Skip to content

We all can learn something from Kentucky’s Michael Kidd-Gilchrist

Apr 2, 2012, 8:30 AM EDT

NCAA Final Four Kentucky Louisville Basketball

Watching athletes making things look so easy on the floor can lead many to believe that things are just as easy for them off the court as well.

That’s not always the case, and in the way Kentucky forward Michael Kidd-Gilchrist deals with the adversity he’s had to deal with we all could learn something.

Kidd-Gilchrist is a young man who lost his father at an early age, and on the day he signed his Letter of Intent to attend Kentucky lost his uncle to a fatal heart attack.

Neither of those tragic moments have stopped Kidd-Gilchrist, and neither has a speech impediment that pops up when in front of large groups.

The attention that comes with being a well-known player tends to have that effect, but it isn’t something that Michael isn’t willing to take on.

“Michael has done speech consistently for the majority of his life,” Cindy Richardson, Kidd-Gilchrist’s mother, told CBSSports.com in her first public comments about the issue. “He gets help with it. He deals with it. He’s not embarrassed by it.”

Kidd-Gilchrist meets with a speech therapist twice a week to address the issue, and for a person with a speech impediment it says a lot that he’d be willing to commit to a school as intensely followed as Kentucky.

He could have gone someplace where the attention wouldn’t have been so intense – instead, he picked the most scrutinized team in the country.

“It’s hard to come and play here. It’s not for everybody,” head coach John Calipari said. “There’s no place to hide, no crack to go down into.”

There have been many cases of famous personalities, especially athletes, who have had to deal with a speech impediment including former Chicago Bull great Bob Love and Shaquille O’Neal.

And it’s an issue that many people who aren’t famous, young and old alike, have to tackle on a daily basis as well. To be able to see someone such as Kidd-Gilchrist battle the issue head-on should serve as motivation for them.

And even if you don’t have to deal with such as issue, Kidd-Gilchrist’s growth can still be seen as a source of inspiration.

Raphielle is also the assistant editor at CollegeHoops.net and can be followed on Twitter at @raphiellej.