Today, we mourn the loss of Mike Pratt, Kentucky Basketball legend and beloved radio commentator. The news of Pratt’s passing broke early this morning and the University of Kentucky just sent out a press release highlighting his Hall of Fame career as a player (1967-70) and color analyst (2001-2022). Jack Pilgrim shared several tributes to Pratt from social media with you in the morning post. Here are some more from John Calipari, Mitch Barnhart, his longtime radio cohost and friend Tom Leach, and JMI Sports President Kim Shelton, along with pictures and video courtesy of UK Athletics.
John Calipari, Kentucky Basketball head coach
“We lost a family member, a part of the Kentucky family and a friend. If you ever had the pleasure of meeting Mike Pratt, you knew what a special person he was. Mike was a dear friend to me and was an integral part in helping me become head coach here. Ellen and I will forever be grateful to him for his support and kindness. We should all be thankful that he was in our lives. Mike knew that the University and the Big Blue Nation loved him, and they never forgot what he did as a player and then later as a connection for the program. I’m going to miss him.”
Mitch Barnhart, UK Director of Athletics
“Mike Pratt has been part of the fabric of UK Athletics for more than a half-century. As an All-America and All-SEC player, Mike played a significant role in our basketball history. For the last two decades, he brought our games to life with his insightful commentary on our radio broadcasts. He will be missed by the Big Blue Nation and our sympathies are with his wife, Marcia, and their family and friends.”
Tom Leach, Voice of the Wildcats
“My heart is broken. He was more brother than broadcaster partner to me and producer Jim Barnhart through so many good times. We loved him just like the Big Blue Nation did. He was an outstanding basketball analyst, but an even better husband, father, grandfather and friend.”
Kim Shelton, JMI Sports President, UK Sports and Campus Marketing
“Mike Pratt made everyone feel like a friend. His passion and honesty paired with his perspective as a former player, coach and scout brought an authentic insight to our fans. Everyone at the UK Sports Network feels lucky to have worked beside and know Mike. When you heard Mike Pratt there was never a doubt he loved Kentucky basketball and there is no doubt we love Mike Pratt. Our prayers are with Mike’s family.”
Photos of Mike Pratt through the years
Highlights of Mike Pratt’s career and UK Athletics Hall of Fame speech
Pratt is survived by his wife Marcia Schmidt Pratt, brother Patrick Pratt and his wife Andrea, daughter Tamaryn Pratt and her husband Jonas Tanenbaum, son Christopher Pratt and his wife Amy, and stepchildren Christina Stone and her husband Tyler, Andy Schultz and his wife Kaelin, Tim Schultz and his wife Sarah, as well as 10 grandchildren.
In lieu of flowers, the family is asking for donations to be sent to Kentuckiana Friends of V. Arrangements for a celebration of life are pending.