Mike Pratt (1948-2022)
Our great friend, co-founder, colleague and inspiration
We are devastated by the passing of Mike Pratt, one of the greatest men we’ve ever been blessed to know. Mike died in his sleep overnight after a long and courageous battle with cancer. He was 73.
Mike to hundreds of thousands of fans was the University of Kentucky Athletics Hall of Famer and UK Sports Network men’s basketball radio analyst, as well as a popular co-host on ESPN 680. As significant as his sports contributions, Mike impacted legions more as the most caring, kind and compassionate a person as any of us could be blessed to know. He was among the founders of Kentuckiana Friends of V. His death to this insidious disease is a heart-wrenching reminder why we do what we do to raise money for cancer research. His passing will have us doubling-down on our commitment.
We are beyond honored and touched that Mike’s family has requested in lieu of flowers that memorial donations be made to Kentuckiana Friends of V. Through our tears, we welcome those who loved and admired Mike to join us in the fight against cancer.
This is how our executive director, Jamie Valvano, described Mike in an email to our board this morning. Jamie and his dad, KFOV co-founder Bob Valvano, were able to visit with Mike on Tuesday:
“There was something about Mike that brought happiness everywhere he went. Even when he was in a bad, bad way, someone from the outside would have had no idea because he would rarely speak about himself or complain. Instead, Mike would ask and genuinely care about what was going on in your life and how you were.
“We visited Mike on Tuesday because we were told if we wanted to say goodbye, that was the time. This is a man who knows death is minutes? Hours? Days away? Yet he still wanted to know how Dad was, how I was. Made us laugh in his usual Mike Pratt way. And told us “I still have some Jimmy V’s left,” referencing that he wasn’t done fighting.”
Neither are we.