Keightley Legacy to Be Honored at Mississippi Valley State Game

Dec. 4, 2008

LEXINGTON, Ky. – The University of Kentucky will honor the legacy of former equipment manager Bill Keightley, also known as Mr. Wildcat, at the Kentucky-Mississippi Valley State basketball game on Sunday, Dec. 7.

Keightley’s family consisting of his widow Hazel, daughter Karen Marlowe and son-in-law Alden Marlowe, will be honored in a ceremony at halftime at which time his jersey will be retired a final time in Rupp Arena.

A representative of Mr. Keightley’s family will be the first of a season long program that will reflect Mr. Keightley’s legacy and his well-known respect for Kentuckians from all walks of life. Beginning Dec. 7, fans can register at for an opportunity to sit in Mr. Keightley’s seat on the Kentucky bench from pre-game through the first media timeout of a game.

The game program as well as the game ticket will honor Mr. Wildcat.

“We all have been lucky enough to have someone like Mr. Keightley to show us what having the spirit of life means and he celebrated life on a daily basis", said Kentucky head Coach Billy Gillispie. "He influenced each of us, and he was a great example of someone who loved his University more than anything. To honor his legacy through our fans would have made him proud.”

The Mississippi Valley State game will serve as the culmination of the University’s tributes to Mr. Wildcat which includes: a permanent spot on arena floor in front of Mr. Wildcat’s seat on the bench, embellishments on the basketball uniform including black “K” of Kentucky and silk ribbon touting “Mr. Wildcat”, Mr. Wildcat Catspy award presented annually to an individual reflecting Mr. Wildcat’s qualities; the Keightley Classic annual golf tournament; the Mr. Wildcat Bill Keightley scholarship fund awarding scholarship funds to UK men’s basketball managers. In addition, UK Athletics along with the UK President’s Office made financial contributions towards the William B. Keightley Oral History Project. The collection gives the public a unique opportunity to not only hear the legend, but to search his own words for topics and other key basketball figures he speaks about in the interviews.

Tip-off between UK and Mississippi Valley State is scheduled for 4:00 p.m. The game will be televised on Fox Sports South.