A scout sitting in the stands for tonight’s game between Kentucky and Vanderbilt is familiar face for most folks across the Big Blue Nation. I say “most” because I am not one of them.
UK Athletics Hall of Famer Chuck Hayes stopped by Memorial Gymnasium this afternoon to watch the Wildcats prepare for the Commodores. While Coach Cal’s Cats got up some shots, the Houston Rockets pro player personnel scout stopped to snap a picture with another UK Hall of Famer, Mike Pratt.
For those who were not around, or do not fondly remember the Kentucky basketball program from 2001-05, Chuck Hayes was THE man. He was only 6-feet 6-inches tall, but he was the biggest player on the court. One of the scrappiest, hardest workers to every wear Kentucky blue and white, he served as inspiration for thousands across the Commonwealth, teaching kids that you don’t have to be tallest or the most athletic to make your dreams come true.
I was one of those kids. Chuck Hayes was my favorite player. More than ten years later I met him and made a complete ass out of myself.
Hayes’ appearance on the UK sideline is the perfect opportunity for me to share with you the most embarrassing moment of my life. That morning at McDonald’s All-American practice is a painful and humbling reminder. Let my pain be your pleasure. Prepare to point laugh before you read my story from that fateful day in 2018.