By LARRY VAUGHT
Kelly Reed always knew that her son, Tyler Ulis, could be a special player.
“It’s just a little thing I would say – point guards are not made; they’re born. Since day one. People ask me, what camps did you send him to? Who trains him? He could dribble the ball like it was on a string since he was like 2 and 3 and that’s the honest truth,” said Reed.
“And it just developed over the years. I always knew he had a little gift. I didn’t know exactly how far it would go. I knew what his dream was. It wasn’t my dream for him, but he’s always been gifted with the ball and just sharing the ball and making kids around him better.
“I actually have a letter from a teacher that he had to write a paper and she said how she watched him on the playground and his dream was to go to the NBA and she said how she sees him making it because she just watched him on the playground. So she saw the saw thing I saw and I want to say he was maybe in the fourth grade.”
Now Ulis is withing two months of seeing his name called in the first round of the NBA Draft despite being only 5-9 and leaving UK after just two years.
“It was surreal sitting here at Kentucky. Each game is like a new game and I’m sitting here like I can’t believe I’m here. Because of his talents I could believe I was here, but it was still surreal. Like I said, he just keeps exceeding my expectations,” Reed said.
She tells him now to “stay humble and hungry” no matter what happens.
“That’s my quote for him and all his friends: Stay humble and hungry. And I just pray that he has a great career in the NBA because that has always been his dream,” Ulis’ mother said.
She liked the way he matured as a person at Kentucky and became even more responsible.
“It’s good to hear everyone we see gives him compliments of the person he is off the court. And that’s always good to hear as a parent because you know you raise them, but you never know when they leave out the door. So it’s a great compliment and a blessing to hear people compliment him just as a person as a young man,” Reed said.
“And we hear it every time we come to town or out of town. Just everywhere. That’s such a blessing and I’m so proud that he represents himself like that.”