UK grad makes it to Senior Night — from Zimbabwe

mstory@herald-leader.comMarch 1, 2012 

The award for greatest distance traveled to be at 2012 Kentucky Senior Night? It seems likely to have gone to Kathy Jansen,

Jansen, a 1967 Lafayette High School graduate and a '71 UK grad, flew from Harare, Zimbabwe, to be in Rupp Arena (a trip of 8,345 miles) for Thursday night's game with Georgia.

She was able to attend because Larry Brewer, her former Lafayette classmate, gave up his ticket for her.

"Pretty good friend, to do that, hey?" Jansen said.

Brewer may have had an ulterior motive. Jansen's husband, William, was once on the staff at the University of North Carolina. In 2005, Jansen says they gave Brewer their tickets to the Carolina-Duke game in Chapel Hill.

"North Carolina went on to win the national championship that year," she said. "Larry told me he was hoping if he gave up his seats to me, that would turn around in UK's favor this year."

Jansen says she boarded a flight in Harare — where her husband is Senior HIV/AIDS Technical Advisor for the U.S. Agency for International Development — at 3:30 a.m. Sunday Lexington time.

She arrived in Raleigh, N.C., at 5:30 p.m. Monday and then drove to Lexington for the game.

"I'm so excited," she said.

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