Sayre gets shout-out on TV show

Sayre School, one of its former basketball players and a University of Kentucky freshman will get shout-outs on national television Wednesday from one of Sayre's most visible alums, Cougar Town co-star Josh Hopkins.

In the episode of the TV comedy airing at 9:30 p.m. on ABC, Hopkins will sport a Sayre T-shirt. Emblazoned on the back will be the name "Goodman" — after his friend and former Sayre point guard Robert Goodman.

If that's not enough, at the end of the scene, which involves a basketball game, Hopkins does his rendition of Kentucky point guard John Wall's much-imitated dance from last month's Big Blue Madness.

"This whole episode is a little dedication to my two favorite point guards," Hopkins said, laughing.

Hopkins, 39, is a 1989 graduate of Sayre, where he played on the school's basketball and baseball teams.

An actor who has been in Hollywood for several years, Hopkins has had roles on TV's Private Practice, Swingtown, Brothers & Sisters and Cold Case.

On Cougar Town, he plays the acerbic Lothario-like neighbor of Courteney Cox's character, a fortysomething divorcée navigating the dating pool after years of being married.

It turns out the Sayre T-shirt had a roundabout journey from Lexington to Cougar Town.

Griggs Powell, another former Sayre teammate who is a partner in Promotional Products Plus in Lexington, had T-shirts made up for Goodman's son Robbie, 11. They said "Sayre" on the front and "14," the elder Goodman's high school number, and "Goodman" on the back.

Griggs said, "We love Goodman. I did them as a joke and gave them out to the guys." He and other members of their high school team are still close friends.

Goodman, now an assistant basketball coach at Henry Clay High School, said, "I knew Griggs made up some extra ones and sent one out to Josh, but I had no idea he'd wear it on the show."

Of the joke, Hopkins said Goodman "doesn't like attention" and this brings it to him in a big, if inside-joke kind of way.

What about that dance?

Hopkins said that when he was shooting the basketball-game scene, his character had to celebrate a win. Being a Wildcats fan, he did Wall's little dance, a sort of bouncy, biceps-flexing, wrist-flicking thing.

"No one knew what it was," Hopkins said, but he kept doing it in take after take. The director asked him to do something different on the final shot, but Hopkins refused. "I didn't want to give them the option of not using it," he said.

When he found out the dance made it into the episode, "I was ecstatic," he said.

The 6-foot-3 Hopkins said he has played basketball his whole life (teammate Goodman described him as "a real good athlete" in high school). He even played for several years in an entertainment-industry league run by the NBA, but he's stopped doing that recently.

"It's gotten to the point where it's embarrassing," he said, laughing and enumerating many of the pains common to men his age. "I jog now. I run straight ahead."

Staff writer Mike Fields contributed to this story. Reach Scott Shive at (859) 231-1412 or 1-800-950-6397, Ext. 1412.

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