Louie B. Nunn Center for Oral History

Interview with Billy Ray Lickert, May 2016

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

 

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00:00:00 - Beginning of basketball career

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Partial Transcript: Uh, first if you would just state your name and the years at UK.

Segment Synopsis: Lickert discusses being raised in Lexington and dreaming of playing for UK. Lickert discusses watching the Fabulous Five play when he was young. Lickert also discusses playing basketball at Lafayette High School and being Kentucky Mr. Basketball his senior year.

Keywords: "Whack" Hyder; Fab Five; Fabulous Five; John Hyder; Kentucky Mr. Basketball; Lafayette High School (Ky.); Lexington (Ky.); Ralph Carlisle; UK

Subjects: Basketball; High school; University of Kentucky

00:04:50 - Freshman year at UK

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Partial Transcript: And, so then your freshman year, at that time freshmen ineligible to play.

Segment Synopsis: Lickert discusses his freshman year of college, including getting married prior to his freshman year and his experience on UK's freshman team. Lickert also discusses his teammates.

Keywords: Al Robinson; Bobby Slusher; Dick Parsons; Freshmen year; Harry Lancaster; Howard Dardeen; Ned Jennings

Subjects: Basketball; College freshmen; Marriage; University of Kentucky

00:08:23 - Sophomore season and teammates

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Partial Transcript: Okay so then you move into your sophomore season, and, uh, the team wins its first eleven games to get going.

Segment Synopsis: Lickert discusses his sophomore season at UK. Lickert also discusses his breakthrough game against SMU and his strengths as a player.

Keywords: All-around players; Bennie Coffman; Breakthrough games; Johnny Cox; Southern Methodist University (SMU); Teammates

Subjects: Basketball; College sophomores; Southern Methodist University; University of Kentucky

00:13:54 - Sophomore year conference runner-up

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Partial Transcript: Um, that year, I'm assuming even though you were 24 and 3 that Mississippi State must have won the conference?

Segment Synopsis: Lickert discusses playing against Mississippi State University his sophomore year for the conference championship. Lickert also discusses getting an NCAA tournament bid despite losing the game because Mississippi State turned it down.

Keywords: Integration; Sophomore year; Southeastern Conference (SEC)

Subjects: Basketball; College sophomores; Cowbells; Discrimination in sports.; Mississippi State University; Southeastern Conference; University of Kentucky

00:18:16 - Sophomore year NCAA tournament

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Partial Transcript: Uh, well, yeah let's talk unfortunately then about the, uh, NCAA. You, you go to Evanston, Illinois and you match up against Louisville.

Segment Synopsis: Lickert discusses his sophomore year NCAA tournament. Lickert discusses losing to Louisville and playing Marquette in a consolation game.

Keywords: NCAA tournament; National Collegiate Athletic Association (NCAA)

Subjects: Basketball; Marquette University; National Collegiate Athletic Association; University of Kentucky; University of Louisville

00:20:17 - Good defensive games

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Partial Transcript: You talk about your defense, and uh, I--there was an article I read where, when you played Notre Dame how you held Tom Hawkins down, who was their big star.

Segment Synopsis: Lickert discusses some good defensive games he played against Notre Dame and Auburn.

Keywords: Defense; Rex Frederick; Tom Hawkins

Subjects: Auburn University; Basketball; Basketball--Defense.; University of Kentucky; University of Notre Dame

00:22:37 - Junior year team changes

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Partial Transcript: Alright, let's go to your junior year then, '59-'60.

Segment Synopsis: Lickert discusses his position as captain during his junior year. Lickert also discusses players who left the team.

Keywords: Captains; Howard Dardeen; Junior year; Roger Newman; Team captains

Subjects: Basketball; College juniors; University of Kentucky

00:24:53 - Leg injury during junior year

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Partial Transcript: And then, in--shortly after Christmas, I had been bothered by a leg problem and wasn't playing up to my capabilities at that time; played some games I shouldn't have played.

Segment Synopsis: Lickert discusses missing five games because of a leg injury during his junior year for which he needed surgery. Lickert also discusses playing with Herky Rupp.

Keywords: Herky Rupp; Injuries; Leg injuries; Surgeries

Subjects: Basketball; Calcification; Surgery.; University of Kentucky; Wounds and injuries.

00:27:46 - Poor performance junior year

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Partial Transcript: Uh, well you still made First Team All-SEC Coaches' Poll, so uh, it couldn't have been that bad o, of a year.

