Paperback / softback
November 23, 2021
9780813187242
English
184
29 b&w halftones
8.50 Inches (US)
5.50 Inches (US)
$19.95 USD, £14.50 GBP
v2.1 Reference

Kentucky Basketball

Two Decades Behind the Scenes

Since 2002, Mike Pratt and Tom Leach have been as much a part of Kentucky basketball as Rupp Arena itself, as longtime color analysts for the UK Radio Network. This collection of candid and intimate conversations between Pratt and Leach gifts fans and readers insights into every season from 2002 to 2021—observations that only they could share. Pratt and Leach cover it all here: the games, the players, the coaches, and the moments that stood out.

About the Authors

Mike Pratt is color analyst for the UK Radio Network, alongside Tom Leach. Pratt was a three-year letterwinner under legendary coach Adolph Rupp at the University of Kentucky from 1967 through 1970. Tom Leach began his work on the UK Radio Network in 1989 as host of the postgame scoreboard and call-in shows. Eight years later, he was named the play-by-play voice for Kentucky football, adding basketball to his responsibilities in 2001. Leach is an acclaimed sports journalist whose honors include two Eclipse Awards for Thoroughbred racing coverage and six Sportscaster of the Year awards for Kentucky from the National Sports Media Association.

Reviews

"Twenty years for Tom and Mike. Can you believe that? And more than half of that time working with me. It's been great fun and I know our fans are going to love reliving so many special moments that they have had a chance to witness from their courtside seat on the UK Sports Network. It's the perfect gift for any Wildcat fan."—John Calipari, head coach of the University of Kentucky Men's Basketball team

"Nobody has seen more Kentucky games than Tom Leach and Mike Pratt, with the insiders' information and expert knowledge of one of the most iconic programs in sports. I can't wait to read their insights and views from their two decades on the sidelines and in the locker room. What an amazing opportunity for hoops fans!"—Jay Bilas, ESPN

"If you are a basketball lover like I am, and especially if you are an avid Kentucky basketball fan, you will absolutely love the book by Mike Pratt and Tom Leach. They share many magical moments from their days calling the games for the last 20 years and have a great feel for the Kentucky basketball program and what transpires on a daily basis. Read this book and learn so much about Kentucky basketball. In fact, I would simply say this book is Awesome Baby with a capital A!"—Dick Vitale, ESPN

"Tom Leach and Mike Pratt bring their deep affection for Kentucky basketball to every broadcast. They are aware of the history of the program and its importance to the Big Blue Nation. Fans are blessed to have two of the best broadcasters share their love affair with the game."—Bill Raftery, CBS Sports

"Mike Pratt and Tom Leach are true blue Kentucky Wildcats who helped me and many others appreciate that Kentucky basketball is a lifestyle. They are two of the best broadcasters in the business. You will enjoy reading about Kentucky basketball from an announcer and from one of the best Wildcat players. I know you will learn a lot more about UK basketball and the Big Blue Nation."—Tubby Smith, former UK national champion coach and UK Hall of Famer

"For 20 years, Mike and Tom have honored Big Blue Nation and the game they love. They're the ultimate 'glue guys' for a fanbase with the highest standards. Just as you hear their passion for the Wildcats in every game broadcast, you'll feel it in these pages as you relive the excitement from their courtside seats."—Kaylee Hartung, ABC's Good Morning America

"I've done many basketball telecasts from Rupp Arena. I always enjoyed settling in to our broadcasting location and looking to my right and saying hello to Tom Leach and Mike Pratt, knowing that UK radio broadcasts were in the hands of superb and knowledgeable voices. Well done, guys."—Verne Lundquist, CBS Sports

"Has it really been 20 years since Tom Leach and Mike Pratt were paired up on the UK Basketball Network? It has, and that perfect match has resulted in a new book recounting their memories of the past 20 years of UK hoops. The first event I did on television was in December 1969, when UK scored 115 points in a rout of Kansas, led by Dan Issel and Mike Pratt. I followed Mike's career as a player, coach, and then broadcaster and even partnered with him on the telecast of a few games, years ago. He has been a success in everything he has done. As a native Kentuckian, Tom has been on my radar since he began his broadcasting career, and we have often discussed broadcasting techniques. That's why I have taken great pride in seeing Tom advance to be one of the finest radio play-by-play announcers in the nation. Given the excellent work turned in by Leach and Pratt together over the last 20 years, a book of their memories was a natural and is a must-read for Big Blue Nation."—Tom Hammond, NBC Sports

