They Call Me Goose by Jack Givens


  • 235 Page Paperback
  • University Press of Kentucky
Categories: , , SKU: 12036


They Call Me Goose: My Life in Kentucky Basketball and Beyond is an intimate and all-encompassing look at the life and career of the basketball legend, from growing up in a housing project in Lexington, his success with UK men’s basketball through his years with NBA’s Atlanta Hawks and the Japan Basketball Association, his career as a college and NBA television color analyst, to his recent appointment as a commentator for the UK Sports Network. Givens shares personal and endearing stories from his childhood―how he was initially interested in baseball instead of basketball, the summers spent with his grandmother in Danville, Kentucky, and the teachers and coaches who guided and supported him along his journey. He also speaks candidly about his experiences with poverty, ruinous financial debt, the blowback from sexual assault allegations, and how his faith and his family helped sustain him through hardships and challenges. In collaboration with journalist Doug Brunk, Givens presents fans with the powerful story of a husband, father, mentor, businessman, and ambassador for Kentucky―who also just happens to be an iconic sports legend.

When Jack “Goose” Givens first walked onto the basketball court at Lexington’s Douglass Park for the legendary Dirt Bowl league, it was the beginning of one of the most illustrious sports careers in Kentucky history. After being named 1974’s Mr. Basketball for the state of Kentucky as a high school senior, Givens signed with the University of Kentucky and went on to amass a string of achievements that place him among the all-time greats in NCAA college basketball―most notably leading UK to the 1978 NCAA Men’s National Championship with his 41-point performance against the Duke Blue Devils in that historic game―and being named the Final Four Most Outstanding Player for that year.


Praise for They Call Me Goose

Jack ‘Goose’ Givens is one of the most beloved figures in Kentucky basketball history. Any fan is going to love Jack’s honesty as he walks you through the highs and lows of his life’s journey. From his humble upbringings, to being a trailblazer and champion at UK, to finding his path beyond basketball, Jack is as determined to inspire through the lines within these pages as he once was between the lines on the hardwood. This is a must-read for the entire Big Blue Nation, any basketball fan or anyone who wants to learn how to overcome life’s challenging moments.

~John Calipari, head coach, Kentucky men’s basketball

Jack’s basketball story is a dream that is still dreamed today by many young players—to grow up to play for the Kentucky Wildcats and to be a star. Jack is a legend for his accomplishments at UK but there’s so much more to his story than that incredible performance in the national championship game against Duke. I have followed his career since his high school days at Bryan Station and I have enjoyed working with him calling Sweet 16 games and, more recently, as part of the UK Radio Network. I really enjoyed learning so much more about his story than I ever knew, and I know all Wildcat fans will enjoy this book as well.

~Tom Leach, the “Voice of the Wildcats,” UK Radio Network

Finding out what we didn’t know about ‘Goose’ is why I couldn’t put the book down. Jack and Doug Brunk have you walking a mile in his shoes. That’s huge! I understand why he rooted for Texas Western over UK. I understand why a proud black man likes the name Rupp Arena. And, how a kid who grew up not wanting to walk in the white neighborhoods of Lexington has turned into one of UK’s terrific ambassadors.

~Alan Cutler, longtime Lexington television sports anchor and reporter, coauthor of Cut To The Chase


About the Authors

Jack “Goose” Givens, formerly an American collegiate and professional basketball player, spent many years working as a broadcaster and real estate developer. He currently serves as the vice president of business development and external affairs at Bowlin Group and as a radio color analyst for the UK Sports Network. He lives in Georgetown, Kentucky, with his wife, Linda. They have two children and four grandchildren. Doug Brunk is an award-winning and San Diego-based journalist who has written hundreds of articles for trade and consumer publications. He is the author of Wildcat Memories: Inside Stories from Kentucky Basketball Greats and Forty Minutes to Glory: Inside the Kentucky Wildcats’ 1978 Championship Season.