LEXINGTON, Ky. (LEX 18) — Former Kentucky basketball player and radio analyst Mike Pratt has passed away at the age of 73 after a battle with cancer.
The Dayton, Ohio native played at Kentucky from 1967-'70 where he finished his career with 1,359 points and 718 rebounds. Pratt helped lead the Wildcats to three SEC Championships, two Elite Eight appearances and a number one ranking after the regular season of his senior year. Pratt was also a two-time first-team All-SEC selection in 1969 and '70 and Academic All-American in his senior year.
Pratt was taken in the 1970 draft by the Kentucky Colonels where he played two seasons for the team and averaged six points per game.
After his playing career, Pratt went on to become an assistant coach for Lee Rose at UNC-Charlotte, helping lead the 49ers to the 1977 Final Four. After Rose departed to become the head coach at Purdue, Pratt remained with UNCC as head coach for four seasons where he had a 56-52 record.
"You knew how much he loved the game of basketball and how much it meant to him," said UK Athletics Director Mitch Barnhart. "More than that, you know how much the University of Kentucky basketball meant to him."
Pratt returned to his alma mater in 2001 to become the radio color analyst alongside the Voice of the Wildcats, Tom Leach. A job he continued through the end of the 2021-'22 season.
"It was a very comfortable relationship," said Leach. "And he was so good at what he did, it made it easier to do what I did."
"If you were his friend you always stayed his friend, and that was Mike Pratt," said Lexington sports columnist Larry Vaught. "Amazing friend of our university and the commonwealth, and thankful that our paths crossed. It was wonderful to have a partner who was so good, but Mike was like a big brother to me. I'm going miss him more than I can describe."
In lieu of flowers, the family is asking for donations to be sent to Kentuckiana Friends of V.
Funeral arrangements are still pending.