LEXINGTON, Ky. (LEX 18) — Mike Pratt died overnight after a battle with cancer. The former UK player in the late 60s and early 70s had been the team’s radio analyst alongside Tom Leach for more than twenty years.
Fans told us they remember him as a great player and a great broadcaster whose style made him seem like a friend.
Pratt managed to remember fans he’d only met in passing, like Michael Renfro, who works at Wheeler Pharmacy. “I would have my jacket on with no nametag and he would be like ‘hey Michael how are you doing today."
It’s a sentiment shared by his ESPN Radio co-host Dan Issel on the show he hosted with Pratt for many years together.
"Forget about basketball, forget about broadcasting, I think the legacy that Mike leaves is that he was just a darn good guy,” Issel said as he began to choke up. “He never met a stranger, he always had time for everybody, and I'm going to miss him dearly.”
It’s something he’s done throughout his career. As a kid, Ewing Brown saw Pratt play for UK at Memorial Coliseum.
“He was always friendly, he was always willing to sign autographs for kids,” Brown said.
For many younger fans, Pratt is the only color analyst they’ve ever heard of as the color commentator for UK on the radio.
“It's going to be a sad day when the game comes back on and Mike Pratt’s not there sitting beside Tom Leach,” Justin Campbell said.