During the summer months sometimes it is hard to find topics to interest the fans. But one thing every fan loves to do is tell that story that they were involved in and makes them love being a UK fan. I will post 1 or 2 of these stories every Friday from now until football season. All you need to do is send me a few sentences or paragraphs to [email protected] and I will post it. You don’t have to put your name on it if you don’t want to and you can attach a picture if you so choose. It can be an opinion that is unpopular or just showing love for your favorite player. All you have to do is be passionate about your story.
Today we’ve got an old-school story:
I am a 1965 graduate from UK with a degree in Accounting. While at UK, I had the opportunity to meet and have classes with a number of the members of the 1961 -1962 freshmen basketball team, including John Adams, Terry Mobley and others.
From 1970 – 1973 I worked on an international assignment with Deloitte, an international accounting firm, in Sao Paulo, Brazil. One day I am reading the local Portuguese language sports section when I see an article about a USA basketball team that is in town to play in a basketball tournament. Players listed included John Adams and Scotty Baesler of the University of Kentucky. I decide to attempt to locate the team and perhaps socialize with some of them. Luckily, I located their hotel near my offices, obtained their room number and knocked on their door. John answered and was surprised to see a UK acquaintance.
We invited John and any teammates he wanted to invite to go with us to visit our home and drive out to our club, Sao Fernando Golf Club. When we arrived to pick them up, John had Scotty Baesler with him. We now had to figure out how to get John at 6 foot, 6 inches or so and Scotty into our Brazilian Chevrolet Opala sedan, which probably was a little smaller than a modern day Honda Civic. We got them into the back seat by pushing the front seat all the way forward, putting John and Scotty into the back seat, and then pushing the front seat back as far as possible. I then got in and drove with knees in my back and my elbows on the steering wheel. The car could have rolled over and no one would have fallen out. After lunch at the Club, we returned them to their hotel.
That evening we were scheduled to have a cookout at our home; so we took about 30 people to the basketball tournament for two games. In the first, I think the USA lost to Italy; and then we had a riot during the second game between Brazil and Puerto Rico. Brazil took their basketball very seriously, and planned to win this tournament. However, Puerto Rico refused to relinquish a small lead down the stretch. Brazil would cut the lead down to one point, but some Puerto Rican would sink an impossible shot to push the lead back to three. With less than 30 seconds to go, Brazilian players finally lost their cool. During a time out, a Brazilian player smashed a chair over the head of a Puerto Rican; and all hell broke loose! We had fists flying; chairs being smashed; and armed security police pulling loaded weapons. One pistol flew all the way across the floor. This lasted about five minutes before the Military Police unit from just up the street arrived. We now got a lesson in how a trained force can break up a riot if not worried about charges of excessive abuse or use of force. If you were on the floor, you were seized and thrown through the heavy wooden doors of the bathrooms under the stands for detention. This was during the time when the Military ran the government in Brazil; and you did not mess with the police or military on the streets. The game was suspended; but unbelievably, tournament officials forced Puerto Rico to play the last 30 seconds the following morning. Puerto Rico still won.
Having worked overseas and travelled to some 70 plus countries, I am always on the lookout for UK graduates or fans. If I wear a UK shirt or sweatshirt, I almost always locate a fellow Wildcat!