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2006-08-01 Interview with William B. Keightley, August 1, 2006 AF008:2005OH113A/F734 00:53:32 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 (1977-1978) University of Kentucky--Basketball (1978-1979) NCAA Basketball Tournament (1977) NCAA Basketball Tournament (1978) Rupp, Adolph (1901-1977) Smith, Tubby Bowie, Sam Turpin, Melvin Glory Road (Motion picture) Kentucky Wildcats (Basketball team) Keightley, William B.; Interviewee Suchanek, Jeffrey; Interviewer keightley_af_0734 1:|13(15)|24(4)|38(5)|57(4)|71(9)|92(8)|102(4)|112(13)|126(8)|135(8)|148(9)|158(2)|170(15)|179(19)|188(11)|200(12)|208(6)|222(1)|235(13)|243(16)|251(5)|261(14)|278(10)|290(11)|307(12)|317(13)|339(1)|350(2)|375(7)|384(7)|397(8)|408(10)|415(9)|433(5)|457(1)|475(2)|499(11)|509(8)|526(10)|549(5)|579(7)|595(9)|613(8)|635(14)|654(11)|669(6)|683(12)|699(10)|708(11)|730(15)|754(5)|760(4)|779(2) audiotrans BKeight interview SUCHANEK: The following is an unrehearsed interview with Mr. William B. Keightley for the Charles T. Wethington UK Alumni Oral History Project. Interview is conducted by Jeff Suchanek, August the 1st 2006. We're here in Mr. Keightley's office again in Memorial Coliseum it's about a little after nine o'clock in the morning. SUCHANEK: Alright Mr. Keightley, we were talking about players and I thought we would continue with our discussion. We were talking about the championship season of '77-'78 last time and so I thought we'd start this time and, and start discussing some of the freshman who are on the following year's team the '78-'79 team and Dwight Anderson. KEIGHTLEY: Ah yeah Dwight Anderson from Dayton, Ohio. You know, he had the nick name of the "blurb" because of his of his quickness and his speed. Dwight Anderson probably was one of the earlier guys that had all of the greatest talent in the world that never fully capitalized up on it. He, he was a very friendly, outgoing young man and I remember Leonard Hamilton recruited Dwight and he used to tell Dwight who had some problems attending class on a regular basis and I know, I could hear him counseling Dwight now he said, "Son, if you'll just go in and sit on the front row in the classroom and smile, just sit there, you'll pass a class (laughter - SUCHANEK)." And, and Dwight never could quite... SUCHANEK: Grasp that (laughter). KEIGHTLEY: Get his, let's, let's say could not get his energy harnessed enough to really put forth the effort (laughter - SUCHANEK) to do that and he also was a very polite young man. And for him, for his career never to really take off as it should have is one of the real tragedies of, of a young people that I was associated with because he could have written his own ticket. SUCHANEK: Uh huh, he stayed two years right? KEIGHTLEY: And another side item on, on Dwight that very, very few people know; his mother and Dwane Casey's mother were sisters. SUCHANEK: Really? KEIGHTLEY: They were first cousins. And of course with no, you know no semblance of being related because Dwane was one of the most thoughtful, down to earth, congenial humans you could ever be around. And Dwight, I, today I really, really don't know, don't know where he is. SUCHANEK: Uh huh, well they were on the same team together weren't they, Dwane and Dwight? KEIGHTLEY: Yes. SUCHANEK: Now Dwight stayed just two years? He stayed '78-'79, and then '79 and '80 and after that he was gone? KEIGHTLEY: He was gone, that's right. SUCHANEK: So did he, did he leave voluntarily or did he just kind of flunk out? KEIGHTLEY: Well he just, he just, it just, actually it was a kind of a mutual agreement. He really did not like the structured controlled environment of college athletics. He left and went to Southern Cal and he played there and I don't know, really don't recall how, I know where ever he went he was a starter, but as to how many games he ever played I, I really don't know. But he could have been, he could have been all pro. SUCHANEK: Uh huh. How about Chuck Verderber? KEIGHTLEY: Yes, he yes from Illinois. Chuck was a very bright young man; came here, he was a from a farm family. Real hard worker, was not real, real fleet afoot, but was a hard worker and really a tremendously bright young man who later went to dental college. SUCHANEK: Here? KEIGHTLEY: He went to, he started at the dental college here, but I, no he didn't, I don't think he graduated here. He may have. He, you know I believe he did graduate from dental college here and his wife he married and she also graduated from dental college and they went maybe somewhere overseas and opened up a practice. I don't know maybe Italy or some place like that. SUCHANEK: Really? KEIGHTLEY: And then they, they returned and the last I heard of them they