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10 Landon Slone

Landon Slone
Hometown (Last School)
Paintsville, KY (High)
January 14, 1990

Landon Slone was born on January 14, 1990, to Phil Slone and Toby Spradlin.

Slone played at Paintsville, where he starred on Tiger teams that earned him the attention of former University of Kentucky coach Billy Gillespie.  He averaged 25.1 points and 7.2 rebounds as a senior and helped Paintsville to the 2008 15th Region title.  He was named  2008 First Team All-State and was the 2008 Region 15 Player of the Year.  The 6-foot-3 guard never averaged less than 20 points a game at Paintsville. After scoring primarily as a penetrator during his first two seasons, Slone transformed into a prolific three-point shooter.  In guiding the Tigers to a Sweet Sixteen appearance his senior season, he averaged 43 percent from behind the arc.  Slone’s former high school coach, Bill Mike Runyon, said he’s one of the best offensive players he’s ever coached. Lofty words, considering Runyon coached such legendary high school players like John Pelphrey and J.R. VanHoose during his 26 years as head coach.

On Sunday, March 30, 2008, Slone visited the UK campus and the next day, he accepted a walk-on offer from UK.  In choosing Kentucky, Slone probably turned down opportunities for more playing time at other schools. He said he received interest from Middle Tennessee State, Marshall, and Arkansas.  Ultimately, though, Slone’s lifelong dream of donning the blue and white was too good to pass up. “If you’re a young boy from Kentucky and you get a chance to wear that K on your jersey, you’re going to take that chance,” Runyon said of Slone’s decision to choose Kentucky.  “It still hasn’t sunk in yet,” Slone said.  “The tradition behind Kentucky is amazing and to put on that Kentucky jersey, it’s going to be unbelievable.”

Slone was not your typical walk-on, however.  He proved himself in practice and worked hard to perfect his assignments, garnering him playing time over the bigger and more talented players at Gillespie’s disposal.

Slone was featured in the January 3rd, 2009 edition of the New York Times with a headline that read, ‘Freshman Walk-on Gives Kentucky A Lift,’ in which they praised the young Wildcat.  Slone was quoted in the article as saying, “Gillespie doesn’t care if you’re a scholarship All-American.”

Slone played 25 minutes off the bench during the win over Florida Atlantic that season and contributed four points and three assists in that span. He played 24 minutes just two nights later, where he poured in eight points and five boards in the Cats win over Central Michigan.  But after earning 49 minutes in two December games, Slone didn’t play a single second in the month of January in 2009.  gan. In UK’s 18 games
against Southeastern Conference competition, he played in six games and only three times more than a minute. He scored two points.

Slone became a fan favorite in his one season at UK. Then UK fired Gillispie and hired John Calipari, who did not share his predecessor’s enthusiasm for walk-on players. Slone got the message that he might need to look for program when he failed repeatedly to arrange a meeting with Calipari. Then a UK assistant advised Slone to act on any other options.  In considering his options, Slone sounded fully convinced that Morehead State represented the best choice.  It’s close to home so family and friends can watch him play. And, Slone said, coach Donnie Tyndall has elevated Morehead State’s basketball profile, taking the school to the NCAA Tournament the previous season.

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