Kent Taylor took over as sports anchor on WAVE 3 in January of 2002 and has been named â€œKentucky TV Sportscaster of the Yearâ€ by the Associated Press in 2008, 2009 and 2012. In 2013 he was voted â€œBest Sports Reporterâ€ by Louisville Magazine. During his career he has covered every Kentucky Derby since 1994, UKâ€™s 1996 National Championship and countless others. He was in New Orleans for the historic Final Four meeting between the Cats and Cards in March 2012, and was court side as UK won itâ€™s 8th National Championship.
How did you find yourself on the roster for the Generals?
I received an email from the Globetrotters PR director asking if we would have any interest in interviewing one of their players on Tuesday to help promote the game coming up on Friday. I replied to him, and he responded by writing that he had seen my profile on our website and inquired if I would have any interest in playing in the game. For me, it was a no brainer.
Did you ever play basketball competitively?
I have played basketball my entire life, with my claim to fame being a 1989 St X intramural title. At different times over the last 10 years or so, I have started media pickup games, at Hoops on Tuesday and Thursday mornings for a while and then at Bellarmine at 12 a.m. on Thursday nights. Since my daughter came along two years ago, I haven’t had a chance to play that much. We would play until 2 a.m. and I could sleep until I had to go into work on Friday, but that is not the case anymore.
The Generals last defeated the Globetrotters in 1971, ending their 2.495 game losing streak. Did you have high hopes heading into the game?
I liked our chances, and actually, when I was flagrantly fouled by “Big Easy,” I should have gotten two free throws, but was only given one. If you saw how easily I drained that one, there really can’t be any doubt that I would have made the other one. The Globetrotters ended up winning by two in overtime.
Were you hoping there would be scouts at the game?
I’m pretty sure there were. I have received inquiries from a few European leagues and am contemplating extending my one-day contract with the Generals to go on tour.
Are you happy with your three points for the Generals?
I was a little disappointed that I didn’t drain the four point shot. The problem was that I should have practiced more. I only tried it once on Tuesday, because I swished it. Then before the game, I figured we would have plenty of time to warm up, but that was not the case. We sat in the locker room for about 30 minutes and only warmed up for 10. I only took four shots in warm-ups, two layups, a three and a jumper.
One of those points came from a free throw after being fouled. You didn’t flop against the Globetrotters, did you?
Did you see it? It was an extremely hard, flagrant foul, that would have resulted in an ejection in an NBA game. At first I thought that I had broken a few ribs, but was still able to calmly sink the free throw.
Why did you choose not to dunk in the game?
The show is not about the Generals. I knew this going in and feel that if I had dunked, it would have electrified the crowd and taken the attention away from the Globetrotters. Also, they forgot to lower the baskets to 8 feet, like I requested. VT