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Locals remember former UK basketball player Mike Pratt

Weekday broadcast of WYMT Mountain News at 6
Published: Jun. 17, 2022 at 1:56 PM EDT
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HAZARD, Ky. (WYMT) - Former Kentucky basketball player and radio color analyst Mike Pratt died this morning. He was 73.

Pratt was not just a phenomenal athlete that played basketball with Kentucky’s all-time leading scorer Dan Issel and under Hall of Fame coach Adolph Rupp, he was a member of the community.

“I think with Mike (Pratt), after he met you a second time, he became your friend,” said Curtis Burch, Network Manager for UK Sports Network .

That was for anybody that came across Pratt. He was a color analyst for the official Kentucky basketball radio broadcast, and he knew what kind of impact he could have in that role and as a former player.

“He was an ambassador for the state, the school and the program, and I think he lived up to all of those expectations and exceeded them in a lot of instances,” Burch said.

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Whether in Rupp Arena or in a small town like Hazard, he enjoyed every interaction with fans. He and Voice of the Wildcats Tom Leach launched their book tour at Read Spotted Newt, a small bookstore in Hazard.

“I got that sense that he was a true basketball fan, and he truly enjoyed hearing everybody’s experience here,” said Mandi Sheffel, the owner of the Read Spotted Newt.

Those memories are proof that while Pratt may not physically be among us now, his legacy will carry on for a long time.

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