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Jack Givens, Shannon Spake, Paul Karem, Tywanna Patterson will join me on Leach Report

Shannon Spake (Vicky Graff Photo)

Shannon Spake (Vicky Graff Photo)

By LARRY VAUGHT

On Monday and Tuesday while Tom Leach is taking some vacation time, he’s giving me a chance to host the  Leach Report from 9-10 a.m. each day.

It’s an honor, but also pressure, to host the show because Leach is such a professional and has an informative, entertaining show every time he’s on air.

I hope to do the same because of the guests that have agreed to be on air with  me.

On Monday, we’ll start with Jack Givens, the MVP of the 1978 Final Four when UK won the national championship. He’ll be speaking again July 16 at the Ohio UK Convention in Franklin, Ohio, and has remained a fan favorite.

We’ll talk about the recent NBA draft, John Calipari, 1978 memories and more.

Next it will be UK fan favorite Shannon Spake, who is leaving ESPN to join FOXSports. She’ll be able to tell us about her move and what it means to her career as well as what she will miss about not being around the Kentucky basketball program as much. Spake is making time to do the show the day before she heads out on an Alaskan cruise.

Tuesday’s show will open with former UK football player Paul Karem, who has been the driving force behind honoring Nate Northington, Greg Page, Wilbur Hackett and Houston Hogg — the first African-American football players at Kentucky and in the SEC.

“What Northington, Page, Hackett and Hogg did was take some of the horror and make things a little easier for the African-American players that came after them,” Karem said.

A movie — “Black and Blue” — will trace what that foursome endured and did for race relations and UK soon will unveil a new statue honoring the foursome. Without Karem, I’m not sure either thing would have happened.

My final guest will be one of my all-time favorite UK parents, Tywanna Patterson. Her son, Patrick, played at UK under Billy Gillispie and then John Calipari and now plays for Toronto and coach Dwane Casey, another former UK player.

She loved UK and was a fixture at games. She stood up to Gillispie at times when someone needed to and I remain convinced the move to hire Calipari was started in large part by her not staying silent on some things that were happening in the program.

So give us a listen one or both days. I think the guests will make you glad you did.

 

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