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2006-06-13 Interview with William B. Keightley, June 13, 2006 AF008:2006OH076A/F711 0:59:43 William B. Keightley Oral History Project Louie B. Nunn Center for Oral History, University of Kentucky Libraries University of Kentucky--Basketball University of Kentucky--Basketball (1975-1976) University of Kentucky--Basketball (1976-1978) University of Kentucky--Basketball (1997-1998) NCAA Basketball Tournament (1978) NCAA Basketball Tournament (1998) Hall, Joe B. (Joe Beason) Pitino, Rick. Rupp, Adolph,1901-1977. Keightley, William B.; Interviewee Suchanek, Jeffrey; Interviewer keightley_af_0711 1:|13(19)|31(3)|42(1)|48(4)|53(2)|74(3)|85(14)|96(4)|105(15)|122(3)|137(8)|162(12)|178(9)|203(7)|227(14)|244(11)|260(15)|267(12)|282(16)|304(4)|314(11)|331(6)|348(3)|367(5)|381(10)|399(8)|415(6)|425(3)|431(5)|436(15)|445(6)|458(11)|471(7)|487(7)|502(13)|535(3)|555(1)|562(1)|594(8)|611(11)|618(7)|628(6)|633(10)|651(4)|670(2)|696(8)|715(15)|732(10)|751(7)|766(5)|788(8)|798(5)|808(8)|819(2)|830(3)|852(16)|867(9)|874(12)|895(14) audiotrans BKeight interview Right. This is another unrehearsed interview with Mr. William B. Keightley for the Charles T. Wellington Alumni Oral history Project. The interview is being conducted by Jeff Suchanek on June the 13th, no 14th. KEIGHTLEY: I believe were the 13th. SUCHANEK: 13th, June the 13th, 2006. We're in Mr. Keightley's office in Memorial Coliseum and it's about a quarter after nine. Ok Mr. Keightley, you mention that you've got summer camps going on now and I was wondering, when did that start? KEIGHTLEY: It started, you know, camp, camping here at the University is not as old as it, most of the time is perceived. Our, our first camp was in the year 1974, which makes it now, I guess, what about... SUCHANEK: 30 years old. KEIGHTLEY: Yes. SUCHANEK: Over 30 years old. KEIGHTLEY: About 30, 32 years old. SUCHANEK: So Joe B. Hall started that? KEIGHTLEY: Yes sir, Joe B. started the camp and our very first camp had a total of 49 participants. And, out of those 49, two of them chose to attend the University of Kentucky. That being Tim Stephens from up in, in eastern Kentucky near Williamsburg, McCreary County and the other one was Chris Gettelfinger from Knoxville, Tennessee. And another very prominent basketball player in this state, in that year was also Vince Taylor from Tates Creek High School who attended Duke and had a very nice career. And, at this particular time, he's at the University of Louisville serving in some administrative capacity. SUCHANEK: The, the uh summer camps seemed to, to have come about in the early part of the 70's when really, interest in basketball among high schoolers and junior high schoolers really took off, it seems to me. Is that what prompted these summer camps? KEIGHTLEY: Yes, back at that time, you know, basketball camps was a total rarity. And, of course as I say, we started that one and by 1980 it probably reached its enrollment height as far as collegiate camps go. After about 1985, everyone started having camps. I'm talking about the high schools the people attended, we'll say University of Kentucky or whatever other schools; a player of any renown would have his own camp. In town by running a YMCA or some high school gym or whatever and then, of course, about, long about 1985, you had the shoe companies got involved. So, prior to the shoe company involvement, you could get potential recruits to attend your own personal camp because in actually 1980, our, our basketball camp had three weeks of instruction and one of the weeks we had 849 enrolled. And that particular week, its people that followed basketball, the kids we had here in camp were like Who's Who in basketball. We had people like Ralph Samson, Derrick Hord, James Worthy, Clark Kellogg, Sam Bowie, Derrick Hord, Michael Hunt, Dwight Anderson, Junior Johnson. You know, it was such a, such an array of talent. SUCHANEK: At that early stage could you tell the difference between those players and just your run-of-the-mill high school players? Were they, was the talent that much evident? KEIGHTLEY: Oh, absolutely, yes. You could tell the players that I named they, they, they were going to be, not only college all-stars but NBA. Like right today, you know, one of them that's probably one of the best-known is Clark Kellogg who is the... SUCHANEK: Announcer now. KEIGHTLEY: Yeah, the announcer. SUCHANEK: ESPN, isn't it? KEIGHTLEY: ESPN and he, he, he attended a private school in Cleveland. But, Clark Kellogg's one of the nicest people in athletics today. SUCHANEK: I think he was slowed by injury, wasn't he? KEIGHTLEY: Yes, yes, he attended Ohio State but he, his career was impeded by injuries. Such as, with Sam Bowie all though Sam still played in the NBA about 12 years. SUCHANEK: I want to explore a little bit, about this, before I forget, this, this idea about the shoe companies getting involved. You know, the, the commercialization of, of high school and not just college athletics but high school athletics, is, is that a good thing? KEIGHTLEY: Well, I guess it's just according to who you speak with. The, the AAU bit, which has grown so popular and, you know, I, I don't mean to criticize it