By LARRY VAUGHT
Tom Greenwell is a typical University of Kentucky basketball fan. He just happens to live in Mt. Washington in Bullitt County and has gone all-in for UK senior forward Derek Willis.
“I did not attend his high school games, but I first started taking notice of Derek when I heard that coach (Rick) Pitino and coach (John) Calipari were scouting him at the same game. Then I was really pleased to hear he was going to play at Kentucky,” said Greenwell.
Greenwell also likes to write songs and sing. He wrote one after UK won the 2012 national title — “Big Blue O Little Town of Lexington.” (Go to https://youtu.be/yb-Gfg5cmWQ.) He wrote another one after the Final Four run in 2014 and another about the possible 40-0 season of 2015.
Now you can guess what came next.
“Willis representing Mt. Washington cried out for a song,” Greenwell, who grew up listening to UK games on the radio and sometimes getting to go to a game in Memorial Coliseum when Adolph Rupp coached, said.
That’s how he came up with “Where There’s a Willis, There’s a Way.” (Find the song here: https://youtu.be/BxAyvg2MSpU.)
Not only that, but he had blue T-shirts made with the song name on them for a festival in Bullitt County. Greenwell said when Willis found out about the song and T-shirts on Twitter, his response was “amazing.”
Greenwell won’t say whether he came up with the song or T-shirt first. He wants that to remain part of the ‘mystique” about this.
He has attended two city council meetings “encouraging them to be ready for national publicity” when Willis becomes a star. He would like to see a street named “Willis Way” in his hometown.
“I think that has a nice ring to it,” Greenwell said. “I’ve been impressed by what I’ve seen from Derek. He was really starting to shine last year before his injury and I think he’ll do that again this year.”