were either in Maine or Massachusetts. SUCHANEK: Hum. KEIGHTLEY: But both of them are dentists. SUCHANEK: Hum, that's, kind of puts to rest that idea of athletes being dumb. KEIGHTLEY: Oh yeah that, that one'll bury it immediately (laughter - SUCHANEK). Yeah, but Chuck was a real fine young man. SUCHANEK: How about Freddie Cowan? KEIGHTLEY: Yeah, he was from Morganfield, Sturgis, Sturgis. SUCHANEK: Right, uh huh. KEIGHTLEY: Yeah, he was from Sturgis. Yeah, Freddie came here he was really not highly recruited although he was a, he was known to some coaches from, from out of state the reason I say that I'm recalling he had, from a large family, and he was recruited by the University of Texas, Abe Lemons was the coach at Texas at that time, but we always kid about Freddie who was a very bright young man, but he'd, he had in his high school years and his early elementary school years was not exposed to any part of the world any where. He just lived in his own little town in his own little home. But anyhow the first trip he really ever made he, he went to Arlington, Texas to be, he was being recruited by Abe Lemons. SUCHANEK: One of the great names in college basketball. KEIGHTLEY: Oh yes, yes and (laughter) and they, Lynnwood went with him. That's his brother and he was about 6' 6'' and Fred was about 6' 9" so they go out there and they were in the lobby of the hotel and of course the people in Texas, you know, it's pretty obvious that they probably must be basketball players and Texans you know being astute they, they thought they would find out a little bit about them and they walked up to Fred and said, "Young man are you a basketball player?" He said, "Yes sir." He said, "Well, where about you from?" He said, "Union County (laughter - SUCHANEK) (laughter)." They always got (laughter). SUCHANEK: Where's Freddie now, do you know? KEIGHTLEY: Yeah, Fred is, he's moved to Lexington. SUCHANEK: Really? KEIGHTLEY: Yes, he's, and but you know Fred's got a lot of history. He went to Japan, played for eight, nine years and. SUCHANEK: That's really, that's really a story (laughter) because based on where he came from he ends up in Japan. KEIGHTLEY: Yes it is and what makes this such a great story is Fred speaks fluent Japanese. I never would have thought that he'd of, you know, there'd be any way that he could master it and he is an extremely humorous young man. But he came from really the genes in that family, they were really bright people. He has a sister, Helen, who's an attorney and of course, a tragedy in his life is another sister little over a year ago was shot and killed here in Fayette County because she was a member of the fire department, Brenda Cowan was, yes. SUCHANEK: Oh that was her, yeah uh huh. KEIGHTLEY: That was Freddie's sister; was a real bright young lady and Helen his sister and Brenda both were, used to be we had kind of a little sorority of our own, little sisters to the players in the lodge. You know, you didn't necessarily have to be related to the players, but the girls that did little things around the lodge for Christmas and Thanksgiving or whatever and Brenda and Helen both were little sisters. So, but, but Fred is, has done quite well and was a, he actually was an excellent basketball player, and if we... SUCHANEK: Does he, does he makes use of his skills in the Japanese language? I was thinking maybe he worked for Toyota or something. KEIGHTLEY: Well he while he was over there he did. See that's one thing about playing in Japan, little bit like Larry Johnson before, before Fred. Larry went over there and stayed eight or nine years I think I may, we may have touched on it and married a vice president of one of the electronic companies and Fred also worked if, if you go over there and you are, you play for, a company is really who signs you. And if you, you can just play basketball alone, which they don't play that much. They practice all week and maybe play one game a week, but if you choose to you can work for that company and, and make a sizeable amount of money on the side. And, and Fred chose to do that, so he did quite well. He made good use of his time in, in Japan. SUCHANEK: How about Clarence Tillman? KEIGHTLEY: Clarence was a high school All American from Philadelphia. Yeah Clarence had a, yes, Clarence was a very talented player, but he too had a difficult time fitting into the structured environment of college athletics and discipline and dedication that it required, but... SUCHANEK: I think he just stayed a year didn't he? KEIGHTLEY: He, he that's right. He just, he just, he just stayed a year. But again, you know, he was, he was a good kid it just. See, college is not for everyone today even and especially athletes. If they are not disciplined