A Golden Goose

In light of the absolute stomping that Kentucky gave West Virginia last night, let’s talk about Goose:

Jack “Goose” Givens played for Bryan Station High School and there he earned Parade All-American Honors and was voted Mr. Basketball in 1974. After high school, he became a Kentucky Wildcat. Givens’ recruitment to Kentucky was unfamiliar in that time; Adolph Rupp’s legacy was a recent memory and the recruitment of black players to UK was rare. Goose was given support from all around Kentucky — Bryan Station would be packed with people from all over, cheering him on, insisting he don the royal blue we all know and love.

It’s amazing what a fan can do: It was the support of Kentucky High School basketball enthusiasts like yourselves that gave Goose the confidence to pursue his college career in Lexington. Givens accomplishments at the University of Kentucky are many — perhaps the most notable is his performance in the 1978 NCAA Tournament against Duke, bringing the title home to Big Blue Nation. Goose became the first black player to have his jersey hanging in the rafters at UK, and they haven’t looked back since.

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