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"A Miracle" The Change In Winston Bennett

Posted: May 12, 2011 6:31 PM by Alan Cutler
Updated: May 13, 2011 2:54 PM

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"I could be dead," says former UK star Winston Bennett.

"I could be gone. I could have aids. I could have anything with the life that I lived. But, I'm clean. I'm sober and I'm living for the Lord and that's what this is all about."

The former UK star wrote a book, 'Fight for Your Life' to make sure he never forgets, and to help others. It's a problem that many don't want to admit.

"This is a reminder to me that I'm in a fight every day of my life," says Winston who was holding up boxing gloves while we talked.

"Not me only. All of us. You're in a fight. It's a fight just to wake up in the morning. But, I'm in a real fight. I'm in a battle that can really throw a knockout punch if I don't get my dukes up, and that's sex addiction."

Bennett, who is the head basketball coach at Mid-Continent University, was a tough guy with a feathery touch for the Cats in the 1980's. After he ripped his knee, Bennett was never the same. In 1996, he was an assistant for Pitino when the Cats won it all.

"Coach Pitino has been through some tough times, but he is still the greatest in my book. It tells you we all have issues that we are dealing with. No one is immune to it. There is no prejudice when it comes to problems. Problems are everywhere. The only question is not if you are going to get knocked down. You are going to get knocked down. The question is, are you going to get up."

Bennett was a Parade All-American and Mr. Basketball in Kentucky. He seemed like a very confident athlete. He hid the truth. Bennett had a serious problem with his self-esteem.

"I never felt like I was good enough. In high school, and particularly playing at the worlds greatest university I didn't feel like I could dribble good enough, shoot good enough or even rebound good enough."

This story seems to be about Winston Bennett. But in reality, the real hero might be his wife Peggy. Not just because she stuck by her man but why she did it.

"Because I love him and I saw beyond the addiction," says Peggy Bennett.

"I knew the real Winston Bennett that was deep down inside of him crying to get out. And I knew that he had never really ever dealt with the issue. He never had the support to deal with the issue so I stuck with him.

"She is a God woman," says Winston.

"There is nobody on the face of the earth like here. Now Magic Johnson might rebuttal because he's got a pretty good one who stuck by him with aids. I have an excellent wife that is spirit minded. Which one of us would have a woman in their life that after one infidelity would stay with us. And here I have countless. So you know it has to be God that has kept us together."

What an amazing change in their relationship.

"Very happy," says Peggy. "Happier than we've ever been."

Peggy calls the change in Winston a miracle.

Topics: Winston Bennett, Kentucky Basketball