new outlook on life.
One of Kelly’s dreams was to coach against Rick Pitino, and he got to do so back in November 2012; sadly, he had to be taken to the hospital immediately following the game, where he found out that he had cancer in his other kidney, prompting his most recent transplant in June. The story also includes an anecdote about Braxton Upthegrove, a young UK basketball fan with a failing kidney whom Nerlens Noel invited to come see a game in Philly. Turns out that Nerlens’ gesture may have drummed up enough publicity for Braxton’s fight that two months later, Braxton got a call saying he finally had a donor after three years on the waiting list.
Go read Doyel’s piece, and as he suggests in the last line, sign up to be an organ donor. Hopefully we’ll get to know Kelly Wells even better when UPike comes to Rupp Arena to play the Cats on November 2.