but it has given a lot of high school athletics, you have AAU coaches that recruit the premier players in the state, and, and that's fine but by the same token that maybe gives that, that student athlete the wrong perception about what his future may hold. Being recruited like that at that time, sometimes these kids don't pursue their academics, as strongly as maybe they would have. And... SUCHANEK: They get the big head. KEIGHTLEY: Yes, and even the, uh, you know, the shoe companies, they issue equipment to these AAU players which, after you get to college, you know, I can't give a kid gear to wear out on the street. I can only furnish it for his practices. But, you know, the, the AAU kids get all of this free apparel so, it's, you know, it, it, I guess maybe it improves basketball maybe publicity wise but I doubt that if it's real solid for the, for the kids themselves. And then, another big change in, in high school athletics and particularly basketball, many teams play more games in the summer now than they do in the wintertime. And, that, that, that is a plus because it gives a kid more of an opportunity to work on his game in a team concept rather than... SUCHANEK: Pickup games. KEIGHTLEY: That's right, they, yes. They can work on it in a team concept rather than, like the AAU games, which sometimes is just a showcase for showoffs. So, but that's just one person's opinion and it don't count much but I, I like to think I know. SUCHANEK: Well, it seems like today, you know, high school kids, probably even junior high, they, they play year-round and, and I remember when I was growing up in the 60's and early 70's, that, that wasn't the case. You know, we would play football during football season and basketball during basketball season and baseball during baseball season. It seems like now, kids these days if they're interested in basketball, that's all they play. KEIGHTLEY: It is, yes. SUCHANEK: So I think the level of play may be is improved but, I'm with you, I'm not sure that that has benefited the student athlete. KEIGHTLEY: You know, I guess we going to say, it's the level of play of individuals maybe has improved but, I'm not certain Jeff, that the fundamentals of the game today, I think the fundamentals of the game are, are horrible. I don't think that you learn what makes a, a team. I don't think uh, you're able to execute. It's not a game of finesse any more. SUCHANEK: Right. KEIGHTLEY: But they do, you know, today the players run faster and they jump higher. But... SUCHANEK: What, who, who, who's running this camp here as we speak? Who's, who's running the summer camp here? KEIGHTLEY: Who is running it? Yes, the young man in charge, we have a, a kid that's called a, a player development person and that's Cameron Hill, whose father is a, the NBA Coach of Seattle Supersonics. He is the head coach. Bob Hill. And, Cameron is a very, very solid young man and, and solid in his approach to basketball much like myself, he knows the, the fundamentals. You have to have the fundamentals before you can really play the game and... SUCHANEK: Is that what he stresses in this... KEIGHTLEY: Yes, right. SUCHANEK: In this camp? KEIGHTLEY: Yes, right, yes, yes. SUCHANEK: Now how old, what, what age group are we talking about here? KEIGHTLEY: We are going ages nine through the junior year in, in high school. SUCHANEK: Okay, um hum. KEIGHTLEY: So. SUCHANEK: So, they're getting at least a grounding in fundamentals at this kind of camp. KEIGHTLEY: Yes, you get now, Jeff, you, you get so many, even small kids, young kids, you know, in the age range from 10's through 13 and it's, you got them for five days and your hopeful, your hopeful they pick up a little something that, that might help them. SUCHANEK: Now these kids, these wouldn't be your, your blue-chip prospects here, would they? KEIGHTLEY: Oh, no. SUCHANEK: These, these blue-chippers are already playing AAU ball on that kind of thing, right? KEIGHTLEY: You know, those, those days are just about past from, we'll say from a college coach camp because the blue chippers are all recruited by the shoe companies. And, you know, in, in any one state especially Kentucky is not a real populated state but you'll probably only have four or five, what's considered Division I prospects in the entire state. And you hope others will develop but that's, that's about all you have in the state so they all get siphoned off by the, by the AAU teams. SUCHANEK: You know, as I recall, when Rick Pitino was coach here, he would have a basketball camp. Does, does Tubby Smith have a camp? (Loud phone ringing and background). KEIGHTLEY: Yeah, this, this, this is actually carries Tubby's name. SUCHANEK: Okay. KEIGHTLEY: (Unintelligible). It actually is called Tubby Smith basketball camp. SUCHANEK: Okay. KEIGHTLEY: And, and of course Tubby is active in it. SUCHANEK: Is he? KEIGHTLEY: I mean, yes, he, you know, he socializes with the players and the parents. SUCHANEK: Does he do any instruction? KEIGHTLEY: Oh yes, yes, he, he gives motivational talks and instructs every day. He is more of a, the most hands-on coach, in the camp, of any that we've had. SUCHANEK: I, I was going to say, to me, just the little bit I know about Coach