Happy Birthday to Jack “Goose” Givens!

Jack Givens

Jack “Goose” Givens was born September 21, 1956 in Lexington, Kentucky. The 6-5 forward led the University of Kentucky to the 1978 NCAA Men’s Division I Basketball Championship and was named that year’s Final Four Most Outstanding Player due in most part to his 41-point performance in Kentucky’s 94-88 victory over Duke University in the championship game.


Givens earned Kentucky Mr. Basketball and Parade All-America honors after his senior year at Lexington’s Bryan Station High School in 1974. UK finished Givens’ freshman season as national runners-up, falling 92-85 to in the 1975 Final Four championship game. In 1978, Givens and Kentucky returned to the Final Four at the Checkerdome in Saint Louis, Missouri. After leading Kentucky to a semifinal victory over the University of Arkansas, he scored a career-high 41 points and made 18 of 27 field goal attempts against Duke to help Kentucky clinch their fifth NCAA Championship in men’s basketball.  Goose graced the cover of Sports Illustrated following this performance.


Givens lettered four times in varsity basketball from 1974-75 to 1977-78. In that span, he scored 2,038 points in 123 games (16.6 ppg), ranking third on the school’s all-time scoring list. He was named first team all-Southeastern Conference three times from 1976 to 1978 and was a consensus second team in 1978. Kentucky retired Givens’ #21 jersey and a banner in his honor hangs in the rafters of Rupp Arena, Kentucky’s home court.


Following his collegiate career, the Atlanta Hawks of the National Basketball Association (NBA) drafted Givens with the 16th overall pick in the 1978 NBA Draft. He played two years for the Hawks, scoring 1,040 points in 156 games (6.7 ppg).


Jack "Goose" Givens
Jack "Goose" Givens - photo by Walter Cornett | WildcatWorld.com

After his playing career, Givens was an NBA television color analyst for various networks and teams, most notably with the Turner Broadcasting System (TBS) and the  for both the Sun Sports and FS  cable stations from the team’s inception in 1990 to 2004 before being replaced by Matt Guokas.


Givens is the CEO and President of Orlando Comets, a basketball organization that has placed over 60 players into NCAA basketball on full scholarships. In 2006, the Orlando Comets won the national AAU Championship in the 16 and under division.  Jack and his wife Linda have two children, Jeremy and Jaimie.