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Saturday’s Ohio UK Convention is always special

WKYT-TV anchor Jennifer Palumbo and former UK assistant football coach Chuck Smith joined me at the 2012 Ohio UK Convention.

WKYT-TV anchor Jennifer Palumbo and former UK assistant football coach Chuck Smith joined me at the 2012 Ohio UK Convention.

By LARRY VAUGHT

The third Saturday in July is always one of my favorite days of the year because that’s the annual date for the Ohio UK Convention at Eastview Baptist Church in Franklin, Ohio.

Long-time UK fan Jim Porter is the Ohio UK Convention guru and annually puts together a terrific list of guest speakers for UK fans who come from Ohio, Kentucky and even as far away as South Carolina some year.

Registration ($25) is from 8:30-9 a.m. Saturday and the convention runs through 3:30 p.m. with a lunch break.

Once again Porter has an impressive lineup of speakers starting with Jack “Goose” Givens, the former UK All-American who was 1978 Final Four MVP. It will be his third appearance at the convention that attracts fans of all ages.

“One great thing about being a UK player is that fans never forget you and treat us old guys with great respect,” said Givens. “You don’t think about how far reaching Kentucky basketball truly is until you go into the middle of Ohio and here they have this huge UK fan group.

“It is a full day of activities and it is all BBN stuff. It’s always fun going. It’s fun meeting new people and seeing ones I have already got to know. It’s pretty special.”

Making his first convention appearance will be UK deputy athletics director DeWayne Peevy, who oversees the basketball program and works closely with coach John Calipari.

My guess is that authors Ryan Clark and Joe Cox will be popular, too. Their latest book — “The Kentucky Wildcats Fans Bucket List ” — includes the Ohio UK Convention on the must-do list for UK fans before they die.

Former UK quarterback Freddie Maggard will be home from SEC Media Days and back at the Ohio UK Convention with special guest Matt Bradford. Maggard does a variety of media work today and is the football analyst for Kentucky Sports Radio.

Maggard will lead a football panel discussion that includes myself and Tina Cox, a contributor for Cameron Mills Radio.

There will also be a convention first as former UK player Cameron Mills will host his radio show there from 10 a.m. until noon. You can listen on FoxSports 1580AM or iHeart Radio live.

For questions, call Porter at 937-746-8758. He’ll have a variety of special awards, give-aways and door prizes plus a silent auction to help offset convention costs.

Directions to Eastview Baptist Church, 4289 St Rt 122, Franklin, Ohio 45005: Take exit 32 off  I-75 and go east on St Rt 122 for about 2 miles. Look for a parking lot with blue balloons and plenty of UK speciality license plates.

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