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Georgetown loss in Final Four still haunts Kenny Walker

Kenny Walker signed an autograph for a fan at Scott County Saturday night. (Larry Vaught Photo)

By LARRY VAUGHT

GEORGETOWN — One of my favorite events each year is the Tyler Hicks Memorial Scholarship dinner at Scott County High School that awards a $10,000 college scholarship to a recent Scott County graduate based on academics, athletics and all-around excellence.

Tyler Hicks played basketball for  his father, Billy Hicks, at Scott County and was a University of Kentucky graduate. He was a First Lieutenant in the U.S. Army when he was killed in an automobile accident in 2012.

Former All-American Kenny Walker was this year’s guest speaker and obviously had a lot of terrific memories and stories to share (and I will have more of them for you in the future). But just know that they Final Four loss to Georgetown still haunts him like it does most Kentucky fans.

Remember that was the UK team that had a front-line of 7-footers Sam Bowie and Melvin Turpin  along with “Sky” Walker. Yet somehow UK went 3-for-33 from the field in the second half and not a single starter had a field goal.

Walker still remembers the shooting statistics and said perhaps the most upset he ever saw coach Joe Hall was when James Blackmon made a second-half steal but instead of dunking he tried a finger roll shot that rolled off the rim.

“That was kind of the story of the whole game for us,” Walker told the crowd. “We just could not make a shot.

“I had an amazing career at Kentucky but some of the losses are what I remember most because of how they hurt and none hurt more than Georgetown. Patrick Ewing was on that Georgetown team and a few years later was my teammate with the New York Knicks. He never let me live that down.

“I told him that was just a weird night and it would never happen again. He liked to think their defense intimidate us but that was not it. We just could not make a shot.”

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  1. Very well remember that had Sam Bowie hadn’t got hurt I really belived no.8 would had come sooner.

  2. Aside from Rupp’s Runts’ loss, this was the most agonizing loss I ever witnessed for the Cats…the damn ball would lay on the rim forever and then roll off-like there was a lid on it.

    1. I am with you on that and so is Kenny.

  3. This devastating loss is one reason I stopped kicking furniture and having my weekends ruined when the Cats lost in basketball…fate has its way and you just have to make space for it. Big Blue Basketball has the frame, and we get the picture we want more so than not…just feel this is going to be another great year for both football and basketball-Rah, Rah!

  4. I woke up this morning thinking about my comment on your “still hurting'” memory of this game, and realized I forgot to add one thing. The sting and salt in the wound hurt that you still carry gave you something far more important than that game memory…It shows how much you CARE, and caring is something that unfortunately seems to be lacking in our human culture today. You will be remembered far more for this than the game fate decided was not to be-Rah, Rah, Kenny, for all the past Kentucky high lites and NBA DUNK CONTEST WINNER.

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