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Wildcat fandom leads to new friendship

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By Will Phillips

Enterprise correspondent

The University of Kentucky men’s basketball team lost to Michigan State on Nov. 12, but Wildcat fans Jerry Fowler and his son William will remember this particular game for a very different reason than what happened on the court. 

On the way to the game, they picked up two other UK fans that had become stranded. 

“It was very spontaneous,” Fowler said. 

While driving to Chicago for the game on Tuesday, the Fowlers were listening to UK Sports Radio. The host, Matt Jones, was taking a phone call from UK fans Jordan Michael and Tyler Dunn, who were stranded after their car had broken down in Lafayette, Ind., on the drive. 

“They had the car towed to a local mechanic,” Fowler said. “[The mechanic] was going to be able to repair the car, but a part had to be ordered, and the part was not going to be in for another day.” 

Michael and Dunn, both from Lexington, called in to the radio show to see if anyone was nearby that could give them a ride.

“We had just passed a sign stating that Lafayette, Indiana was 15 miles away…I looked at my son and said, ‘You wanna pick them up?’” 

Fowler sent a tweet to Jones that read, “[M]y son and I are 15 miles from Lafayette. We can get them.” 

Jones responded by getting their phone number, and initiating contact between the two parties. 

After the Fowlers picked up Michael and Dunn, the four of them proceeded to Chicago, where they met with Dunn’s parents for dinner. The Fowlers stayed in Aurora, Ill., with former Enterprise editor and former Lebanon tourism director Chris Hamilton.

The next day, they heard from Dunn and Michael again. 

“We received a message from [Dunn and Michael] indicating that they were still in need of a ride back to their car,” Fowler said.

The Fowlers drove back into Chicago, where they had lunch with the young men. The four of them spent some time touring the city before heading back to Lafayette, where the car had been fixed. 

Fowler laughed, saying that it was quite a trip, adding that they made a couple good friends and that Michael and Dunn are “two good guys.”

“I’m sure we’ll stay in touch with them from time to time,” Fowler said. “We’ve talked about going to a basketball game or two up in Lexington.”