Kentucky Wildcats Inducted into Lexington African-American Sports Hall of Fame

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Lexington, Kentucky (September 20, 2022) — Jack Givens and James Lee, two former University of Kentucky Wildcats and Lexington natives, will be inducted into the 2022 Lexington African American Sports Hall of Fame (LAASHOF). Givens and Lee played together during the men’s basketball program and helped lead the team to victory in multiple ways.

Givens and Lee were among the first players to unite the British basketball program in the 1970s. Their journey was filled with many hardships, but the perseverance and dedication they displayed helped pave the way for other black basketball players to grace the rap arena as Kentucky legends .

The 2022 Hall of Fame inductees were nominated by the public and handpicked by founding members of LAASHOF. Givens and Lee are recognized for their contributions to the University of Kentucky’s basketball program in the early days of the merger.

Jack “Goose” Givens

A graduate of Bryan Station High School, Givens was a member of the British men’s basketball team from 1975-1978. While at the University of Kentucky, he made three appearances as an All-SEC player, and in 1978 he won the NCAA Finals title. Four best players. During that season, Givens led the team to a national championship, scoring 41 points in a win over Duke, he was Kentucky’s first African-American All-American and his first in the program’s history. He maintains his position as the third leading scorer. Givens began his career as a professional basketball player for the Atlanta Hawks and later as a sports broadcaster.

james lee

A graduate of Henry Clay High School, Lee played for the Wildcats from 1974-1978. He was a major player during his four years. Appearing in 116 games and scoring a total of 996 points with a shooting average of 56%, he played as his sixth man on the 1978 national championship team. Lee was named an All-SEC Player for the 1977–1978 season. He was drafted by the Seattle Supersonics and soon after continued his professional basketball career with the Continental Basketball Association until 1983.

Two new inductees and 20 others will be honored at the LAASHOF Hall of Fame induction ceremony on September 24, 2022 at the Central Bank Center in downtown Lexington.

LAASHOF’s inauguration and red carpet gala will feature a first-class dining experience, cocktail hour, live entertainment and other activities.

At the event, nationally renowned professor of British history, Gerald Smith, will deliver a keynote address on the influence of African Americans on Lexington’s historic sports culture dating back to the days of segregation..

Tickets to attend the event are available at officiallaashof.eventbrite.com. Those unable to attend can support the African American Sports Hall of Fame in Lexington by making a donation at www.laashof.com.

LAASHOF is a non-profit organization striving to commemorate local African American sports heroes who have made an impact in our community. Learn more about our organization here.

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