Why Kentucky fans will take over part of Franklin this weekend

Reggie Hanson played for Kentucky from 1987-91 and later served as an assistant under Tubby Smith.
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Reggie Hanson played for Kentucky from 1987-91 and later served as an assistant under Tubby Smith.

Jim Porter believes this year’s line-up of speakers has everything for University of Kentucky fans.

“It’s outstanding,” said Porter, director of the 30th annual Ohio’s UK Convention, set for July 20 at Eastview Baptist Church in Franklin.

Porter said the speakers include three former Wildcat players and members of the media. He said four speakers — Tom Leach, Ryan Lemond, Mike Pratt and Larry Vaught — are “back by popular demand.”

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The three keynote speakers include Reggie Hanson, who played at Kentucky from 1987-91 and was an assistant coach under Tubby Smith; Maci Morris, a 2019 UK graduate and first-team all SEC member; and Mike Pratt, UK basketball all-American, basketball color analyst and Dayton Meadowdale product.

Other speakers: Tina Cox, writer for Cameron Mills radio show; Leach, voice of the Wildcats; Lemond, co-host of Kentucky Sports Radio; Tony Neely, assistant athletic director for media relations; and Vaught, seven-time Kentucky Sports Writer of the Year.

Porter said the convention, called “Christmas in July” for UK fans, also serves as a kick-off of the football season. The Wildcats are coming off a 10-3 record that culminated with a 27-24 win over Penn State in the Citrus Bowl.

The convention typically draws about 130 people and the all-time record of 147 was set 10 years, Coach John Calipari’s first season.

Porter, 80, a retired Monroe High School teacher, has announced this will be his last year directing the convention and he hopes to “go out with a bang.” He hopes someone takes over the convention. He said attendees come from Ohio, Kentucky and Indiana and they have been known to reschedule vacations and family reunions.

“Once they come, they come back,” Porter said.

It was first held in 1990 when eight Kentucky fans gathered in Columbus to cheer up an ailing friend.


HOW TO GO:

WHAT: Ohio's 30th annual UK Convention

WHEN: 9 a.m. to 4 p.m. July 20. Lunch break: Noon to 1:30 p.m.

WHERE: Eastview Baptist Church, 4289 Ohio 122, Franklin

HOW MUCH: $25

KEYNOTE SPEAKERS: Reggie Hanson, 1987-91 UK player; Maci Morris, 2016-19 UK player, All-SEC First Team; Mike Pratt, 1967-70 UK player, UK basketball color analyst.

MORE INFORMATION: Call Jim Porter 937-746-8758