Smith, that he'd be in his element talking to kids. Especially young kids that age. KEIGHTLEY: Yes, right, yes. SUCHANEK: Whereas I, you know, Coach Pitino, I don't think, I can't see him, you know, being that involved. KEIGHTLEY: Well, they're just different personalities and um... SUCHANEK: Right. (KEIGHTLEY and SUCHANEK: laughing). KEIGHTLEY: So, yeah, it's uh, we have, we have really, under Tubby here, we have a great camp. And it's very family-oriented. SUCHANEK: Um hum, now do the players stay here on campus or do they... KEIGHTLEY: Yes, sir. SUCHANEK: Okay, where at, just in the dorms? KEIGHTLEY: They stay, they stay over in Kirwen and Blanding, in the high-rise or the low rises, whichever is available. We have counselors that stay with them. They, and we get them up every morning and have a roll call and they go have their breakfast and then they walk across the street to the Seton Center and we have our roll call again. SUCHANEK: (Laughing). Make sure you haven't lost any. KEIGHTLEY: And then, they're of course already divided into four different groups. You try; you try not to get a kid over his head. SUCHANEK: Right. KEIGHTLEY: And it, the young kids, it's good for them. It gives them a little time away from home where momma and daddy can't, you know, hover over them every second and let them be a little bit self-sufficient. Become a little more functional. SUCHANEK: Yeah, I would suspect for a lot of kids, this is their first time away from home. KEIGHTLEY: Oh yeah, we'll have, oh yes, you'll have them, after the first day, they start getting homesick (SUCHANEK: laughing). So it's, it's a lot a counseling and occasionally, you know, one will fully decide he needs to return home before the camp is over. SUCHANEK: They just can't do without him there. KEIGHTLEY: Yes, yes, that happens. SUCHANEK: Getting back to these first camps that Coach Hall organized; was that a big advantage recruiting wise to have those kind of players coming here? KEIGHTLEY: Uh, yes Jeff, early on it was. As I say, not, not many of, of the colleges really had a camp. So, college camps are relatively new. And, yes it is, to get a, a blue chipper from out of state to come in, was really a, a bonus. And, a reason that um, you know, it's, it's, if you spread the word that we'll say, "Ralph Sampson's going to be here", people like Clark Kellogg, James Worthy, those people, Sam Bowie, they all want to come because they can play against good competition. Much like what the shoe companies are doing today with the, the big camp of Nike's in Indianapolis and the ABCD, Adidas, Joe Givens, and then, of course, we'd, we get her watered down a little bit and then the AAU teams play over the United States from now through early August. But... SUCHANEK: (Unintelligible), in those early camps, before, a lot, I'm assuming that a lot of those blue chippers hadn't committed yet to their college. KEIGHTLEY: Oh no, no. SUCHANEK: And so, you know, I can imagine Coach Hall and his assistants kind of drooling over, you know, seeing a Ralph Sampson and, and, and his potential, you know, did that kind of amount to an unofficial recruiting trip actually, you know, to have kids come here? KEIGHTLEY: Well, I, I don't believe it was ever perceived as such but by the same token maybe kids got to see the campus and maybe would see something they liked. So, you know, it's just hard, I guess it's in the eye of the beholder. SUCHANEK: Right. KEIGHTLEY: Is what I would say. (KEIGHTLEY and SUCHANEK: laughing). SUCHANEK: Right. But it didn't hurt. KEIGHTLEY: It, no, it didn't hurt, no sir. No sir, it did not. Uh, but, you know, through the years, it's been very interesting to, to watch it grow from a very meager beginning to a point where you no longer have the, you know, the premier players. You have the little fellows that just dream. SUCHANEK: Right, uh huh. Well, sometimes those are more enjoyable to coach anyway. KEIGHTLEY: It, well it is, that's right, yes. We have a T-shirt this year that says, "The dream starts here. Kentucky basketball." And, you know, it's nice to get these little kids in here. SUCHANEK: How many kids are here now? KEIGHTLEY: Uh, this particular camp has 221. But, we just came off of, of a very entertaining and interesting short-term camp, if you want to call it that. We have a father-son camp. That's where dad and his son comes on Friday and they, they are enrolled and they check into a dorm to stay in a room together and we have activity on Friday night and all day on Saturday for the, for the father and the son to interact with other fathers and their sons. And... SUCHANEK: That's a great thing. Whose idea was that? KEIGHTLEY: Oh that, we just got through with one and, and it's so interesting. You get, you know, really, a lot of small kids for that one, you know, nine and 10-year- olds? You've got grandfathers coming as, serving as a father and it, its... SUCHANEK: When, when did that start? How long has that been going on? KEIGHTLEY: That started about, well my first exposure to it with about 1991 when Rick was here. It was my first exposure. But now that thing has grown to where it's a very interesting 24 hours, let's put it that a way. SUCHANEK: Yeah, yeah, yeah it's a great