If you happened to catch the second installment of “All-Access Kentucky” on ESPN, you may have saw a face you did not recognize. Wearing practice gear, and blending in with all the other guys, a new face was among them. If you happened to catch the annual Blue/White game, you would have seen the new guy check in for Twany Beckham a few times. His name is Tod Lanter, and right now he’s a very unfamiliar face in a familiar crowd.
When the Kentucky Wildcats recruit a new player into the foal, it seems that everyone has to know about it. The Big Blue Nation is always thirsty for more knowledge about their ‘Cats. The news of Tod Lanter slipped under the radar quite a bit, and nobody outside of the program really knew who this guy was. We all got our first glimpses of him on ESPN, and then in the Blue/White game rocking a #21 jersey. Lanter is the son of former walk-on player Bo Lanter who scored a career 43-points as a Wildcat from 1980-82.
Coming out of Dunbar High School in Lexington, Kentucky, Lanter had big dreams just like his father. He wanted to play Division I basketball, but the offers were not exactly pouring in. When an offer came in, he jumped at the opportunity. Lanter played a year at Gulf Coast State College, and his numbers were very minimal. Not happy with his situation, he took a year off from school. Still wanting to chase his dream, he continued to work out and stay in top physical condition. Assistant head coach John Robic granted Lanter a workout with the team around mid-August, but Lanter had not heard any news afterwards until the Wednesday before Big Blue Madness. Robic told Lanter to come by and watch some workouts, just so he wouldn’t be “totally lost”. Within a few days, he was mingling and bumping elbows with arguably the most talented team in college basketball.
Lanter described his first couple of days as ‘interesting”. It just so happened that one day he was on the court with the guys and then it was pure business. There was little fanfare or stage fright for Lanter as he kept his working mentality and tried to keep the thoughts of achieving his dreams in his sights. I would be so nervous, I would forget how to spell my first name let alone subject myself to being challenged by college athletes and coach John Calipari. His father always said that if he could allow Tod to relive his experiences at Kentucky, he would let his son do so in a heartbeat. Now, Lanter is living his dream.
Tod Lanter is not an official walk-on just yet. He has been given a promise to have the opportunity. So why Tod Lanter and why now? First of all, the kid deserves the shot. Hard work will pay off, and Lanter has done nothing but work hard since taking the year off from school. With Twany Beckham’s nagging back, and limited reserves, Calipari really needed a practice player with Division I size and strength. Lanter definitely has the size, and if you happened to see his guns during the Blue/White scrimmage, he should have the strength as well. Lanter will be able to challenge the other guys better and more effectively than a Sam Malone or Brian Long. It’s all about making this team better.
After the Blue/White scrimmage, Calipari commented on his newest player. He now says that Lanter may dress for the Wildcats and officiall become part of the team. After a good performance in the televised scrimmage, Lanter has proven that he can handle this opportunity. For now, Lanter seems to be on his way to a Kentucky jersey. A Kentucky kid, looking to make his dreams a reality. Good luck and best wishes from me, Tod. I’m already a fan.
Filed Under: Basketball
About the Author: Writer for StraitCats.com, lifelong UK fan, college sports enthusiast. Twitter: BrianLewis_SP