By LARRY VAUGHT
When Kentucky won the national title in 1978, sophomore point guard Kyle Macy was adored by most UK female fans. He was the team’s heartthrob.
Forty years later, Macy remains a fan favorite as the team prepares to celebrate the 40th anniversary of his national title this weekend. The team will be recognized during Saturday night’s UK-Missouri game in Rupp Arena.
So how does it feel 40 years later?
“It’s kind of like when you turn 60-years-old and it doesn’t feel bad until somebody says it,” Macy said Thursday. “Then when somebody says its been 40 years since you won the championship, then it sounds like it’s been a really long time.
“On the other hand when you get together, you remember all those things that happened during the year. It seems like it was just yesterday. It’s great when you can reunite and spend some time together.”
Jack “Goose” Givens has been one of the main organizers of the 40th reunion. He had 41 points in the 1978 title game win over Duke.
“It’s hard to believe 40 years have passed since we were last together on the court,” Givens said. “We are very excited as teammates about being together again. We’re looking forward to a lot of fun.”
That championship game in St. Louis was a lot of fun for Givens. He went 18-for-27 from the field and had UK’s last 16 points in the first half. Duke stayed in a 2-3 zone and once Givens found a gap in the zone, he just kept making open 15-foot shots.
“It started out I wasn’t making shots early in the game and was nervous. I didn’t know until years later that I scored the last 16 points of first half. I just knew I got on a little bit of a roll,” Givens said. “We all thought Duke would make changes in the second half but they didn’t.
“We had different people hot at every game. We made sure whoever was hot got the ball. That’s just the way we played. They realized I was hot before I did and coach (Joe) Hall just kept running the same plays. I was fortunate to make shots. It was my night. It could have been anybody.”
Kentucky assistant coach Dick Parsons said with Duke in the zone, he and Hall decided to let Givens flash into the middle of the zone.
“They dared him to make shots,” Parsons said Thursday. “Any way he could get in the middle (of the zone), we got him the ball. And Duke never made an adjustment. Never changed. They just backed off.”