coming into college they gonna have a difficult time, if you're an athlete. SUCHANEK: Uh huh, can you make any generalizations about kids who come from large urban areas? Do they have maybe a little bit more trouble adjusting to... KEIGHTLEY: Oh well, I think yes, Jeff, I, you know, you most people tend to behave as the environment in which they are reared. And it's, it's, it's difficult, it maybe well it, it, it's just difficult. It's not the large urban areas is not as structured as a small private villages and you know, they just don't have as much discipline and it's, it's just difficult for them to conform. It takes a real bright, strong kid to do it. And thank goodness you know, we've made great strides in that I think. SUCHANEK: Uh huh, what's also in your experience, seems to me someone coming from New York City or Philadelphia you know, Detroit, some of these bigger cities, Chicago, coming here to the Bluegrass going from a large urban area to a more rural area, even though Lexington is a cosmopolitan city, still it's a small city compared to those places and you know comparatively speaking relatively violence free and that kind of thing. Is there a transition that takes place with those athletes? KEIGHTLEY: Yes, yes you, yes sir, always. You know, when they first... SUCHANEK: Is that one of the attractions for them to come here is to kind of, I mean not only is Kentucky basketball, but maybe even to get away from the area they grew up in? KEIGHTLEY: Well, you know I, I think Jeff for, for the kids that are, are more astute and brighter kids, yes I think, I think it is an enticement to get away from the hubbub and all of the things they live twenty-four hours a day. It's, it, it has to be an enticement. You know you hear, especially in athletics, you hear about kids classified as being street wise. Well that means if you're street wise you've been on the streets, maybe accustomed to being on the streets most all night, every night. And then I think that's where that term originates. Street wise kid see what all is going on, they see like Coach Smith says, very little good ever happens after midnight, it's always bad. And I think they've been exposed to a lot of bad scenes and to those who want a better life and a better environment yes and as we say in Kentucky, we'll think Lexington's a pretty good size little village. But in essence compared to New York it's just, just like a street on a, I mean a, yes, a street in New York City compared to that big Harlem district... SUCHANEK: Especially with things to do at night, nightlife you know. KEIGHTLEY: Yes and getting on there's not much for them, for them to really do so they just roam the streets and that's where gangs form and really big trouble starts. SUCHANEK: Do you see over the years have you seen, these kids have come from these larger urban areas, Chicago and New York and Philadelphia, you know those places are known for their street ball. They play all the time, you know, twenty- four hours a day there's somebody playing on the court, they've got pick-up games all the time, are these players any more developed than somebody from say Eastern Kentucky or are there, is it kind of a two way street because they also have so many bad habits to break? KEIGHTLEY: Well, you know what you have you've hit up on the thing. Yes, they are much more developed than the kid from, we'll say in Eastern Kentucky. You know, in the early years of basketball, Coach Rupp in the 40's, 50's, and even the 60's you could develop your game somewhat by yourself. But that, today that no longer exists. SUCHANEK: Oh no, you have to go to a camp. KEIGHTLEY: You've got to be, it's become a game from finesse to a physical game and you've got to play against other people with you know, very physical environment on the court. So yes, these kids are much more advanced than a kid, that's from a remote part of Eastern Kentucky where he's not been exposed to all of the elements that these kids have been exposed to from Chicago, New York, Philadelphia, and now they, that's the upside. They are much more skilled and ready to play, we'll say, at a college level, but the down side is the kid from Eastern Kentucky will come in here, he'll be disciplined, he will be academically inclined, he'll want to do well. And from the big cities, they'll come in, yes they, they think that they're ready to play at this level and many of them are and but at the same token, they don't want to change that because they think they've already learned how to play this game. So now, without the discipline is where the problem really starts. Number one, you've got to go to class. You've got to be disciplined enough to get in that bed of a night, get your rest, get up, go to a class on