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Former UK player calls, encourages 11-year-old fan with stutter

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Posted at 7:00 PM, Nov 18, 2022
and last updated 2022-11-18 19:25:06-05

LEXINGTON, Ky. (LEX 18) — 11-year-old Isaiah Long has been a Kentucky Basketball fan for as long as he can remember. But he's more than just a fan, he's shooting for a spot on the team when he grows up. After that, the pros.

"It's my dream to go to the NBA," Isaiah said.

On Wednesday night at basketball practice, he got a call from a very special person.

Former Cat, Mike Kidd-Gilchrist, was on the other end of the line.

Kidd-Gilchrist told Isaiah he wanted to meet up and get lunch sometime and talk. That's because he, too, has a stutter.

The phone call encouraged Isaiah to believe that despite the challenges having a stutter brings, he will overcome too and follow his dreams.

"It made me feel like, to keep trying and not give up," Isaiah said.

"I'll be honest with you, it brought tears," Isaiah's dad, Justin, said.

Justin is thrilled Isaiah now has a role model to look up to. Meanwhile, Justin said he will continue to look up to Isaiah.

"But really, he don't realize that I look up to him," Justin said. "I mean, that's the truth. He's a really good kid."

With family, friends, and now a Wildcat in his corner, there's no telling where Isaiah will go next.

Kidd-Gilchrist started a nonprofit last year to "improve access to healthcare and expand services and resources for those who stutter." You can learn more about his mission here.