Segment Synopsis: Lickert discusses the team's somewhat poor performance during his junior year, including not making the NCAA tournament.

Keywords: Junior year; NCAA tournament; National Collegiate Athletic Association (NCAA); Poor performance

Subjects: Basketball; College juniors; National Collegiate Athletic Association; University of Kentucky

00:30:07 - New senior year teammates

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Partial Transcript: So, we go into my senior year, and, uh, uh, we, uh, of course we added Pursifal, uh, and Feldhaus like you mentioned, but Roger Newman came back.

Segment Synopsis: Lickert discusses new teammates that came around his senior year, including the return of Roger Newman. Lickert also explains that his marriage didn't impact his playing.

Keywords: Allen Feldhaus; Larry Pursifal; Roger Newman; Scotty Baesler; Senior year

Subjects: Basketball; College seniors; Marriage; University of Kentucky

00:33:42 - Senior year season and NCAA tournament

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Partial Transcript: Well during that season, you, um, get into SEC play and you have a ten game win streak. Um, do you remember anything about that streak? Did things just start clicking? What did you do different?

Segment Synopsis: Lickert discusses his senior season with a ten-game winning streak. He discusses the playoff game against Vanderbilt to get into the NCAA tournament. Lickert also discusses the NCAA tournament that year.

Keywords: Adolph Rupp; Larry Pursifal; Roger Newman; Senior year; Southeastern Conference (SEC); Win streaks

Subjects: Basketball; College seniors; Morehead State University; Ohio State University; Rupp, Adolph, 1901-1977.; Southeastern Conference; University of Kentucky; Vanderbilt University

00:39:01 - Life after UK

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Partial Transcript: Well that year you, uh, you averaged sixteen points, so you continued to increase, shot 77 percent from the free-throw line, and, uh, finishes out your career at 73 games played, 74 percent free throw shooter...

Segment Synopsis: Lickert reflects on his time at the University of Kentucky. Lickert also discusses being drafted by the Lakers but being unable to play for them, and the job he did instead.

Keywords: Jobs; Kentucky Wildcats; National Basketball Association (NBA)

Subjects: Accountants; Accounting; Careers; Los Angeles Lakers (Basketball team); Mason & Hanger Company; National Basketball Association; Occupations

00:45:28 - Coach Rupp and Harry Lancaster

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Partial Transcript: I wanna talk a little bit, uh, more about, uh, Coach Rupp. Tell me, what was your relationship with him when you were playing?

Segment Synopsis: Lickert discusses Coach Rupp and how he remained distant from his players. Lickert also tells a story about his first encounter with Coach Rupp when he was young. He also discusses the relationship between Coach Rupp and Harry Lancaster.

Keywords: Adolph Rupp; Coaches; Harry Lancaster

Subjects: Basketball; Basketball coaches; Rupp, Adolph, 1901-1977.; University of Kentucky

00:51:02 - Playing in Memorial Coliseum

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Partial Transcript: You mentioned, too, the games at Alumni and then the Coliseum. The Coliseum had been here a few years before you started playing here--

Segment Synopsis: Lickert discusses playing basketball in Memorial Coliseum.

Keywords: Arenas; Memorial Coliseum

Subjects: Basketball; University of Kentucky

00:53:17 - The Wildcat gameday routine

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Partial Transcript: I know a lot of basketball players are--they like to have their habits or call them superstitions, whatever. Did you have any of those as a player?

Segment Synopsis: Lickert discusses the typical gameday routine when he was in college.

Keywords: Game day; Meals; Routines

Subjects: Basketball; Food; University of Kentucky

00:56:05 - Best opponent and teammate

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Partial Transcript: Let me ask you a two-part question: number one, who was the best player you played with, and then number two, played against?

Segment Synopsis: Lickert discusses his best opponent and his best teammate.

Keywords: Jerry West; Roger Newman; Teammates

Subjects: Basketball; Opponents; University of Kentucky; West Virginia University

00:58:35 - Pranks at Mississippi State

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Partial Transcript: Any, any games, in your career, anything that I've left out that you wanted, any extra stories you wanna tell? It's, it's your time now, Bill.

Segment Synopsis: Lickert discusses playing at Mississippi State his senior year and the various chants and pranks that occurred.

Keywords: "Ding dong dammit"; Pranks

Subjects: Basketball; Chants; Cowbells; Mississippi State University; Practical jokes.; Skunks; University of Kentucky