your own, be on time, and that's foreign to them. And that's reason so many of them after a year or two have to move on because they're not strong enough to over come their, their environmental background that they've been accustomed to since they were big enough to walk. So it is, it's you know, it's a bittersweet thing. Yes they are better, but no they are not, because in order to be able to play at the college level you've got to, you've got to get control of your life and not be influenced by people that's still in the other life. And that's a big thing, a reason if you got kids that have friends that are hangers on they'll, they'll drag a kid down that's really trying to make something of himself. So they have to be, have to be strong. He has to fight off those temptations and that takes a lot for, you know, an eighteen year old kid. That's a big thing to give up what you've been accustomed to, to now pursue another life, which is going to be required. SUCHANEK: Does any player in particular come to mind that succumbed to those temptations that could have been a good player? KEIGHTLEY: You know they're... Here, I think we have done really, a really good job so to speak in the kid that, that the type of kid that we recruit, you... SUCHANEK: I was thinking maybe was Rashaad Carruth may be influenced by.. KEIGHTLEY: Well, you know what, yeah there, there is a, there is one that is that's a stranger to he's a stranger to, humanity (laughter - SUCHANEK) (laughter). We really don't, we really don't know. He, what, what would influence him. You know we got "X" amount of people in all walks of life that just walks to a... SUCHANEK: Different drummer. KEIGHTLEY: A different drummer. And that's, that's what happened to that kid. You know his mother's a nurse, one of the finest people you'll ever, [Phone Rings] KEIGHTLEY: Let me see. I have better... (laughter). SUCHANEK: (Laughter) we were talking about. KEIGHTLEY: Rashaad Carruth and he, he you know that kid was, was a bright kid. He could have been anything and still is, still is a great athlete, but he hadn't found any place anywhere. See they sent him to Oak Hill. You know, if you know something about Oak Hill, but I mean that's in the middle of nowhere there is absolutely nothing that you (laughter - SUCHANEK) can get into and do. Now I can't say that he gets into anything bad because he doesn't. He's just a free spirit that should be, probably have been born forty years earlier and he could have been a hippie (laughter - SUCHANEK). And then he'd have been happy (laughter) because he don't want to do anything that anybody else is doing. Now he got about fifteen tattoos and I saw where maybe he was going to try to play football a year (laughter - SUCHANEK). He, I don't know how the statutes of limitation that run out on him, but, but he is definitely a different type kid and everybody liked him, but he just couldn't conform to anything. SUCHANEK: How about Adam Chiles was he... KEIGHTLEY: Well, he, he was Adam was a... SUCHANEK: I mean he got, he got in more trouble after he left here. KEIGHTLEY: Yeah, he, he kinda I don't know. Some kids, Adam probably, I really don't know that much about his family background. SUCHANEK: He was from Louisville right? KEIGHTLEY: Yeah, they're from Louisville and you know, Louisville has got, the west end of Louisville probably is a bit like some of the, SUCHANEK: Rougher neighborhoods of New York, right. KEIGHTLEY: Rougher neighborhoods in any of the, in you know the west end and it pretty, they pretty much roam twenty-four hours a day. But Adam again was, was a decent to good student, but he, around adults he put on a, he really put on a good front. He was polite, he always looked neat, you know, but he absolutely could not, could not walk the straight line. He's, he tried. Hopefully things will work out for him, but right now I, I don't know where he is and exactly what his legal problems may be. SUCHANEK: Okay, there was a name here that, that we hadn't seen before, I hadn't seen before and he, he at that time was there still a freshman team in '78-'79? KEIGHTLEY: Oh yes, yes. SUCHANEK: Okay because there was a Chuck Aleksinas. KEIGHTLEY: Oh Chuck Aleksinas. SUCHANEK: Yes, and he was listed, the first time I've seen his name as a sophomore. KEIGHTLEY: And what year you got there? SUCHANEK: This was '78-'79 I didn't see him as a freshman maybe I just missed it the year before. KEIGHTLEY: Yeah he played, yeah he was, he was from Connecticut. Yeah he, yeah he was here, he was here two years. He was 6'10" weighed about 275 lbs and may have been, had the best body of any human, big human, I've ever seen to play basketball. His shoulders were about 54, but he you know, naturally wasn't real quick, but