UK Fan, Paralyzed After Rupp Arena Fall, Receives a Priceless Gift from the Team He Loves [VIDEO]
Last Friday, just before the Kentucky Wildcats were to take on the Transylvania Pioneers in an exhibition game, Rupp Arena was mostly empty. But 73-year-old Dick Gregory–a longtime fan–and his wife, Mary Alice, were there early. She had never been to a game.
As they were making their way to their seats, Mary Alice tripped and, in the process of trying to catch her, Dick fell down into the next row and then the next one and the next one. He just kept bouncing off the seats.
Dick was rushed to the hospital. Three days later, after a barrage of tests, doctors confirmed what Mr. Gregory and his family had feared. He was paralyzed from the chest down.
UK coach John Calipari had been told of the accident the night it happened and had been keeping track of Gregory’s progress. After the prognosis was given, Coach Cal–who had been keeping the team abreast of the situation–showed up at the hospital. And so did 7-foot center Willie Cauley-Stein and Julius Randle and the Harrison twins.
CBS Sports columnist Gregg Doyel has written an extraordinary piece on the Gregorys and what the Wildcats and Coach Cal have been doing for them and I strongly encourage you to read it. It’s really remarkable.
I just want to add that while there are those who may hate Kentucky basketball–and that’s fine; that’s part of sports–you have to admit that this a sensational story about humanity and it’s one that defies typical rivalry enmity.