LEXINGTON, Ky. – Kentucky basketball Corridor of Famer and radio analyst Mike Pratt died Thursday after a battle with most cancers.
He was 73.
A Dayton, Ohio, native, Pratt performed for Kentucky from 1966 to 1970. He was a two-time first-team All-SEC choice. As a senior, Pratt was named a Converse second-team All-American after averaging 19.3 factors and 9.5 rebounds per sport.
Pratt spent two seasons enjoying for the Kentucky Colonels within the American Basketball Affiliation earlier than beginning a training profession. As an assistant coach, he helped lead Charlotte to the 1977 NCAA Last 4.
Pratt later served as head coach at Charlotte for 4 seasons, compiling a 56-52 report.
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In October 2001, Pratt was named the lads’s basketball coloration analyst for the UK radio community. He continued his duties alongside play-by-play man Tom Leach lately whereas present process most cancers remedies.
Pratt additionally hosted a radio present in Louisville with fellow Kentucky basketball legend Dan Issel, who he performed with for each UK and the Colonels.
“My coronary heart is damaged,” Leach mentioned. “He was extra brother than broadcaster associate to me and producer Jim Barnhart by way of so many good instances. We beloved him similar to the Huge Blue Nation did. He was an impressive basketball analyst, however an excellent higher husband, father, grandfather and buddy. ”
On the time he was employed to be the radio analyst for Kentucky basketball video games, Pratt was working as a TV analyst for Fox Sports activities South. The preliminary wage provide was not sufficient to persuade Pratt to affix the published staff, in accordance with 2021 ebook he wrote with Leachhowever the UK was capable of enhance the wage to some extent Pratt was snug making the transfer from tv to radio.
The preliminary dedication was only for one season to check the chemistry between Leach and Pratt, who had been changing Ralph Hacker and Sam Bowie on the radio broadcasts.
The duo ended up working 20 seasons collectively. Pratt’s final name was Kentucky’s stunning NCAA Match loss to No. 15 seed Saint Peter’s in March.
“We’ve got a fantastic staff,” Pratt wrote within the ebook. “Jimmy Barnhart is the very best producer on the earth, and I believe the three of us match effectively. It is like a household. It has been great.”
Pratt served on the teaching search committee that finally introduced John Calipari to the UK in 2009. That very same 12 months, he was inducted into the UK Athletics Corridor of Fame.
In July 2019, Pratt had a tumor faraway from his colon. The most cancers later unfold to his liver, jaw and again.
In Could, relations launched a fundraising effort to assist pay for an experimental therapy. Calipari pledged $ 50,000 to the marketing campaign.
In accordance with the marketing campaign web site, Pratt was scheduled to start the therapy on June 16, the day he died.
“We misplaced a member of the family, part of the Kentucky household and a buddy. For those who ever had the pleasure of assembly Mike Pratt, you knew what a particular particular person he was,” Calipari mentioned. “Mike was a pricey buddy to me and was an integral half in serving to me grow to be head coach right here. Ellen and I’ll eternally be grateful to him for his help and kindness. We should always all be grateful that he was in our lives. Mike knew that the College and the Huge Blue Nation beloved him, and so they by no means forgot what he did as a participant after which later as a connection for this system. I’ll miss him. ”
Pratt is killed by his spouse, Marcia Schmidt Pratt; brother, Patrick Pratt; daughter, Tamaryn Pratt; son, Christopher Pratt; stepchildren, Christina Stone, Andy Schutz and Tim Schutz in addition to 10 grandchildren.
In lieu of flowers, the household asks donations to be made to Kentuckiana Pals of V. Plans for a celebration of life are being finalized.
“Neglect in regards to the basketball, neglect in regards to the broadcasting, I believe the legacy that Mike leaves is he was only a darn good man,” Issel mentioned Friday morning in his first episode of his ESPN 680 radio present since Pratt’s loss of life. “He by no means met a stranger, he at all times had time for everyone, and I’ll miss him dearly. I can take solace in the truth that I do know the place he’s proper now. My buddy won’t ever must really feel that excruciating ache once more. “
Electronic mail Jon Hale at firstname.lastname@example.org; Observe him on Twitter @JonHale_CJ.
This text initially appeared on Louisville Courier Journal: Mike Pratt, Kentucky basketball Corridor of Famer, dies at 73