he was so strong and so wide that when he got in the lane there wasn't room for anyone else. And he could have been one heck of a player, but he left here after his sophomore year and played at Connecticut. Finished his career at Connecticut and got a little look in the pros. SUCHANEK: Did he? KEIGHTLEY: Yes, got a little look. And uh, Chuck came back for one of the reunions we had I guess might have been the twenty, well the twenty-fifth I guess. And then I've ran across him a couple of times on the road when we were up east, he would come to see us. SUCHANEK: I'm sorry, did you say where Lawrence Tillman went? KEIGHTLEY: Who? SUCHANEK: I mean Clarence Tillman. KEIGHTLEY: Tilly went back, SUCHANEK: East right? KEIGHTLEY: And played at one of the Philadelphia schools. SUCHANEK: Like Temple maybe or Drexel? KEIGHTLEY: Maybe. I don't know why, he might have went to New Jersey, to Seton Hall. SUCHANEK: Oh okay. KEIGHTLEY: But he, he did go back and play at some school, but, but you know Clarence, Clarence was a good kid really. He just couldn't, just couldn't do it here. SUCHANEK: Right. Getting to the next year's roster then, how about Dirk Minniefield? KEIGHTLEY: Well he was from out here in Lexington. I remember when he was in junior high at Morton Junior and Dirk was always, Dirk is one of my favorites because of you know, being a local kid, lot of local kids struggle you know, from not much home life and discipline and kids that until they get to actually college, yes I guess Jock Sutherland had a lot of influence on Dirk. And but he, he you know, he wandered without, wandered the world without a lot of discipline other than his momma. And uh, but uh, one thing about Dirk Minniefield, that guy would never ever, ever tell you something that wasn't true. If you'd ask him something he'd tell you the absolute truth. If he knew it was going to hurt him, he'd tell you the truth. And uh, he went through you know, he kind of had the world by the tail. He was signed by the Boston Celtics and he got involved into some of the drug world and it cost him his career really. SUCHANEK: Uh huh. Didn't he play for Cleveland a little bit? KEIGHTLEY: Yes, he played for, well, now that, that you may be thinking of Frank Minniefield that played for the Browns. Dirk played for somebody else other than the Celtics, but the Celtics, SUCHANEK: Were they related? Frank and Dirk, do you know? KEIGHTLEY: They are, they are cousins, yeah. Frank's done quite well here in town and uh, but Dirk when he was in the school was married. He had three kids, he had, the twin boys was named Derek and Derek (laughter - SUCHANEK, KEIGHTLEY.) SUCHANEK: What's that TV show Darrell and Darrell. KEIGHTLEY: Yeah Darrell, Darrell, and my other brother Darrell, yes (laughter - SUCHANEK, KEIGHTLEY). But uh, Dirk, it was hard for that kid to live. We didn't have, when he was here of course the being married he couldn't live in Wildcat Lodge and he lived in a little apartment up on Columbia Avenue. And he'd work in the summer time, worked for Bobby Maxwell. And the Sally horse band people and but he, as I say, he hung in here and got, got out of school here and then got to the pros and ran into that problem with the drugs. And I remember the first time I saw him after he came back by here after he was no longer playing in the NBA and I just asked him, I said, "Dirk, now are you okay? Are you clean?" He said, "Well, Uncle Bill," he always called me uncle. He said, "I tell you, I'm fine today, I can't say about tomorrow." Because he knew having been addicted that he, he never knew when he might return. But, you know to this day now he works for the NBA. I don't know if you knew this or not. SUCHANEK: No, I didn't know that, uh uh. KEIGHTLEY: He works for the NBA. And he works in the drug program, so he did make it. SUCHANEK: And he lives here in town right? KEIGHTLEY: No, no he doesn't live here. SUCHANEK: Where's he live do you know? KEIGHTLEY: He, you know now... I really can't tell you Jeff. I want to say it could be Texas. See he became, the reason he got into this drug program for the NBA he became, well early on his mentor was John Lucas, if you remember John Lucas the tennis player. SUCHANEK: Sure, yeah he was into drugs too, right. KEIGHTLEY: That's right. Well okay that was his mentor in the drug rehab program. SUCHANEK: Right, and he made it back. KEIGHTLEY: And he, and he became really closely allied with John and John headed up the. Well what do you say? [Interruption, Tape Paused] SUCHANEK: Alright, we were talking about Dirk Minniefield and I, I could find out from the NBA office where he's at. Here's, here's another name that, that came in as a sophomore, Bo Lanter. KEIGHTLEY: Well, yes Bo was from Woodford