idea. KEIGHTLEY: Yes. SUCHANEK: You know you're, you're, you're using Kentucky basketball as a way for, you know, a father and son to bond a little bit. KEIGHTLEY: Yes, right, yes. And, and, you know, in these cases now, our players can work in these camps and it, you know, it gives the fathers the opportunity to meet and socialize, interact with these players that otherwise would never happen. SUCHANEK: Exactly, exactly. KEIGHTLEY: And they can see the type of kids that they really are. SUCHANEK: That's a, that's really a great idea. KEIGHTLEY: It is and... SUCHANEK: It keeps your summer busy though, doesn't it? KEIGHTLEY: Oh, yeah, it, it really does. (SUCHANEK: laughing). Yes sir. Well, I, I think I've alluded to this before Jeff, when I first started here helping George Hukle, you know you, this, you are now sitting in what was the equipment room at that time but it's been remodeled about three times but, in early April, you turned your keys then. You are done until the next August. SUCHANEK: So it, it was closed. KEIGHTLEY: Closed. Now, you're here, even if we're not having camp, you're here, nine, ten hours every day because, as you stated earlier, basketball goes year-a- round. SUCHANEK: Well you know, a lot of the players, we mention this, but the last time, a lot of the players, current players are here and a lot of the past players come back to, to work out during the summer. The, the guys who are, you know, either looking for a job in the NBA or have a job with the NBA. KEIGHTLEY: We, you know, we have those, they're here. Nazr Mohammed makes his home here in the summer time. SUCHANEK: We just saw Erik Daniels last week. KEIGHTLEY: He's, he's, he's, yes. And Erik, Erik just stays here all summer. He even works our camps. And, you've got just, you know, ex-players like Josh Carrier is still here, Ravi Moss, and they all come work out every day. SUCHANEK: I saw where, current news, I saw where Allen Edwards got assistant coach at, at VCU? KEIGHTLEY: Yes, sir. Got a call from Allen last week. I helped get Allen a job at Morehead with Kyle Macy. And that was what Allen was calling to thank me for help him get his foot in the door. SUCHANEK: Well, he was, he struck me as a hard worker. He didn't have the most talent in the world but he was a hard worker. KEIGHTLEY: Oh, you know, you know, yeah, you like to brag on kids. Allen Edwards is one of them because he came from about as a background of being as poor as anybody you would have ever, would've ever hope to see you. And he never, ever asked for anything, always polite, never any embarrassment off court. But as you say, maybe not the most gifted athlete in the world but he did everything he was asked to do on the court and all he could do was beat you. SUCHANEK: That's right. KEIGHTLEY: And, it's still that a way in his life. SUCHANEK: Yeah, he was, he was a, what's known as a smart player. KEIGHTLEY: Yes. SUCHANEK: You know, he was, he was a good role player on the bench but then he, he even contributed, he was a fairly good starter, too. KEIGHTLEY: Yes, he was a good starter. He was an important part of that '98 championship team. Played good defense, could, you know, could, could score. He was a guy you couldn't forget about. SUCHANEK: Right, and a great defender. KEIGHTLEY: And a great defender because of his size. And, but I'm just so happy that he, he got the opportunity to move on up. And, you know, even Morehead had, when Kyle resigned, they, they cleaned their entire basketball program out, other than Allen. Allen was a staple because the president really loved Allen Edwards. So, they did not, Allen was going to be at Morehead if he hadn't gotten the job at VCU. He was secure. SUCHANEK: Well, now he's more secure (SUCHANEK: laughing). KEIGHTLEY: Now he's more secure, that's it, yes. SUCHANEK: Financially, exactly. Um, last time we had talked about the '74-'75 team. I thought we'd start with a '75-'76 team today. And, I wanted to ask you about a couple more assistant coaches. We talked about Hamilton last time, Dick Parsons; I don't know if we've talked about Dick Parsons yet as an assistant coach? KEIGHTLEY: Well, you know Jeff, I don't remember either but Dickey, most assuredly, is easy to, to discuss (SUCHANEK: laughing). You know, like you spoke earlier, today kids just play basketball year-round. Dickey Parsons played baseball. Of course, you know, in his tenure as a student and a basketball player here, you had a lot of athletes who played two sports. You had football players that played both ways; defense and offense. But that's getting away from Dick Parsons. Dick was from Harlan, Kentucky played for Joe Gilley, which, you know; Joe Gilley developed Wah Jones, and was a very highly successful high school coach in his, in his era. And Dick had the good fortune to play for Joe. But, Dick came here and was a very steady guard for coach Rupp. He was always one of Coach Rupp's favorites, incidentally because of the person he was. And, Dick came here (loud phone ringing in the background) and he did some, yeah, back talking about Dick Parsons, Dick was the coach of the baseball team here at one time. And then, he did some scouting for Coach Rupp and then when Coach Rupp retired, Joe