OLIVE HILL —
A Hop-like Impact
As the list of accomplishments unyieldingly grows, showers of praise are inevitable.
Kyle is moved most, though, by comparisons to his father.
“Chris Perry will tell me that he thinks he’s talking to (Hop) sometimes when he’s talking to me,” Kyle said. “My sisters tell me all the time that my feet look just like his.
“The biggest compliment anybody could give me is that I looke like my dad or act like my dad.”
When he glances to the wall inside West Carter’s gym containing the words John “Hop” Brown Court, Kyle doesn’t necessarily succumb to the pressures of following a mere basketball legend. Hop was more than that. His impact permeated the region for several reasons.
“That’s the toughest thing to live up to, not really the basketball, but just the kind of man he was from what everybody tells me,” Kyle said. “All the great stories that I hear about him ... I mean, I can come to Ashland, Morehead, Grayson, anywhere. Everybody knew him and what a great guy he was.”
Hop had a gift for whipping out witty one-liners. Sometimes, he could have an entire room rolling.
Kyle’s more laid-back and reserved, but that infectious sense of humor is a passed-down trait.
When asked what it was like to be surrounding by women — three sisters and mother — all the time, Kyle came up with a gem.
“I’m just glad I didn’t turn out gay!” he said. Then he paused. “I’m serious!”
Then he admitted, “I’m just babied, pretty spoiled to be honest.”
With 23 years separating Kim and Kyle, and 12 between Kandi and Kyle, Kandi was the only sibling living in the house when Kyle was young.
In 2000, Kandi began dating Gerad Parker, a Lawrence County football standout who went on to play at Kentucky. They’re now married, and he’s an assistant coach at Purdue.
Gerad was one of three brothers in-law who helped fulfill that all-important father figure role in Kyle’s life.
Gerad and Kandi were in attendance when West Carter played at Ashland this past Tuesday.
Prior to leaving for his newly acquired job in West Lafayette, Ind., Gerad told Kyle, “I’ll be sending you a letter,” since he couldn’t be there for Kyle’s Senior Night celebration.
An excerpt from that letter:
As I look back and reflect on the 13 years I've known you, I can only muster up smiles for the great memories of watching you grow as a man and then cry for the same reasons. All the talks, the tears, the vacations, golf rounds, shooting sessions and a couple butt-chewings have got you all here to your moment.
You've battled the tough times of becoming a man and you've done it with your father not being here with you. You didn't ask for a handout, you didn't use an excuse, you took who you were and who he was and blended it into becoming a great man. This night is about you and your family and celebrating your accomplishments. All I can say is you've reached everything I expected you would.