Speech-Language Pathologist Helps Former Wildcat Become Fluent for Life

LEXINGTON, Ky. (Feb. 26, 2015) – Meg Shake, a speech-language pathologist in the University of Kentucky College of Health Sciences Communication Disorders Clinic, is featured in a recent Sports Illustrated article, written by Lee Jenkins. 

The article focuses on former UK men’s basketball player, Michael Kidd-Gilchrist, who now plays small forward for the Charlotte Hornets. Shake and Kidd-Gilchrist met in the summer of 2011 at UK’s Center of Academic and Tutorial Services. Kidd-Gilchrist had worked on his stutter with speech-language pathologists as a child, never learning how to control it. Instead he coped by avoiding situations, such as public speaking, that brought attention to his stutter. However, being part of the hugely successful 2011-12 UK Wildcats made hiding from media interviews impossible.

Jenkins writes: “If (Mark) Price (Hornets assistant coach) was his shot doctor, Shake was his speech guru. She met with him twice a week and demystified the phenomenon that is human speech: how the mouth and tongue and lips form different sounds, how vocal cords vibrate, and how we all stammer occasionally at the onset of pressure. Kidd-Gilchrist relearned, in a sense, how to speak.”

Their work together was a success, and Shake would often listen to Kidd-Gilchrist’s media interviews and compliment him on his progress. Shake knew that for Kidd-Gilchrist the desire to speak fluently went deeper than media interviews.

In the article, Shake is quoted: “This (the therapy) was for when he gives his wedding vows, and when he gets his honorary degree from UK, and when he goes to his grandchildren’s graduation. It was for a more fluent future.”    


Shake, who has worked in the Communication Disorders Clinic since 2006, received her undergraduate degree from Wake Forest University and her graduate degree from UK in Communication Sciences and Disorders.

Media Contact:  Ann Blackford at 859-323-6442 or ann.blackford@uky.edu