County. SUCHANEK: Right, Versailles. KEIGHTLEY: Yes sir. He came I, he came as a walk on. And Bo hung around for at least a couple of years and he graduated. And Bo was another real nice young man; he still drops by quite frequently. SUCHANEK: Where's he living? KEIGHTLEY: He has been in a business of, of apparel business coming up with different gimmicks like hats and some kind of apparel for NASCAR and even the, you know, the University of Kentucky he designs some caps that were unusual so, to the best of my knowledge that's, that's what he's still doing because NASCAR is rather big you know. SUCHANEK: (laughter) I've heard that. KEIGHTLEY: And he's. SUCHANEK: I can't understand it, but I've heard that. KEIGHTLEY: I can't either, but it is for the (laughter) you know those people just buy everything, yup, yeah. And he's, and that, that's what he's done for a livelihood. As I say, he was a walk on and. SUCHANEK: Does he, does he live here in town or back? KEIGHTLEY: Yes, he still lives here. SUCHANEK: Okay. In Lexington or Versailles? KEIGHTLEY: Here in Lexington. SUCHANEK: Okay. All right um, of course that '79-'80 season you had Sam Bowie come in. Probably one of the biggest men that's ever played here at 7'1" other than maybe Shagari. KEIGHTLEY: Who's that? SUCHANEK: Sam Bowie. KEIGHTLEY: Oh, oh Sam oh yeah. SUCHANEK: And I know he's still here in town. How did you all get him from Lebanon, Pennsylvania? KEIGHTLEY: Well, I, Leonard Hamilton was a recruiter and, and we were, you know at that particular time it kind of, you know basketball power's kind of, kind of run when you get on the roll just year after year. SUCHANEK: And coming off a championship year. KEIGHTLEY: Coming off, yeah a championship, and then a runners-up you know, in '75 and, and we just were on the roll. And then not only that, he came here for basketball camp. That was back when there very few college camps and he came here for, in 1978 was our, probably our biggest year of basketball camps and we had along with Sam was a little bit like who's who in basketball. SUCHANEK: Was that because of the championship? KEIGHTLEY: Yes, that, yes. But we had, you know to come to that where high school juniors in, in '78 that came to... See you could only come to a college camp if you were just going to be a senior and he was a rising senior. We had Sam Bowie, Ralph Sampson, James Worthy, Derrick Hord, Clark Kellogg, I'm missing some more big names. All attended that same camp. SUCHANEK: Pretty good competition. KEIGHTLEY: I'd say. It was real good competition. A little like who's who in basketball. SUCHANEK: See I think. KEIGHTLEY: And Dirk Minniefield. I, you know Dirk Minniefield, Junior Johnson, Dwight Anderson was another one, and it was, you know, it was a tremendous camp. That, that one week they were here we had something like eight hundred kids in camp. SUCHANEK: Wow. KEIGHTLEY: We had, we had buses all over Fayette County because at that time we could rent the county schools and use their gyms. SUCHANEK: Oh I see, uh huh. KEIGHTLEY: And. SUCHANEK: So you had, you had, you had camps going on at probably half a dozen different gyms. KEIGHTLEY: Oh, oh yeah, yeah, you had them split up you know the different age groups would all go to a different gym. SUCHANEK: But the Kelloggs and the Worthys and the Bowies they were all, they were all the same age group? KEIGHTLEY: They were all in the same, the same league and we kept those together. SUCHANEK: So I think sometimes people don't understand even back in the 70's, these high school juniors and seniors, when they finally play against each other in college they've probably played against each other before. KEIGHTLEY: Yes. SUCHANEK: So they're familiar with one another's game. KEIGHTLEY: Yes. SUCHANEK: And I'm sure they've formed some kind of friendships or even rivalries between them. KEIGHTLEY: Well yeah at least they've, you know, they form a friendship and uh, course you know you go back to like you were talking about when you were playing you would never see one of them until you got to college. SUCHANEK: Oh no (laughter - SUCHANEK, KEIGHTLEY). Right exactly. KEIGHTLEY: Yes. SUCHANEK: Yeah I might see some of the fellas who played in the school down the street you know, but I didn't see the half, half the, I mean three quarters, 90% of the players who played in my league I never saw. KEIGHTLEY: Yeah right. SUCHANEK: During the summer you know just. We weren't as mobile back then. KEIGHTLEY: No, no, but yeah. SUCHANEK: So when Ralph came in what, you know, there were high expectations, I mean when Sam came in there were high expectations for Sam Bowie, what do you remember about his first year or first couple years in his career? KEIGHTLEY: Well, they, you know of course