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Honoring Their Father

BY LARRY VAUGHT

Sisters Kambri Bivins, age 12, and Aubry Bivins, age 10, of Gallatin, Tenn, wanted to do something to share their father’s love for UK basketball with others and find a way to get him honored at a UK basketball game this season after he passed away earlier this summer after suffering PTSD during his service in the Army.

They decided to make a video in hopes someone at UK would see it. Kami Bivins, their mother, sent e-mails to numerous UK officials and is hopefully waiting on a reply. She did hear from former Miss Kentucky Maria Montgomery, the on-court game co-host at Rupp Arena for UK games, who said she would share the girls’ message.

“The video was something they wanted to work on. They want their dad to be honored and remembered for the man he was and not the man who died from PTSD,” Kami, a Colorado native who met her husband when he was stationed in Colorado, said. “Eric loved Kentucky basketball. He was not into football or professional sports. He was all about Kentucky Wildcat basketball. He had (newspaper) clippings of Patrick Sparks (a former high school classmate) all over his UK room and he had UK hats all around the room. I think he had been wearing UK basketball shirts since he was 3 or 4 years old.”

He had over 200 UK basketball hats. Most were given out to those who attended his funeral service.

Kami regrets that they did not go to a Kentucky home basketball game. They planned to last year, but could not. They had been to Nashville to watch UK play against Vanderbilt.

“He never got to experience being in Rupp Arena. It would have been like heaven to him. We wanted to last year but with all that happened, we couldn’t,” she said.

The girls ended their Facebook video with this: “Good luck this season. Go Big Blue.”

I hope someone at UK makes it possible for these two special girls to have a chance to honor their father in some small way at Kentucky and let other UK fans do the same.

 


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