Dr. Layton "Mickey" Rouse, 93, a retired dentist who was the first University of Kentucky men's basketball letterman to have his jersey retired, died Saturday at Twin Oaks Assisted Living in Henry County.
Dr. Rouse was a 6-foot 1-inch guard for UK from 1938 through 1940.
He was captain of the team and an All-Southeastern Conference player during his final season. At the annual banquet that year, Coach Adolph Rupp surprised him by presenting him with his entire uniform, according to the UK media guide.
Russell Rice, a longtime sports information director at UK, said that after Rupp retired Dr. Rouse's jersey, "I asked him why, and Rupp said, 'leadership.'"
"Mickey wasn't a great scorer," Rice said. "He was the kingpin."
He scored 353 points and played in 57 games during his three years on the team.
Rice said he talked with Dr. Rouse at the UK Athletics Hall of Fame induction ceremony in 2005.
"He was most gracious, very friendly and true blue all the way," Rice said. "He was so pleased that he was being inducted."
After graduating from UK, Dr. Rouse, a native of Ludlow, earned a degree from the University of Louisville School of Dentistry. The son of a dentist, he practiced dentistry for 40 years and retired from his practice in Carrollton in 1982.
Dr. Rouse also was a U.S. Army veteran who repaired servicemen's teeth on troop carriers in the Atlantic Ocean during World War II.
He was a member of Trinity United Methodist Church in Madison, Ind.
He is survived by his wife, Betsy Rouse, of New Castle, and two daughters and sons-in-law, Dorothy and Charles Meng of Lexington and Mary Louise and Rick Schepman of New Castle.
Funeral services will be conducted at noon Wednesday at Prewitt Funeral Home in New Castle. Visitation will begin at 10 a.m. Wednesday.
Karla Ward: (859) 231-3314. Twitter: @HLpublicsafety.