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John Calipari Comments on the Passing of Former UK Player Bret Bearup


Former Wildcat Bret Bearup Passed Away at the Age of 56

Former Kentucky basketball player Bret Bearup passed away at the age of 56.


Bearup played for the Wildcats from 1981-1985. For his career, he averaged 3.6 points and 2.7 rebounds, but as a senior, he posted 6.3 points per game.



Family became concerned when Bearup failed to answer his phone for multiple days. When his brother Todd showed up to check on him, he discovered Bearup’s body.


Kentucky coach John Calipari commented on Bearups passing and so did ESPN analyst Dick Vitale.


“Sad to hear that Bret Bearup passed away suddenly,” said Calipari. “A former Kentucky player for Coach Hall, I’ve known Brett since my days at UMass. He was always a loyal and good-hearted person who loved the game of basketball. He’s going to be missed. Prayer for him and his family.”

About the author / 

Shawn Smith

Shawn Smith is a graduate of Lincoln Memorial University, where he earned a degree in elementary education. He currently resides in Middlesboro, Kentucky and is a credentialed media member at the University of Kentucky. Smith founded and published Go Big Blue Country in November 2016. You can follow him on Facebook, Twitter and Instagram @gbbcountry or reach him via email at

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