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Interview with Jack Givens, December 4, 2015

Louie B. Nunn Center for Oral History, University of Kentucky Libraries

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0:00 - Playing basketball in high school / deciding to attend the University of Kentucky

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Partial Transcript: First off, Jack, if you would, just state, uh, your name and the years you were at UK.

Segment Synopsis: Givens talks about how he got interested in basketball and started playing. He talks about how the basketball teams at the high schools in Lexington were good when he was in high school. He talks about how he decided on UK.

Keywords: Decisions; High school; Lexington (Ky.); Public schools; Recruitment

Subjects: Basketball players--Kentucky; University of Kentucky--Basketball

9:52 - Race relations and recruitment / playing with upperclassmen Wildcats

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Partial Transcript: You touched on earlier, but you know, as I look back, I mean, your young and influential years are mid sixties and early seventies, and, uh, kind of talk if you would a little bit about the cultural climate.

Segment Synopsis: Givens talks about how the cultural conflict about race was going on and how that was part of his hesitation about going to UK. He talks about what it was like playing as a freshman on a team with mostly seniors.

Keywords: Political unrest; Race relations; Recruiting; Upperclassmen (seniors)

Subjects: Basketball players--Kentucky; University of Kentucky--Basketball

17:59 - Freshman season of 1974-1975

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Partial Transcript: Well the '74 - '75 season the team goes 26 and 5.

Segment Synopsis: Givens remembers the turning point game of his freshman season where they lost to Indiana University. He talks about other memorable games of the 1974-1975 season.

Keywords: Bloomington (Ind.); Freedom Hall; Games; Indiana University; NCAA Tournament; Scoring; Teammates; Tournaments

Subjects: Basketball players--Kentucky; University of Kentucky--Basketball

33:13 - Sophomore season, setbacks, and improvement

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Partial Transcript: When you look back at your freshman season, I mean, you were just talking about being a kid from Lexington, Kentucky--

Segment Synopsis: Givens talks about his sophomore season and how they didn't play as well. He talks about having a player meeting to talk about how they needed to improve things in their game, and after that meeting they played much better.

Keywords: Defense; Games; Practices; Sophomore

Subjects: Basketball players--Kentucky; University of Kentucky--Basketball

45:11 - National Invitation Tournament / transition to Rupp Arena / losing a final game and the following pre-season training

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Partial Transcript: Well, um, as I said that, that winning streak continues, you go to the NIT, and, um, along the way Robey got hurt.

Segment Synopsis: Givens talks about the National Invitation Tournament. He talks about transitioning from Memorial Coliseum to Rupp Arena. He talks about how not winning the championship of his junior season was motivation for the team to work hard in pre-season training.

Keywords: Coach Joe B. Hall; Defense; Games; National Invitation Tournament (NIT); Pre-season training; Rupp Arena; Weightlifting

Subjects: Basketball players--Kentucky; University of Kentucky--Basketball

59:40 - Memorable games of Givens' senior season

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Partial Transcript: Well not only was--were things good off the court, but on it as well, winning the first sixteen games.

Segment Synopsis: Givens recalls some tough losses in his senior season. He talks about the team having to get together and focus on improving their game. He talks about the NCAA tournament.

Keywords: Alabama University; Blizzards; Defense; Games; Guarding; Louisiana State University; National College Athletic Association Tournament (NCAA Tournament); Offense

Subjects: Basketball players--Kentucky; University of Kentucky--Basketball

70:59 - Givens' last two games

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Partial Transcript: So then that sets up for your, uh, second final game in your career, taking on Duke in the finals in the Checker Dome.

Segment Synopsis: Givens remembers how serious he and his teammates felt the night before the final game of the NCAA tournament. He recalls being in St. Louis and talking to James Lee the night before the final game.

Keywords: Championship; Coach Joe B. Hall; National College Athletic Association Tournament (NCAA Tournament); St. Louis (Mo.); Teammates

Subjects: Basketball players--Kentucky; University of Kentucky--Basketball

84:32 - Coach Joe B. Hall and the assistant coaches / playing for the NBA and career outside basketball

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Partial Transcript: How would you describe Coach Hall?

Segment Synopsis: Givens talks about Coach Hall and the assistant coaches and describes working with them. He talks about why he didn't excel in the NBA. He talks about his career after leaving basketball.

Keywords: Assistant coaches; Broadcasting; Career; Coaching methods; Confidence; National Basketball Association (NBA)

Subjects: Basketball coaches--Kentucky; Basketball players--Kentucky; University of Kentucky--Basketball

0:00No transcript.