"Mike Pratt is a Lexington legend and an authority on Kentucky basketball. He and Tom Leach are one of the top radio teams in the country and this book feels like I'm listening to them chop it up on the air. It's a must-read for Wildcats fans young and old and a highly entertaining walk down memory lane!"—Ian Eagle, CBS Sports

"I got a small glimpse into the world of Big Blue Nation while covering the Kentucky Wildcats for ESPN from 2011 to 2016. I have read books, media guides, and heard hundreds of stories about the Cats, but nothing quite like Kentucky Basketball: Two Decades Behind the Scenes. Mike and Tom's perspective is one from the 'inside.' That historic buzzer beater? They were there. The Platoon System? They were there. The Calipari hiring? They were there! The coaches, the players, and the media have all changed over the last two decades, but Mike and Tom have been the constant, and now they are telling us how things really went down!"—Shannon Spake, Fox Sports

"When I watch a Kentucky basketball game, I always turn down the sound and listen to Tom and Mike on the radio. They focus on the game and don't make the broadcast about themselves. Their knowledge of the Wildcats program is greater than anyone's in media. I'm anxious to read all the great stories they have to tell."—Dan Issel, former UK basketball player and UK Hall of Famer

"You may have attended every UK game of the past two decades, and you may think you know it all, but you don't. You'll get the untold stories of tears and laughter, from Tayshaun's rocketing 'treys' against UNC to Jodie's 54-point night in K-town, from Billy Clyde's antics to Cal's title run, as only Tom & Mike can tell from their roles behind the mic and off the court. Must read."—Oscar Combs, founder of The Cats Pause and former UK Network pregame analyst

"For the last two decades, Mike Pratt and Tom Leach have had a front row seat for 'the greatest tradition in college basketball.' Their new book covers those 20 seasons, telling what happened and why – in the bright lights of game day and the stories behind the scenes. Their conversational style makes it an easy, engaging read and they add some great bonus material. It's a slam dunk for any UK fan!"—Mitch Barnhart, director of athletics at the University of Kentucky

"Since I grew up in Lexington and had the opportunity to play basketball all over the state of Kentucky during my high school years at Bryan Station, I knew what playing basketball in the state of Kentucky was all about. One of the things that I find really interesting is why players outside the state choose UK over schools in their home state. I really enjoyed reading about Mike's recruitment by Coach Joe B. Hall and how he didn't meet Coach Rupp until after he made the decision to come to Kentucky! Thanks so much, Mike and Tom, for sharing so many great stories!"—Jack "Goose" Givens, former UK basketball star and UK Hall of Famer

"Tom Leach and Mike Pratt are as good with their book as they are on the air. Their year-by-year summary of each UK basketball team since they began as a team in 2002 is not only entertaining but brings back great memories as well. A must-read for all UK basketball fans."—Jim Host, coauthor of Changing the Game

"Kentucky Basketball: Two Decades Behind the Scenes is a time capsule for Big Blue Nation. From Rupp to Calipari and everyone of note in between, Mike and Tom take you on a VIP tour through Kentucky hoops. Their experience and access give you an inside look at the inner workings of the best program in college basketball. For the last 20 years, Tom Leach and Mike Pratt have formed the best broadcasting tandem in SEC basketball. Today they transition into the best storytellers in the game. One grew up a UK fan. One wore the uniform. Their insight into and experiences with the greatest program in college basketball history will make you feel like you were courtside with them through it all."—Tom Hart, ESPN and SEC Network

"Kentucky Basketball is a wonderful remembrance of the wildly successful UK program over almost two decades with the men who chronicled every basket and heart pounding moment on the air. It's as if we are eavesdropping on a conversation with Mike and Tom and getting the inside view about what truly mattered. And they would know! This book will give every Wildcat fan unique insight into one of the most distinguished programs in the college game from two of the most respected broadcasters in the business."—Kevin Harlan, CBS

9780813187242 : kentucky-basketball-leach-pratt
Paperback / softback
November 23, 2021
$19.95 USD

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