By Kyle Lovern
July 1, 2014
University of Pikeville basketball coach Kelly Wells underwent a second kidney transplant on Monday.
Assistant coach Randy Casey (formerly of Belfry High School) said that Wells is at the University of Cincinnati Medical Center and will be there for about a week. Wells originally received a transplanted kidney from his wife, Shawne, in 2004. Pikeville basketball spokesman Dan White said this latest donated kidney came from Wells’ brother-in-law, Brock Walter.
Shawne (Marcum) Wells is a former all-state basketball player at Burch High School and went on to play at Morehead State. She helped lead the Lady Bulldogs to a state championship.
Casey, who became an assistant coach for Wells at UPike last year and one of his best friends, sent me a message via Facebook and said, “He came out of the surgery in great shape. The new kidney is functioning well. We are ecstatic with the results so far!”
His wife wrote on her Facebook page Monday afternoon: “Brock is out and in recovery and Kelly’s surgery just finished. Surgeon said kidney was already working before they could even get him stitched up! Praise God!”
Once released from the hospital, Kelly Wells will require at least a month of recovery, before getting back to work on the hardwood.
Wells was originally told that the kidney from his wife would last 15 to 20 years. In November 2012, after an exhibition game against the University of Louisville, Wells was admitted into Jewish Hospital complaining of pain in his abdomen. Since then, he has continued to battle health issues.
Wells has been Pikeville’s coach since 2006. The Bears won the 2011 NAIA Division I national championship. He also coached Mason County High School to the 2003 Kentucky state championship. Wells is a graduate of Rowan County High School and Morehead State University.
While at Morehead, Wells was diagnosed with IgA nephropathy, also known as Berger’s disease. IgA nephropathy is a disease that interferes with kidney function and sometimes leads to kidney failure.
Speaking of UPike basketball, Randy Casey confirmed that the Bears were interested in former Johnson Central star Shane Hall, who had committed to Marshall, but left the Huntington school last week. Hall is a 6’8” forward and was a Mr. Basketball candidate last season. He led the Golden Eagles to the Sweet 16. He might fit in well with the smaller school in Pikeville.
… Pike Central football coach John Chapman has resigned and will head to Perry Central where he will be the offensive coordinator. Chapman has been head coach for the Hawks for five years. Chapman coached PCC to a 7-6 season, losing in the third round of the Class 3A playoffs. The Hawks are in the same district as Belfry.
My first thought is that Belfry assistant coach, former Pirate all-state running back and University of Kentucky football star, David Jones, would be a good replacement for Chapman. The school will have to act fast, since the start of football practice is right around the corner.
… Jones wanted me to remind readers that he will be holding a football camp on Saturday, July 12, from 9 a.m. to 4 p.m. for players in grades kindergarten through 8th grade at CAM Stadium. Registration is 8 a.m. that morning. The camp fee is $50 per child. Lunch is provided. T-shirts and certificates will be given to each paid camper. They will also have a chance to win two tickets to the UK-South Carolina game, a Wildcat game helmet, plus signed UK and NFL gear.
… Randy Moss, the former Dupont High School and Marshall University star, not to mention and NFL standout, will be an assistant coach for his son’s football team at Victory Christian Center School, a small private school in Charlotte, NC.
Thaddeus Moss also plays basketball. He is a 6-foot-4 and 240 pounds receiver/tight end. He went to school in Rhode Island last year, but the Moss family recently moved to North Carolina. He went one semester his freshman season in St. Albans, W.Va., where his grandparents live. At that time his grandfather was diagnosed with cancer and soon passed away.
(Some information from the Kelly Wells story came from the on-line edition of the Louisville Courier Journal.)
(Kyle Lovern is the Sports Editor for the Williamson Daily News. He can be contacted at firstname.lastname@example.org or at 304-235-4242, ext. 33 or Twitter @KyleLovern)