Former UK Coach Joe B. Hall, Star "Goose" Givens Appear at Newport Political Event
He led the University of Kentucky men's basketball team to the 1978 national championship and three Final Four appearances, and Coach Joe B. Hall appeared in Newport on Thursday evening.
The star of that 1978 squad, Jack "Goose" Givens, joined the coach at Little Nashville on Monmouth Street for a fundraiser for David Guidugli's campaign for Campbell County Jailer.
Guidugli is running in the Republican primary against incumbent James A. Daley.
Supporters of the candidate and fans of UK showed up to celebrate the title Hall and his team won thirty-six years ago. "They don't have to ask me to, I do it automatically," Hall said of remembering and celebrating the title. "They accomplished what they did because they could play any style."
Hall said he and members of that squad still get together pretty regularly. He also still attends many UK games and watches "every bounce of the ball" during the season.
He also watched the Kentucky high school basketball title game where Covington Catholic cut down the nets this year. "They were great. Just a great unit of high school players," Hall said of the Colonels. "They were predictable from the beginning. They were fun to watch."
Givens, meanwhile, enjoyed watching UK's unexpected run to the title game this season where the Wildcats lost to Connecticut after becoming the first 8-seed to make the finals. "I think they finally realized that playing as a team was the way to get them there," Givens said. "Goose" scored 41 points in the 1978 title game in UK's 94-88 win over Duke.
He also commented on the so-called "one-and-done" players that have dominated UK basketball program in the Coach John Calipari era. "I'm not a big fan of the one-and-done but I am in the sense that I'd rather have them for a year than play them for a year," he said.
Neither Givens nor Hall think Calipari will bolt for a job in the NBA as rumors swirl about the coach's future.
"I think he's at the best job in the country," Givens said.
Editor's note: An earlier version of this article incorrectly identified Guidugli as a candidate for sheriff. He is a candidate for jailer. RCN regrets the error.
-Michael Monks, editor