B. brought Dick in on his staff and Dick was one of the assistant coaches that's been here, in my tenure that was the glue that really held everything together. And, he had a very successful career, he left here after he quit coaching and worked over in development fund and now he's retired and working with his grandson trying to make him a basketball player (SUCHANEK: laughing). SUCHANEK: How about Lynn Nance? KEIGHTLEY: Yeah, Lynn came here from, let's see, I'm trying to think where Lynn came from but I do know when he arrived here he was, he was an excellent recruiter. And, he had a great basketball mind. He left here and went to maybe, I want to say, Iowa because we had a player Bob Fowler that also transferred and he went with, with Lynn. And, Lynn stayed at Iowa for... SUCHANEK: Was he the head coach or an assistant? KEIGHTLEY: Yes, he went as a head coach. SUCHANEK: Okay. KEIGHTLEY: But he, he also was at Washington State as a head coach. He probably was at Iowa State and then went to Washington State and then he left there because he was somewhat instrumental in us, in the 90's, being able to get Mark Pope, who was a transfer because Mark had played for Lynn. And, Lynn was always a strong supporter of Kentucky basketball. And, he went back to Missouri and coached at Central Missouri until he just resigned from basketball. SUCHANEK: Okay, getting back to some players, I don't think we've talked about Dwane Casey from Morganfield yet. KEIGHTLEY: Yeah Dwane, you know, we had kind of a run of players from that area and we were discussing Dick Parsons. Dick is the guy that established kind of a beachhead there in Union County. SUCHANEK: That was where Earl Clements was from, wasn't he? KEIGHTLEY: Yes, yes he was. Yeah, he was from Morganfield. And, anyhow, Dick recruited Freddie Cowan and then Larry Johnson and, of course Dwane Casey. SUCHANEK: Not, not bad. You could build a career on those three. KEIGHTLEY: I'd say he did pretty good. That's right. But, Dwane was reared by his grandmother and he, he was a guy that came here for a visit when he was a junior in high school and after the visit I recall he wrote me one of the nicest letters. SUCHANEK: Really? KEIGHTLEY: You know, thanking well, me and everybody else for being so kind to him and Dwane, through the years has remained an extremely close friend of mine. Through thick and thin. SUCHANEK: What's he doing now? KEIGHTLEY: He's, he's a head coach of the Minnesota Timberwolves in the NBA. SUCHANEK: Oh, okay. KEIGHTLEY: Which, pretty good position. (KEIGHTLEY and SUCHANEK: laughing). SUCHANEK: He's done pretty well for himself. KEIGHTLEY: He has done really well for himself. Has not ever changed one bit. Still the same kid he was first time I've ever met him. And, has great people demeanor. But he is, you know, he's so real and he got, of course, involved in that thing here and, he's as innocent as I am. And, you know, it always, but you know what, he fought through it and he's the coach of an NBA team so I never have understood all of this but they are, he got, he got reprimanded yet he won a sizable lawsuit against one of the delivery firms. SUCHANEK: Yeah right, Emery, yeah right, um hum. KEIGHTLEY: Yes, and yet he, he got penalized by, not, not another judge and jury but just by one judge, I guess. SUCHANEK: Now, that happened in the mid-80's, right? KEIGHTLEY: Yes. SUCHANEK: Yes, okay. KEIGHTLEY: Yes, yeah in about 88 and 89. SUCHANEK: Yeah so, his position here at the time was? Dwane Casey? KEIGHTLEY: He was assistant coach. SUCHANEK: Right, uh hum. KEIGHTLEY: Yes, yes. SUCHANEK: Okay KEIGHTLEY: So, but, you know, he, he fought through that thing and just like he told me many times he, you know he, he really fought it because he was innocent but he would have a whole lot rather not had that thing come up, then to have the money he got from it. SUCHANEK: Right, it's hard, it's hard to un-soil a reputation. KEIGHTLEY: Yes, right and he was, you know, so sensitive about his reputation. So, he had, he had a home here in Lexington and he kept it for years. He's finally sold it now but yeah; he's really a fine young man. And I'm sorry that thing ever happened to him but sometimes good people, you know, life is not always kind. SUCHANEK: We'll, we'll talk about that, that episode later on when we get to the mid-80's or late 80's. SUCHANEK: So, we'll talk about that. KEIGHTLEY: Okay. SUCHANEK: Okay, Truman Claytor. KEIGHTLEY: He was recruited... SUCHANEK: Toledo, Ohio. KEIGHTLEY: By Lynn Nance. And, yeah, Truman he, he, he's another kid that came in here, I don't know if you want to talk about a kid's early background but there are people, as we discussed earlier, that your particularly proud of. Truman Claytor happens to be another one of those kids. He came up in here with a background of just, he, he had never been exposed to anything that was right and didn't know the difference between wrong and right. And, you know, Truman battled that thing and by the time he left here, he was an extremely functional human being. And, to this day, he, he has been a successful person in life. He's been a, he has worked in the Toledo area as a high school coach. He has been a social worker; he's got a family