A Kentucky Wildcat Connection


About 12:30 PM one beautiful October Saturday, in 1993, I got a call on my cell phone from a University of Kentucky Athletic Administrators telling me that he was in a bind and needed me to come over to the Wildcat Lodge and finish wallpapering a guest room. Being out of touch with UK Wildcat basketball, this nice gentleman explained to me where this building was on the UK campus. He told me that the paper hanger had not shown up that morning to finish his job from the previous day.  This director told me that he signed the checks and would pay me immediately if I could just help them out.  I was just finishing a Saturday morning job and was really tired and wanted to go be with my family but for some reasons he had hooked into my feelings so I agreed to do finish the job. He went on to tell me that Assistant Coach Billy Donovan would be waiting for me at the Lodge. 

I was walking up the steps of the Lodge and a nice looking young man that was talking to a couple asked are you the wallpaper, I answered, "Yes." He immediately told the couple that he had to go with me. We entered the Lodge and I thought what an honor for me to be in such a distinguished place. Coach Donavan and his two young dorm assistants were right beside me as I started hanging this 54 inch wall covering. Amazingly, Coach Donavan rolled up his sleeves and for the next two and half hours he pasted the walls for me to paper. While papering he told me that Coach Rick Pitino was going to pickup an inner-city Dallas, Texas prospect at the airport at 3:30 PM and bring him immediately over to this guest room.  I told Coach Donavan that if I was considering a church to pastor that the walls shouldn't really be an influence on my decision. He immediately said, "Yeah, Mike you are right this should be either but if it got back to us that it was, then it would hit the fan."

Coach Donavan was such an inspiration that I never sent UK a bill for my service. Unbelievably, I never heard anymore from this adventure until the week of January 26, 1994, when a nice UK official called me and told me that they were aware that I had not charged them and they wanted to show their gratitude by sending me two UK vs. South Carolina basketball tickets for January 26. The chill to Becky my wife and I was the 26 was our wedding anniversary.

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