Two days before Terrence Jones expects to hear his name called in the first round of the NBA Draft, he was helping put a giant smile on the face of a friend in Lexington.
With the aid of the former Kentucky forward, William Bolden — a 22-year-old UK basketball superfan who has developed a bit of a YouTube following with Wildcats-oriented videos posted under his nickname "Stone Cold Willow" — got extensive dental work at no cost to him.
Included over the course of eight dental appointments were two teeth pulled, 12 cavities filled and three new front teeth installed.
When Dr. Pada Chalothorn of TLC Dentistry finished the final appointment with Bolden on Tuesday, Stone Cold Willow could not stop showing off his new teeth.
"It's been a long time coming since I had a smile like this," Bolden said. "All I want to say is just a big thank you."
Bolden said he lost the three front teeth in a fight when he was 13. From then on, those who know him say Bolden would often raise a hand to cover his mouth before he smiled, out of self-consciousness.
Jones, who accompanied Bolden to the final dental appointment, said he got to know Bolden at the blue basketball courts on the UK campus near Wildcat Lodge.
"To him, he's the best player on the court," Jones said of Bolden. "It's fun to watch him play."
Bolden was always wearing a Brandon Knight No. 12 jersey. Eventually, ex-UK guard Doron Lamb asked him why he never wore a No. 20 (Lamb) or a No. 3 (Jones)?
From that start, a friendship was born.
"Being around (Bolden), knowing what type of person he is, it's only right for him to be able to smile," Jones said. "As much as he makes us laugh, to have him be smiling back at us is just great."
The ex-UK forward said during Wildcats games in Rupp Arena, he'd often notice Bolden in the part of the Kentucky student section known as the E-Rupp-tion Zone. "I'd see the dance he did at the games," Jones said.
By the end of the 2012 season, there was even a Stone Cold Willow fat head — with missing front teeth prominently displayed — in Rupp.
One day. Jones says he asked Bolden if he'd like to have dental work performed. "He said he wanted it done," Jones said. "I just wanted to be there for him."
Steven Dorn, a friend of Jones who also helps the former Kentucky forward organize autograph sessions, etc. ... , helped organize the effort.
The original plan to allow Bolden to get dental work was to raise money for the procedure by selling a song Jones recorded called Teach Me 'Bout Kentucky on iTunes. The song is set to the beat of Teach Me How To Dougie.
However, after expenses related to leasing the beat, the song is financially in the red.
"So (Jones) has had to come out of his pocket to pay for this," Dorn said. "But he said go ahead and do it anyway."
"Once I got money to try to help him out," Jones said, "I just wanted to do as much as I could."
Eventually, TLC Dentistry with Dr. Chalothorn and oral surgeon Dr. Gilman Peterson III of Erena & Peterson agreed to help Bolden get dental work done. "The dentists have really helped us out a lot," Dorn said. "They significantly reduced the rates of their service."
Once the final procedure was done Tuesday (interestingly, done by laser, meaning no anesthesia), Stone Cold Willow had new front teeth and literally could not stop smiling.
"I've had my mouth filled up with a lot of joy and happiness," he said.
Mark Story: (859) 231-3230. Twitter: @markcstory. Blog: markstory.bloginky.com