LOUISVILLE, Ky. (AP) — Kentucky Athletics Hall of Famer Mike Pratt, who helped lead the Wildcats to three SEC championships and two Elite Eight appearances, has died. He was 73.
Pratt, a UK Sports Network men’s basketball radio color analyst since 2001, died Thursday, a statement from the school said. No cause was described.
The Ohio native played at Kentucky from 1967-70 and was inducted into the UK Athletics Hall of Fame in 2009, the Kentucky Sports Hall of Fame in 2010 and the Ohio Basketball Hall of Fame in 2019. The 6-foot-4 forward averaged 16.8 points per game and 8.9 rebounds per outing in 81 career games played at UK. Pratt also amassed 29 double-doubles and finished at Kentucky with 1,359 points and 718 rebounds.
Kentucky Athletics Director Mitch Barnhart and basketball coach John Calipari said he would be missed.
“Mike Pratt has been part of the fabric of UK Athletics for more than a half-century,” Barnhart said. “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.”
“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,” Calipari said. “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.”
Pratt played two seasons with the Kentucky Colonels of the American Basketball Association and was an assistant coach at UNC Charlotte before becoming head coach of the Charlotte 49ers in 1978. After a stint as a professional scout, he went into broadcasting and worked with the Charlotte Hornets Television Network, ESPN and Fox Sports South.
He was at every Kentucky men’s basketball game since the 2001-02 season as the UK Sports Network’s radio color analyst, alongside play-by-play announcer Tom Leach.
He is survived by his wife Marcia Schmidt Pratt, a daughter, a son, stepchildren and 10 grandchildren.