and keeps in close touch and... SUCHANEK: Does he ever come back to Lexington? KEIGHTLEY: Oh yes, yes he comes back. Surely does. And I get phone calls from him. SUCHANEK: Did he stay all four years? KEIGHTLEY: Yes sir. Sure did. And he, he was a very underrated player. See, he was, he was a starting guard on that '78 team. So he's a very underrated player. SUCHANEK: That was the championship team, right? KEIGHTLEY: He was the other guard, opposite Macy. SUCHANEK: That's why people don't remember at him (KEIGHTLEY and SUCHANEK: laughing). KEIGHTLEY: Yes, that's right. SUCHANEK: We've got a guest here, hold on just a second. KEIGHTLEY: That's our director at the museum. SUCHANEK: Oh, okay. KEIGHTLEY: That's who that is, yes. Are we on again? SUCHANEK: We're on again. KEIGHTLEY: Oh, okay. (SUCHANEK and KEIGHTLEY: laughing). SUCHANEK: And you mentioned Bob Fowler. Did he, was he, was he here just a year maybe, or two? KEIGHTLEY: He was here two. SUCHANEK: Two years? KEIGHTLEY: Yes. SUCHANEK: Okay. KEIGHTLEY: You know what? Another one recruited by Lynn Nance out of Detroit. Bob Fowler came in here for, for a Caucasian may have been the highest leaper I have ever seen. Because I always remember one thing Joe B. told him. He said, "I don't care if you can jump and take a bite out of the top of that backboard. Until you learn these plays, you're not going to play." But, Bob came here, he was married at 19 years old and he had a child. And, he was really a hard worker. When I say a hard worker, he worked hard on the basketball court but he also worked hard in supporting his family. He was not afraid to undertake anything. He, about his first- year here, he went out with a guy that, you know, people that would hang wallpaper used to be a big thing. How big it is now, I don't know because many people don't use it like they used to but, back at that time, there was a guy name Harry Adair was an interior decorator. And ol' Bob went out and hung wallpaper for about two weeks, he bought himself a truck and went into the wallpapering business and no longer worked for Harry Adair after only two weeks! SUCHANEK: He was his own boss. KEIGHTLEY: And you know he, he, he wasn't afraid to gamble to make a livelihood and he, he did well as long as he was here but he never did really fit into the mold of Joe B.'s style. So he did transfer and went with Lynn Nance and then later on, Bob, I don't think he ever finished college. He finally quit, I believe it was Iowa State, I believe. He quit the team there and went on to California and done some things, came back to Lexington, he got involved in the horse industry, became a bloodstock agent and was pretty, he was a very astute person. And he had been divorced from, from his first wife and when he came back here, he married a young lady that graduated from UK dental school, Cathy Krill who is one of my favorite people and they were married for, I guess about seven or eight years, and Bob dropped dead out at Keeneland racecourse of a heart attack. SUCHANEK: Really? When was that? KEIGHTLEY: That's been, I'd say about seven or eight years ago. SUCHANEK: Wow. KEIGHTLEY: I mean he was still, you know, a young man. SUCHANEK: Right, yeah, exactly. KEIGHTLEY: And, today, as I say, they had a daughter and I see Cathy quite regularly. She's a very, she is a well-known dentist in Lexington. SUCHANEK: While I'm thinking about it, you know, I heard you talking on the phone about, I guess, basketball uniforms or shorts and it got me to thinking, you've been here so long, what differences in equipment have occurred over, over that time? I remember when I, I would play high school sports, and the, the basketball shoes was the Taylor All-Stars. KEIGHTLEY: Yeah, Chuck Taylor. SUCHANEK: Chuck Taylor All-Stars, that's right. And, you know, only, only one person on the team had Adidas and we thought that was really strange that somebody would be wearing Adidas shoes and not Chuck Taylor All-Stars. But he was like, you know, a rich kid and we couldn't afford that, you know? What other, what other, and I remember like you'd spray tough skin on the soles of your feet? KEIGHTLEY: Oh yeah, yeah, yeah tough skin, yeah that was part of your being, tough skin. SUCHANEK: Yeah, and you had something you sprayed on your hands to make them sticky so the ball... KEIGHTLEY: Yeah that's right, it was a liquid rosin, actually, is what it was. Liquefied rosin. SUCHANEK: Right. KEIGHTLEY: It would make you, you know, so you can handle a ball. SUCHANEK: Yeah, today, do they have that anymore? KEIGHTLEY: No, they don't use that anymore, of course, the balls now supposedly has a built in tack and they're not, the old, the old leather balls, the more you use them, they would get slick but we all, when I first came here, used to polish those things. Used a leather cleaner. SUCHANEK: Well, I remember when we get new balls in at the beginning of every season; I didn't like those because they were slick. KEIGHTLEY: Yeah, right, yes. Yeah, you had to break them in. SUCHANEK: Yeah, you had to play with them for a couple of weeks. KEIGHTLEY: Yeah, get a little dirt on them. SUCHANEK: Yeah, exactly KEIGHTLEY: Yeah, well see, now, with this built-in tack, they get, they