Former Kentucky player Bret Bearup has passed away, according to the Lexington Herald-Leader. He was 56 years old.
Bearup was living in Denver at the time of his death. His family became worried when he wasn’t returning phone calls, and his younger brother discovered his body today.
Bearup is survived by three children.
“Such a shock, such a shock,” said BethAnn Bearup, who was married to the former UK player for 29 years.
BethAnn Bearup said she did not know the cause of death.
“I pray he passed away in his sleep,” she said.
A Parade and McDonald’s All-American out of Greenlawn (N.Y.) Harborfields, Bearup signed with Kentucky in 1980. He spent five seasons in Lexington, redshirting during 1981-82.
Bearup’s career at UK never took off as expected, but he did become a solid contributor, appearing in 114 career games. He helped the Wildcats reach the 1984 Final Four.
The 6-foot-9 Bearup’s top season was the 1984-85 campaign, when he received extended playing time. He averaged 6.3 points and 5.6 rebounds in 26.4 minutes per contest as Kentucky reached the Sweet Sixteen.
Bearup’s brother Todd would go on to play for Kentucky during the 1990-91 season before transferring to BYU.
Our thoughts and prayers are with the entire Bearup family at this time.