the first time I guess, oh when I think of Sam I have to think about the first time I saw him as a high school player from, SUCHANEK: He must have been like a string bean. KEIGHTLEY: Yeah, he, oh he was so skinny, yeah I worried about him taking a step I was afraid he would brake a leg, which he finally did (laughter). But now Sam, Sam's uh, had unlimited ability. He was very mobile and another extremely bright young man and a person to this day I still enjoy as much as anyone that was ever around, because he never lost his sense of humor and he'd been so highly successful. SUCHANEK: Right, after his basketball career, yeah. KEIGHTLEY: Yeah after, after basketball, but you know he, he was when he was playing in college every where you went you know, he was a guy you had to stop. But see the other side of the coin was you also had Melvin Turpin (laughter). SUCHANEK: Right, the following year. KEIGHTLEY: Yes, the following year, so. SUCHANEK: The "twin towers". KEIGHTLEY: The "twin towers" and yeah that, that team was one of the top teams we ever had, 'course we didn't win a championship. We got there but, to the Final Four, but hit a clunker which, which can happen I don't care how big you are and how talented you can be. SUCHANEK: Another, another kid that came in that year was Derrick Hord and I know you, you thought a lot about Derrick Hord. KEIGHTLEY: Oh yes Derrick Hord, yes, yes. That, not to mention another one that was in our camp that, that year was Charlie Hurt. SUCHANKE: Right, uh huh. KEIGHTLEY: So... SUCHANEK: That was quite a freshman class. KEIGHTLEY: Oh, yes incredible, yeah incredible. I don't think you could put together a much better freshman class than that one. SUCHANEK: What do you remember about Charlie Hurt? KEIGHTLEY: Well, Charlie you know, from Shelby County, he was another one of those well chiseled out young men that was from a great family. Again, you know what, these guys that's been successful, I guess we're pin pointing one thing for most of them, they came from a solid family background. You know Sam, Sam is from a solid background. His, his father Ben was, played in the NBA and uh, so you know, a good, good solid family background. SUCHANEK: How tall is his dad? KEIGHTLEY: He's about 6'11". SUCHANEK: Okay, so it was in the genes. KEIGHTLEY: Yes. And Sam's mom was about 6'2". So he couldn't help but be a big old kid. SUCHANEK: Big guy. [Phone Rings] KEIGHTLEY: I can't use that one either (laughter - SUCHANEK). SUCHANEK: Where's Charlie Hurt now, do you know? KEIGHTLEY: Charlie Hurt is in, in the US Army. He's works in the, he is I think at this time maybe in Germany. He works with the intelligence agency, CIA. SUCHANEK: Uh huh, okay. Might not even be able to find him (laughter.) KEIGHTLEY: Might not, (laughter) might not. He's about ready to retire. SUCHANEK: Yeah, I'd say. [Phone Rings] KEIGHTLEY: Gosh dang it! Number's familiar, but I don't know who it is. SUCHANEK: (Laughter) How about Derrick Hord, what's Derrick doing these days? KEIGHTLEY: Derrick lives here in town and he, he is still in the pharmaceutical business. Much like what, what Henry was doing. SUCHANEK: How do they get in, it seems like a lot of players are in that, but how do the players wind up in that? KEIGHTLEY: Yeah I, I uh, that's another thing kinda runs in waves, yes. Now you do have a lot of uh, a lot of players get into that. Now the ones that really get in there and work with it such as Derrick has been with this company for years and years. He's with Baer and the company that was talking with Henry Thomas I believe he is with Hizar, well I wont say Hizar that's a drug, I forget the company, but anyhow... SUCHANEK: Pfizer maybe? KEIGHTLEY: I believe that's it, I believe it is yes, I believe it is, yes, believe it is. But, you know there it, it's really a great profession to get into because you can't. SUCHANEK: There's a lot of money in it. KEIGHTLEY: Well, you know, the thing is there's so many athletes they don't want to lay the ball down. They think they're gonna make a livelihood out of life like it was at the University of Kentucky and adoration continue for lifetime which they find out after a couple years, hey it, it really don't, you can't cash that in too much (laughter) yes. SUCHANEK: (Laughter) Right. Right, well you know it seems like um, being an athlete at a major college like UK because of the media attention and the way these athletes are prepared to deal with meeting people that that would prepare them pretty well for, for a life in sales; being personable, knowing how to act around people. Are there, one thing I want to ask you, are there courses that they're given to, to like how to deal with the media or you know how do they, how do they learn how