require no breaking in. You can dribble one from here to the floor and you've got enough dirt on that to be able to hold onto it. SUCHANEK: Right. And I guess, players' hands today are so much bigger that they don't really... KEIGHTLEY: Oh yeah. SUCHANEK: Yeah, but were talking about the baggy shorts, what other things you've seen over the years, I remember when the back boards weren't even padded because nobody could jump that high to hit their head. KEIGHTLEY: Oh yeah, yeah, right, yes. Yes. Well, you know now, we, actually, I can't, maybe in the last 10 years, maybe it's 15, time flies by, but you know, the back boards are not as, in height, they're not as long as they used to be. SUCHANEK: No, I didn't know that. KEIGHTLEY: Yes, you had to; you had to go to what we call the short boards because of just what you said. Players were jumping up under these longer boards. Why every time, if they jumped underneath they may hit their head on the backboard. SUCHANEK: Yeah, we didn't have to worry about that when I played. KEIGHTLEY: No, I never had to worry about that myself. (SUCHANEK and KEIGHTLEY: laughing). But anyhow, we had... SUCHANEK: It must be the shoes, right? KEIGHTLEY: Yeah, I think it was the shoes. Yeah, the Chuck Taylor's held you down. (SUCHANEK and KEIGHTLEY: laughing). Which reminds me, in this camp we, we, these kids come in here and we weigh em' and we measure em' and we measure their arm span and then we measure their vertical jump. We're talking about these little kids and I know a young man came to get the letter for me this morning and said he had one kid out there that had a 7-inch vertical jump. I thought that was me incarnated. (KEIGHTLEY and SUCHANEK: laughing). SUCHANEK: Couldn't even see the light under his feet. (KEIGHTLEY and SUCHANEK: laughing). KEIGHTLEY: Yes. But, yeah, the changes from the, we used to call them, in the good old days, the shorts well, even what Dan Issel and that group, that's in the late, late 60's and I, I have saved a pair of those things. They looked like the shorts... SUCHANEK: Swim trunks. KEIGHTLEY: The girls' volleyball players wear today. SUCHANEK: Right. KEIGHTLEY: I mean, they were, you talk about short shorts. SUCHANEK: Right. KEIGHTLEY: They, they were really short. And then, it was a little bit difficult for a lot of people who'd been in the game for a long time to accept the longer shorts. But gradually, you know, you got somewhat accustomed to them, of course, we still don't let ours get completely, you know... SUCHANEK: Is that just a fashion thing or... KEIGHTLEY: Yeah, it's a fashion thing. It's become; so many athletes in the game today want to look different than anybody else on the team. You've probably noticed that. It's always some little something that they, they want to do to make themselves more visible than their teammates. SUCHANEK: Well, the big thing is tattoos. KEIGHTLEY: Well yeah, the tattoos, I., I've gotten so that I just disregard that but, but, you know, there's just so many things that scream out to the public, look at me. You know what, if you can play the game, they're going to look at you. And if you can't, it don't make any difference... SUCHANEK: What you look like. KEIGHTLEY: All you're going to look like the rest of your life is some kind of guy that wasn't very smart to start with. (KEIGHTLEY and SUCHANEK: laughing). SUCHANEK: I remember, you know, growing up, the only people you saw having tattoos were Marines or ex-Marines or ex-Navy and they, they got a tattoo when they were drunk! (KEIGHTLEY and SUCHANEK: laughing). KEIGHTLEY: Yeah. SUCHANEK: Nobody would do it in their right mind. KEIGHTLEY: Yeah, no, you had to be I guess, yes. Yeah, I know, that old slogan, joined the Navy and see the world. I've seen some of those guys and, in the Navy got that thing, that little anchor and that inscription. SUCHANEK: That's right. Any other changes in the equipment over the years? You mention the balls. KEIGHTLEY: Oh well, of course, yes, when, when I was playing, of course, we still had the, the leather balls were laced, you know, they had, what we called, a bladder. SUCHANEK: Right. KEIGHTLEY: But if you ever unlaced one of those things, you could never get it back like it was. But, the balls, you know, they changed and a ball is supposed to be in circumference, 29 1/2 to 30 inches but I guarantee you in older days, some of those balls were probably 32 inches. You know, they weren't really as symmetrical as they are today. But, even the, the, the practice gear is what's really changed. Used to be here, you, you'd wear one pair of socks and they were all, what we'd call, knee socks. You had a pair of PE shorts to practice in. You had just a regular men's undershirt, today popularly known as a "wife beater" or a day shirt. You know, just a plain undershirt and, of course, as we called them, the athletic supporter was a jock strap. And that's what you had to practice was the socks, the jock, the PE shorts and a wife beater. SUCHANEK: And a pair of Chuck Taylor's. KEIGHTLEY: And a pair of Chuck Taylor's. That was it. SUCHANEK: Now what do they have? KEIGHTLEY: Now, all you, you know, you have anywhere from the quarter socks, to the high quarter, to the crew, to the