TOLEDO, Ohio. (WDRB) – Even after all these years, former Kentucky guard Truman Claytor still finds himself headed to the hardwood.
“They call me a lifer,” Claytor said. “I enjoy coming to the gym. I love the kids. I enjoy watching the local talent.”
There’s no doubt the 60-year-old still has the same passion for the game he did back in 1978 when he helped Wildcats win the NCAA Championship.
The only thing different now is the uniform.
“I have some people say man, ‘you aren’t as good a ref as a player.’ I say ‘you’re right.’”
But that doesn’t stop him from trying to be the best he can be.
For 23 years, Claytor has been a high school referee in his home town of Toledo.
“I’ve done six state boys semifinals and state championships and five girls state championships," he said. "I really enjoy it.”
Truman says one of his favorite parts about being a referee is being around the players, which is ironic since many of them have no idea who is or what he’s done.
When I saw Truman referee in February, I asked a number of players afterward what they knew about him, and as expected, they did not know much. I asked if they knew what years he played, and they said he played in the 60s.
“The coaches or some of the parents might say, ‘don’t you know who that is?’ Sometimes they’ll ask about my experiences at Kentucky,“ Clayter said.
And he’ll be happy to tell them about it.
He still wears his championship ring all the time, never forgetting a moment from that special season.
“I’m going to bleed blue until the day I die,“ he said.
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