to do that? KEIGHTLEY: Yes, we have, yes we you know, we take little, we have courses where we give 'em mock interviews. We've also, another thing that at this particular time we're not doing is we give them lessons in etiquette like you know, how, how to set a dinner table and how to eat. SUCHANEK: You know this is, this is something that I've been saying for a long time, I think any student who graduates from college, there aught to be a course in etiquette that they need to take. KEIGHTLEY: I, I agree. And we, you know we did that for a period of years. SUCHANEK: I mean any student not just athletes. I think, I think that, that just makes you a better citizen. KEIGHTLEY: Well it does. It gives you, SUCHANEK: Confidence. KEIGHTLEY: And the other thing, you need to be told when you sit down to dine you don't wear a hat (laughter - SUCHANEK). That, that's part of it. SUCHANEK: Yeah, you might have trouble getting that across to Allen Iverson (laughter.) KEIGHTLEY: (Laughter) Yes. Yes that's right, but at least they need to be taught what is proper. Now when you are exposed to what is proper and you refuse to do it, then there's not much we can do to help you. SUCHANEK: That's right. KEIGHTLEY: So that gives you a little insight into the type of personality that you are trying to deal with and how difficult he may be to educate. SUCHANEK: Uh huh. KEIGHTLEY: But as I, I think it's very important myself. SUCHANEK: You know one of the, my favorite movies is Bull Durham with Kevin Costner. Have you seen that? KEIGHTLEY: Yes, yes. SUCHANEK: And they're on that bus and that kid is getting ready, that pitcher is getting ready to be sent up and Kevin Costner said, "Okay now write this down." And he's telling him the answers to give to the media (laughter - KEIGHTLEY) (laughter). "I'm just happy to be here", you know. "Write this down". KEIGHTLEY: Well, that's what we do here we set up mock interviews and uh, what has become very, very prominent out there in the interviews is people trying to think what they want to say and use the word "you know." They say three words and then have to say "you know" because they are trying to think what to say next and to try to get a fluid statement and... I believe it was last evening, I was watching some news segment on TV and this guy they were interviewing in that maybe a minute and a half he must have said "you know" fifty times. When he got through about all that I could recall was "you know" (laughter - SUCHANEK). And he was talking real fast too. So he got a whole bunch of "you knows" in it. SUCHANEK: (Laughter) Well if I knew I wouldn't be asking you. KEIGHTLEY: (Laughter) That's right, "you know," that's right. "You know" I'll tell you what (laughter - SUCHANEK) (laughter) that would be good on one of them. "If I knew I wouldn't be asking you this." I wonder how they'd respond. SUCHANEK: They wouldn't know what you are talking about. KEIGHTLEY: Well, Cincinnati Red's right now has got a, one of their players, if you took "you know" out of his vocabulary couldn't say a word; that's Ryan Freel. The guy you know, and just leaves it all on the field tough hell for leather guy. And when you interview him all you get's "you know." SUCHANEK: Well maybe he's just worn out (laughter). KEIGHTLEY: I don't understand why the people that want to interview continue to go to him. SUCHANEK: Uh huh or why, why wouldn't the Reds give him a course on how to answer? KEIGHTLEY: I (laughter) I don't know. SUCHANEK: (Laughter) Alright, well I think we'll stop for today and we're slowly getting out of the 70's (laughter). KEIGHTLEY: (Laughter) Yeah, we give it, boy, we given that decade the works aren't we? SUCHANEK: (Laughter) Yeah, we sure are. The focus of this interview is on Keightley's memories of the players on the 1977-1978 and 1978-1979 University of Kentucky men's basketball teams. Players discussed include: Dwight Anderson, Dwane Casey, Chuck Verderber, Fred Cowan, Clarence Tillman, Rashaad Carruth, Adam Chiles, Chuck Aleksinas, Dirk Minniefield, Bo Lanter, Sam Bowie, Shagari Alleyne, Derrick Hord, Larry Johnson, Melvin Turpin, Charles Hurt, Henry Thomas, and Jock Sutherland. UKAW; University of Kentucky Men's Basketball; basketball coaches; Anderson, Dwight; Casey, Dwayne; Verderber, Chuck; Cowan, Fred; Tillman, Clarence; Carruth, Rashaad; Chiles, Adam; Aleksinas, Chuck; Minniefield, Dirk; Lanter, Bo; Bowie, Sam; Alleyne, Shagari; Hord, Derrick; Johnson, Larry; Turpin, Melvin; Hurt, Charles; Thomas, Henry; Sutherland, Jock; Hamilton, Leonard; Lemons, Abe; Cowan, Lynnwood; Cowan, Brenda; Cowan, Helen; Maxwell, Bobby; Lucas, John; Sampson, Ralph; Worthy, James; Kellog, Clarck; Johnson, Charles (Junior); Iverson, Allen; Freel, Ryan; Basketball camps -- Kentucky