long socks. Now, you have to adapt to each individual player. What, what they want. Well, even today we'll go on the road and you'll pack what they're wearing, you know, I do the packing myself, and I put it in their bag. Now, we get to the game site and they decide they want to wear another kind of sock. Of course, that don't go over too well. (SUCHANEK: laughing). And we discuss that. But, it's just how, how this, this game is changed in the way kids think. And, but, yeah, you start with that and you have the, of course, we're under a Nike contract for the entire school so we don't have to worry about a different brand of shoe but you have to worry about the model. Because Nike makes so many different models. We may take the floor with a squad of 15 people and it may be seven different Nike shoes on the floor. SUCHANEK: How, how does a player decide? KEIGHTLEY: Well, I don't know if they ever have. I think there is still, the jury is still out because again, we'll get on the road and, of course I take an extra pair of shoes for each player but I take what they wear, here. And, he'll want to change, one will say, just to use a name; maybe, Rondo will look at me and say, "I want a pair of shoes like Robbie's got on." Well look at Ravi's and I can't tell you what model it is. I'd have to look at the box. You know, they'll want to change on the road. SUCHANEK: And you don't have it. KEIGHTLEY: You don't have it. SUCHANEK: In his size. KEIGHTLEY: Yes, that's right. Yes sir. SUCHANEK: So he wears his old pair, right? KEIGHTLEY: Yeah, but... SUCHANEK: How many pairs of shoes will a player go through during a season? KEIGHTLEY: Oh, it depends on the individual, of course, you know today, in fact this morning, over there at the camp, I was listening to the kids that worked with me, they, kids are motivated today by shoes and music. Anybody who gets a new pair of shoes, all the rest of them want one that look like it. And, before long, everybody's wearing a different pair of shoes. But, the average player will wear about 12 pair a year. SUCHANEK: You know, when I played in high school, you got one pair. KEIGHTLEY: Yes, exactly right, and you know what, didn't exactly broken out with too many stocks, either. SUCHANEK: That's right. You had to supply your own stocks. KEIGHTLEY: Yes, that's right I, I can see some of the little kids; they wear old socks until they could standup by themselves. (KEIGHTLEY and SUCHANEK: laughing). But, you know, you start there with the (unintelligible) old socks and the different types and you get up to the game and practice shorts, you just have the one kind but then you get to the practice jerseys now, you have your regular jersey number on your practice gear, NCAA when you go to tournament, you have to have that see, and then, some of them wear the cut off undershirts and some want to wear a long- sleeved and we've always kind of tried to stay away from that although we gave in a little bit the last couple of years. And then, of course you don't wear the athletic supporter anymore, you wear what they call a compression shorts that kind of, it's, it's made out of material that kind of supports your quads and the kids like that better than they do the athletic supporter. And I think really that is a good change. And then, which we don't have, you have the headbands, wristbands, we will, you know, tolerate a wristband, but... SUCHANEK: You don't, you don't see many players wearing kneepads anymore. KEIGHTLEY: I wish they did because that would keep them from bumping knees. Hey, you know what; you get knees injured by bumping someone else's knee. SUCHANEK: And that hurts. KEIGHTLEY: It does hurt and I wish they all did where knee pads but we don't do it. SUCHANEK: You see those patella supporters. KEIGHTLEY: Yeah, right, yes, oh yes. That's a big thing. SUCHANEK: Is that more of a fashion statement or is that... KEIGHTLEY: I think it is. I think, that would be my opinion but, who knows what goes through their heads, yes. Yep, that's our, that's our lady displaying what we've got to choose for the, for the Tubby Foundation golf tournament. SUCHANEK: Okay, yeah, when I was walking in, I saw a golf tee over there in the side yard and I thought, "uh oh." KEIGHTLEY: Yep, Yep, that's what that is. So I guess, as bad as I hate to, I'm going to have to go do this one. SUCHANEK: Well, that's okay. KEIGHTLEY: Well, we got an hour. SUCHANEK: Yeah, we sure did. KEIGHTLEY: We got an hour. In this interview Mr. Keightley discusses the University of Kentucky's summer basketball camps and the waning interest of highly-skilled players. He also discusses the father and son camps that now take place each summer which leads to an extended discussion of the role of the shoe companies and the AAU (Amateur Athletic Union) in amateur basketball, recruiting, and off-season play. Keightley picks up his discussion of 1970s era players by talking about the players from the 1975-76 team and the assistant coaches who helped Coach Joe B. Hall. Finally, he discusses equipment changes that have taken place throughout basketball during his tenure at UK. This discussion includes athletic gear, clothing, and basketballs. UKAW; University of Kentucky Men's Basketball