SLIDER MASSEY11 copyLEXINGTON, Ky. (1/1/18) — His journey as a Wildcat began in an Indianapolis hospital room with Coach John Calipari kneeling beside him, encouraging him to fight. He graduated in December after overcoming obstacles, inspiring the Big Blue Nation and befriending everyone from professors to future NBA stars. But he will always be part of the University of Kentucky family.

"It's so inspiring what he's been able to accomplish at this point in his life, with all the things that were thrown at him," Calipari said prior to graduation.  

Kevin Massey was a 16-year-old high school athlete at Indiana's Franklin Central High School when he received a frightening diagnosis: he had an inoperable brain tumor. While in the hospital and given no more than 24 hours to live, the lifelong UK fan was surprised with a visit from Calipari. Calipari told him if he could get out of the hospital and into UK, Massey would be part of his staff.

"The day I got accepted was the first day I ever saw my dad cry," Massey said.

Proving prognoses wrong, Massey made it through the night, and then a month, and then a year. After starting school at UK, he became the manager for the basketball team, and players and coaches became his second family.  

"You've got a whole gym full of people who are really proud of what he has done," said Coach John Robic, who oversees the managers and has become especially close with Massey. "When I came to my office the other day and saw his graduation announcement on my desk, I almost cried."

It goes beyond the basketball team though. Massey's tenacity to let nothing, not even a brain tumor, get in his way of success (what he calls "just living life, basically") has inspired his advisors, classmates and countless members of the Big Blue Nation.

"When I first started advising him. I saw some of the difficulties he's gone through, and supporting him became a very personal thing for me," said Anthony Limperos, Massey's advisor and an associate professor in the College of Communication and Information.

A communication major with a focus on health communication, Massey was committed to not just attending UK, but earning his degree. And he has no plans of quitting while he's ahead.

"Graduating is just another step in life," he said. "I got bigger plans — I don’t just want to graduate and stop there. I got bigger plans and bigger goals and more people to help."

For someone who has faced so many obstacles, Massey's outlook on life is purely optimistic.

"It’s not a matter of what happens to you — because some things are going to happen to everybody … it’s all in your attitude and how there’s always something positive in situations," he said. "And there’s something in knowing that somebody has your back."

That team effort to support Massey helped him to cross the Rupp Arena stage and complete his college career.

"I'm already looking forward to asking him, 'OK, what's next?' What's he do next? Because it'll be something that inspires all of us," Calipari said. 

SurfKY News
UK Story by Amy Jones-Timoney, Whitney Harder, and Kody Kiser
UK Photo/Mark Cornelison.

sitelogosm© Copyright 2008 - 2018 SurfKY News Group, Inc. All rights reserved.
This material may not be published, broadcast, or rewritten without permission.

Click here to subscribe to receive daily updates by email.

Save

Save

Save

Most Read This Week

Apr 22, 2018 2692

Police Bust Alleged Meth Trafficking; More Arrests Expected

by Rita Dukes Smith, SurfKY News Director
Apr 22, 2018 1801

Women Charged with Drug Possession after Meeting Police with Warrants

by Rita Dukes Smith, SurfKY News Director
Apr 23, 2018 1694

Hopkins County Public Library Hosts 27 Ky. Authors

by Tammy Holloway, SurfKY News
Apr 21, 2018 1606

Hopkins County Homebuilders Show Draws Big Crowd

by Tammy Holloway, SurfKY News
Apr 22, 2018 1546

Bowl For Kids' Sake Draws 82 Teams to Madisonville

by Tammy Holloway, SurfKY News

Most Read This Month

Apr 02, 2018 23921

Madisonville Man to Serve 8 Years for Injuring Infant

by Doreen Dennis, SurfKY News
Apr 10, 2018 18970

Police Chase on Ky. 70 Ends with Capture, Arrest

by Rita Dukes Smith, SurfKY News Director

Weather brought to you by

63°
17°
°F | °C
Cloudy
Humidity: 81%
Mon
Thunderstorms
55 | 64
12 | 17
Tue
Scattered Showers
55 | 62
12 | 16
Wed
Partly Cloudy
52 | 64
11 | 17
Thu
Partly Cloudy
44 | 65
6 | 18

Save

Stories Trending Today

chanae arrest
Apr 22, 2018 2692

Police Bust Alleged Meth Trafficking; More Arrests Expected

by Rita Dukes Smith, SurfKY News Director
feldhause arrest
Apr 22, 2018 1801

Women Charged with Drug Possession after Meeting Police with Warrants

by Rita Dukes Smith, SurfKY News Director
HCL 4 23
Apr 23, 2018 1694

Hopkins County Public Library Hosts 27 Ky. Authors

by Tammy Holloway, SurfKY News
HCHBA
Apr 21, 2018 1606

Hopkins County Homebuilders Show Draws Big Crowd

by Tammy Holloway, SurfKY News
Bowling
Apr 22, 2018 1546

Bowl For Kids' Sake Draws 82 Teams to Madisonville

by Tammy Holloway, SurfKY News

Market Report

Market Report brought to you by

Save