Bonded by basketball: a father-daughter tradition

The father-daughter duo hasn't missed a game in 48 years

LEXINGTON, Ky. (WTVQ) – Wednesday was the first day of the KHSAA boys Sweet Sixteen with many local teams in this year’s tournament. But for one family, March Madness is more than just basketball. ‘

Many Kentuckians unite over their love for basketball, but for Roy Lauter and Lori Wright, the KHSAA state tournament has been a special tradition for nearly to 50 years.

“She’s been coming to state tournament for 56 years, except when she was this big, she couldn’t stay all of the games the whole tournament,” says Lauter about the pair’s tradition.

Although Wright has gone to games her entire life, she and her dad haven’t missed a single game of the high school basketball state tournament in the last 48 years. Even while living in South Africa for a couple of years, Wright made sure every March she flew back to Lexington.

“So my first question was, not was but more of a statement, I am coming back for state tournaments,” says Wright. “So for the four years we were there, I was able to fly back in March for a couple of weeks.”

“We schedule our calendars across the years, nothing ever interferes with state tournament,” says Lauter.

For these two, it’s not so much about the teams playing as much as their love for a good game of basketball. Naturally, coming to a tournament together every year made sense.

“I don’t know that we really ever considered anything else,” says Wright, laughing. “Other than it would be state tournament because that’s the way I was brought into the world.”

Lauter says he never dreamed a father-daughter tradition he started so long ago would still be going strong. The daddy-daughter weekend has expanded to include Wright’s sons, but still holds a special place in the pair’s hearts.

“An earnest is a payment now on something in the future, and I say Kentucky state basketball tournament is my earnest that [God] gave me for the future,” says Lauter. “It’s just for us a beautiful time together.”

Categories: Featured, Local News, News