By LARRY VAUGHT
Sometimes even if you are a University of Kentucky fan, you have to be willing to still recognize a business opportunity.
That’s why I thought it was a novel idea when UK fan Macy King of Mayfield basically made a sales pitch to LaVar Ball, who has become a national personality and businessman with his Big Baller Brand, on social media. He was in Mayfield for the Jackson Purchase Jam at Graves County over the weekend with Spire Academy and his youngest son, LaMelo.
Big Baller Brand sells a variety of hats, shirts, sweatshirts and shoes and during the McCracken County Mustang Madness in Paducah a month earlier sold over $40,000 in merchandise in two nights.
King invited Ball to come to Wings Etc. Mayfield, a grill and sports pub where she is a bartender, to eat and sell merchandise.
“He actually didn’t make it here. Honestly, I tried to reach out to him to help him sell his gear because we had the space and we always try to bring in more business and I know he has a lot of followers,” King said.
Kentucky athletics has a lot of followers, too, and King is one of them even though she was born in Maryland.
“But I claim Kentucky like I was born here,” she said.
Her stepfather bought her first Kentucky T-shirt when she was 5 years old and introduced her to Kentucky basketball and football then. She still remembers going to her first Kentucky game “like it was yesterday” even though it was 20 years ago when she saw Kentucky and Vanderbilt play football.
“It was honestly the best day of my life and 20 years later here I am a die-hard fan,” she said.
She listens daily to Kentucky Sports Radio for information on Kentucky athletics and checks other media sources for information. She says Lexington is “only four hours away” and she enjoys the “gorgeous” drive there to watch games.
“I actually went to the Kentucky-Georgia football game this year,” King said. “My brother is a die-hard Georgia fan, so we had to get tickets to that game.”
She normally tries to attend three or four UK basketball games per year but has not been since Senior Day 2017 when Derek Willis proposed to Keely Potts at midcourt.
She admits she got a bit worried about John Calipari’s team early this season but never wavered in her support or belief that the team would get better.
“I am so happy with the team now! My favorite player is Tyler Herro,” she said.
That feeling sometimes can lead to interesting work conversation because her manager is actually a Tennessee fan — and the Vols are currently ranked No. 1 in the nation.
“We talk a lot about sports,” King said. “We also have 30 plus TVs and when Kentucky plays, every single TV is requested to be on the game.”
She hopes the passion she has for Kentucky athletics and sports in general could eventually lead her to a career change.
“My dream job is to one day work as a ESPN reporter. I’m going back to school for communication (major),” King said.